Employers today are looking for a new kind of resume, one that is streamlined, though still comprehensive, and one that stands out. When applying for your next day-job or moving further in your career, you want a resume that shows who you are, what you do well, and what you have accomplished.
Experts advise job applicants against the antiquated “objective statement” these days. That doesn’t mean leaving that top section of your resume blank, that just means adding something else there. Giving potential employers a general overview of your resume, a summary of sorts, saves them time and energy. They can read through those initial sentences and know if you are someone worth considering. That means that that statement should stand out and show them that you are exactly who they want for the job. If you are attached to the old objective statement, which many are, remember that it shouldn’t be all about you. This can seem counterintuitive on a resume, which is a bullet-point lists of your life, essentially; but, employers would rather know what you can do for them than knowing what you want to do for yourself. Some employers do what to know your personal and professional goals, but they’ll ask in the interview if they do.
Speaking of bullet points: those are key. A resume full of dense paragraphs can seem just plain overwhelming. Just as employers want to be able to read a few sentences right off the bat to get a sense of who you are, they also don’t want to have to wade through a detailed novel about all of your work experience ever. Streamlining can make all the difference; simplifying your statements and making lists makes the resume feel more open and makes a potential employer more willing to keep reading.
This leads to the next point, which is that your resume does not have to include every scrap of work experience you’ve had. When you’re applying to certain jobs in certain fields, you want the experience on your resume to reflect your abilities for that job. It can be tempting to include everything, to show where you’ve come from, to show that you can hold down a job even if it’s not in this particular field. What employers really want to know is what applies to the job position they are looking to fill. Be brave and shorten that resume; remove the excess jobs that simply have no relevance to the position you want. Employers don’t want to wade through paragraphs of information about each job, and they also don’t want to wade through every job you’ve ever had since you were 16 years old. If you help them out and make their lives a little bit easier, they’ll be more likely to help you out.
And, finally, make it personal. Keep multiple versions of your resume on hand so that you aren’t sending the same one to employers in completely different fields. Each different copy should highlight certain qualities and experiences that apply to a specific type of job. Additionally, don’t be afraid to let your resume show your personality, whether that be through the visual presentation, or the details you include. Show them what you are proud of having accomplished and let them know what has been most fulfilling for you in the past. Without going overboard, this is a way to continue your cover letter into your resume and give it that truly unique feel.
Green, Alison. 2014. 6 Small Resume Changes That Have a Big Impact.
Hernandez, Jessica Holbrook. 2013. How Has Resume Writing Changed in the Last 10