Resumes have evolved over the years, the same as everything else. Two decades ago, a resume was simply a listing of professional tasks and academic history. An objective statement was generally at the top, telling the hiring manager what the candidate was looking for. Little thought was given as to what the targeted company was looking for in a candidate or whether that individual provided any job-related achievements.
Resumes Continue to Change
An article on The Job Pyramid tackled the subject of keeping resumes fresh and relevant for 2013. Many of their points were spot on. I’ll address them here.
A Tracking System Will See Your Resume First
Many, if not most, companies these days have applicant tracking systems whose sole purpose is to eliminate candidates. With the poor economy and job prospects, no hiring manager or recruiter has the time or desire to sort through dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes from individuals who don’t meet the company’s requirements. That’s why it’s important for candidates to make their resumes not only results focused but rich in keywords. You’ll find the most useful keywords in the actual job posting under responsibilities. Keywords for a nurse might be:
- Critical Care
- Intensive Care
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Brain Injury
WordStream offers a free keyword tool that can help you pepper your resume with the most common keywords for your industry and position.
If You’re a ‘Creative’ Consider Graphics or Infographics for Your Resume
(Photo Credit: buyalex, flickr)
Nothing is more visually arresting than photos of an architect’s work in a resume. Or graphics by a web designer. Within seconds, a hiring manager or recruiter can see the skills that applicants possess. Infographics are also a great way to get noticed among the hundreds of other applicants for a position. However, keep in mind that tracking software won’t be able to ‘read’ the graphics, so you do need to keep your content keyword rich so you get past the software to the hiring manager.
Examples of infographic resumes are found on PInterest.
Social Media is a Tool You Must Use
Most of us use Facebook to update friends and relatives on what’s happening in our lives. Business professionals use LinkedIn to increase their visibility to colleagues and industry and to update them on their careers. LinkedIn is possibly the single most important social media tool an individual can use to remain relevant in this new economy. With jobs at a premium, and with too many candidates for each one, we all need to be looking for our next position while we still have our current one. The best way to do that is to maintain an active presence on LinkedIn. Recruiters and hiring managers find endorsements and recommendations from your peers and colleagues on LinkedIn to be trustworthy and valuable.
Make certain you fill out your complete profile. Use LinkedIn as a complement to your resume. Whereas your resume should be tailored to a particular position, with LinkedIn you’ll want to ‘cast the net’ more widely. LinkedIn is an excellent way to brand and market yourself to hiring managers and recruiters.
Results are What Matter
When a hiring manager is faced with two equally-qualified candidates, the interview and possibly the job will go to the individual who showed results. Too many resumes detail tasks without results. That can be fatal to your candidacy. If you worked at a company for five years and never achieved anything, don’t expect to be called in for an interview from a new company. Hiring managers don’t want to know what you did as much as they want to know what you achieved. When you reorganized your division, was that simply busy work, or did it positively impact the company’s bottom line? When you retrained staff, did that increase their productivity or was it an exercise in futility? Without results shown, most will conclude that the retraining wasn’t a success.
Resumes should always be results focused rather than task based.
The certified writers at ResumeEdge have decades of experience in crafting achievement-based resumes for 40+ industries. We specialize in resume writing, resume editing, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching through our JobInterviewEdge service.