The Resume Revolution

New Trends and Expert Advice to Get You Noticed Now

Meet the Resume Experts

Jesse Wright

Jesse Wright, Vice President of Recruiting and Delivery at Adecco Engineering and Technology, has been recruiting since 1998 and has since worked for two large staffing firms with various roles through recruiting, sales and management.

Tony Beshara

Tony Beshara founded and is president of Babich & Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment service in the state of Texas. A professional recruiter since 1973, Beshara has authored and published five best-selling books on job searching, and he has made numerous appearances on both the Dr. Phil Show and Fox News.

Dana Manciagli

Dana Manciagli is a nationally-syndicated Business Journal columnist and provides speaking, coaching and expert career advice on a global scale. Leveraging her 30-plus years as a corporate executive and hiring manager, she has been featured in Forbes, The Fiscal Times and on NPR, and is the author of “Cut the Crap, Network for Success!”

The cornerstone of any successful job search is an effective resume. Just what makes a resume stand out in a sea of others has drastically changed in recent years. In order to craft a resume that’s not only professional but current, it’s important to look to recent trends as well as tried and true approaches. Discover how to blend the best of both into a steller resume that can help take your career to the next level.

The Evolution of the Resume

THEN

Resumes revolved around the applicant’s needs. They had more text, which often wasted valuable space.

NOW

Resumes have become more company centered. They condense information into bulleted lists and make wise use of limited real estate.

NEXT

Resumes will focus more on keywords related to specific jobs and industries. They will be more innovative, taking advantage of new technologies.

In the past, resumes were focused on what the applicant wanted in a job, rather than what an organization needed from a potential employee. They were also much more text heavy and filled with long descriptions of experience. Things have changed. Potential employees now realize that they are selling their skills and abilities to an employer, not the other way around. They craft their resumes in order to illustrate what they can do for an organization – not what they expect to receive. Also, information is condensed, using bullet points instead of paragraphs and eliminating sections that do not sell the individual’s strengths.

Most people write a resume for themselves. They think it has to look good to them and make sense to them. Wrong! It needs to provide simple insight and a clear understanding of your previous experience to people who don’t know who you are.

Tony Beshara, The Job Search Solution: The Ultimate System for Finding a Great Job Now!

If the current trends in resumes are any indication, keyword inclusion will become ever more important, thanks to systems recruiters now use to eliminate unqualified applicants. Technology will also play a larger role in crafting creative resumes, making the information presented more intellectually and visually stimulating.

Resumes Then, Resumes Now

Tried and No Longer True

The workplace has changed over the years, so it’s not surprising that recruiting – and as a result, the way resumes are seen- has also evolved. The resume writing techniques that were tried and true in years past are just not applicable anymore. In fact, hiring managers may assume job applicants are out of touch and unprofessional if they do some of the following on a resume.

Adding an objective.

Once, an objective statement was a must on a resume, letting employers know what the applicant is looking for in a position. That’s no longer the case. Hiring managers today don’t care what the applicants want – they want to know what job seekers can do for them. Likewise, recruiters don’t want to see a detailed description of the companies worked for previously, something old-fashioned resumes often emphasized.

“Remember, we’re reading your resume to learn if you fit with our needs, not to learn about the details of your prior company,” said Dana Manciagli, career coach and author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job.

Adding “References available upon request.”

Although this used to be a standard addition to resumes, it’s now just a waste of space that could be used to further illustrate someone’s qualifications. Hiring managers already know that candidates will make references available if they are asked.

Adding your graduation date.

“There’s no need to announce your age to the world. Unless you are a recent graduate and need to demonstrate you’re seeking an entry-level job, leave the year off of your resume,” said Stephanie Kinkaid, Assistant Director of the Wackerle Career and Leadership Program at Monmouth College. Similarly, Kinkaid says that it’s not necessary to list your grade point average on your resume. “If an employer needs your GPA, he or she will ask you for it. Also, if your transcript is requested, there is absolutely no need to include the GPA,” she said. “Instead, honors and achievements can speak for your dedication to academics.”

Something New

Hiring managers have demanding schedules and only so much time to sift through an abundance of resumes every day. With that in mind, experts expect that prospective employees will need to go the extra mile to get their attention as quickly as possible. These tips can make the savvy jobseeker stand out in the crowd.

Callout boxes.

Adding callout boxes and breakaway text to a resume is a great way to get a hiring manager’s attention and make the most important information stand out. Similar to features used in magazine articles, they grab a reader’s attention and focus on important information, making the resume’s best points more memorable.

Graphs and charts

A longtime part of the business world, graphs and charts are not just for PowerPoint decks anymore. Job hunters are increasingly using these tools to add life to their resumes, making them more persuasive, striking and engaging. This is an area where accomplishments can be accentuated in terms of tangible results.

Oldies But Goodies

Although some interview tips have gone the way of the dinosaur, others have stood the test of time as they are fundamental to crafting a resume that makes a good impression – whether it was in 1975, today or in 2035. The following are examples of resume writing tips that never lose their luster.

Proofreading.

Creating a resume that’s free of typos and grammatical errors will never go out of style, so it’s best to proofread the resume before sending it in.

“People often try to be so creative with their resume that they forget the basics,” said John Fleischauer, Senior Talent Attraction Manager at Halogen Software. “When I see spelling and grammatical errors on a resume, it’s not likely to get much further in the consideration process.”

Focus on what’s important.

Resumes have always been a way to show off experience and expertise, so spending a lot of space on things that don’t do that and are not relevant to the job has never been considered wise. Although some people may want to list their hobbies and volunteer activities on their resume, these items should not take up too much room, and definitely should not overshadow solid job experience.

Don’t embellish.

Although all job hunters want to make themselves sound as attractive as possible, they should play up their true strengths and not make anything up. With more and more hiring managers turning to Google when scouting new talent, the truth about an applicants claims will likely come to light. It’s best not to lose opportunities by lying about experience, skills or education.

Redesigning Your Resume

While it’s obviously important to keep skill, work and contact information up-to-date on a resume, keeping the format fresh and engaging is vital as well. Consider a design revamp the next time you perform a general update. Shaun Luberski, communications student at Temple University, recently performed her own resume overhaul, and shares her top tricks and tips for the redesign process.

Why is it important to keep your resume fresh and updated?

It’s always important because you never know when you’ll need your resume for an unexpected job or internship opportunity. Keeping it updated makes it easier to print and send it along. It also just helps me stay organized and keep track of my jobs and internships.

What major changes did you make to your resume when updating it and why?

I redid my whole resume with InDesign. I formed it into two columns and redid all of my fonts. I personalized it with icons and added to my skills section. I wanted to change it with InDesign to stand out from the rest of the resumes I saw that were all made in Microsoft Word. My resume is something a little different and presents my experiences, skills and education in a cleaner format.

What are some of your best tips for a professional – and engaging – resume?

Some of my best tips are to get a little creative and take the time to pick fonts. Don’t just stick with typical ones like Times New Roman and Arial. You can use other ones that show more of your personality. I chose a cursive font for my name to be a little girly and stand out. In general, find a layout you like and that presents you in the best light.

Do you have any final advice to share on crafting a great resume?

Always have other people you trust view and make suggestions to your resume. You may not agree – or make all of the changes – but hearing someone else’s point of view never hurts and can inspire you to make more edits. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and try out new programs. I had a Microsoft Word resume for many years before I switched to InDesign. InDesign isn’t the easiest program to use but it makes my resume easier to read and allowed me to fit more on one page. Reach out to people who have resumes you like and ask for help.

Resume Examples for Every Career Stage

As people progress in their careers, the way they handle resumes can – and should – change. What is appropriate for an entry-level resume will likely be far different from what a polished executive resume looks like. The following are examples and tips of how to write resumes on different professional levels.

Entry-level Resume Tips

  • This resume should not generally be more than one page

  • Job hunters should put their educational experience first

  • A GPA can be included on the resume if it is at least a 3.0. If not, candidates can include the GPA for their major, if that average is at least a 3.0

  • Volunteer and extracurricular activities can be included, especially if applicants don’t have a lot of paid work experience. Also, foreign language proficiency, research experience and study abroad can be put on entry-level resumes

  • Avoid using e-mail addresses with cute nicknames on this resume. Secure a professional email address prior to the application process

Entry-level Examples and Templates Live Career Resume Templates Resume World Resume-Help.org

Professional Resume Tips

  • Since these applicants have more experience, hiring managers will accept a resume that is two pages at this level. This gives them the opportunity to elaborate on their experience related to the position for which they’re applying

  • Job hunters should decide which resume format makes sense for the type of job they’re looking for and choose a chronological or functional resume accordingly

  • For each job description, include responsibilities and achievements. Make the achievements as specific as possible, including quantification of items like budgets or people managed

  • The education section can be placed after work experience since at this level, applicants have likely been in the workforce for some time

  • Include professional certifications and other relevant credentials

Professional Examples and Templates Business Insider Career Perfect Quintessential Careers

Executive Resume Tips

  • Instead of including an objective statement, these resumes should have a summary that illustrates the value proposition that executives have to offer an organization

  • In order to keep these resumes two pages long, applicants who have had many jobs should cut out experience that goes back further than 10 years, unless it’s directly relevant to a specific position

  • Include specific, quantifiable phrases that illustrate accomplishments. Instead of vague statements about how they led a winning team, applicants should include specific figures that illustrate this

  • Executive-level resumes can help candidates stand out when they include links to a personal brand, such as a blog or industry-relevant social media activity

  • These resumes should be highly targeted to a specific industry and job title. More generic resumes at this level will probably not be considered

Entry-level Examples and Templates Executive Resume Quintessential Careers Resume Resource

The Rise of Applicant Tracking Systems

Another reality of modern job hunting is the increased use of applicant tracking systems, or ATS, which are designed to make the recruiting process more efficient. Recruiters, bombarded with resumes for every job they post, report that 50 percent of the hopefuls they hear from aren’t even qualified for the job to which they’ve applied. In order to save hiring managers the time it takes to read all of the resumes they receive, ATS software does the initial screening for them, weeding out unqualified applicants based on keywords associated with the positions they post.

As more companies begin to use ATS, it’s imperative that job applicants tailor their resumes as much as possible to that specific job description. In order to do this, they need to use keywords to their advantage, rather than allowing keywords to eliminate them from consideration.

Applicants should pay close attention to the keywords an employer uses in the body of a job posting, and mimic them in their resumes. Adding a section to the resume that highlights keyword-based skills will also help the application get a high rank in the ATS, which will increase chances of getting a hiring manager’s attention.

75% of large companies use ATS, while about
60% of mid-sized companies use it
70% of resumes are never even seen by a human being
ATS culls the applicant pool for a position by 75%

Do Cover Letters Matter?

Although many website based ATS systems do not give job applicants the opportunity to add cover letters, they have not become extinct. If an application is submitted via email, many employers still want to see a cover letter. This gives applicants more opportunity to utilize keywords to showcase their expertise and experience, and makes it more likely that someone will actually see their resumes. Cover letters are also a way to display an individual’s interest in a company, personality and passion for a particular career – all things that ATS can’t detect.

Trending: The Digital Resume

As technology continues to play an ever increasing role in both our personal and professional lives, it’s no surprise that the resume has gone digital as well. Today, more job hunters are leveraging technology to create resumes that attract attention and help them land a job.

Tools of the Digital Trade

Since digital resumes are still in their infancy, there is no strict definition for a what makes one great. This allows applicants to really experiment with digital tools, and create resumes showcasing their technological skills. New media in resumes include:

Video

There are numerous benefits to creating a video resume. First, job seekers can pack a lot of information about themselves into a short amount of time. In addition to highlighting things like past work experience and education, video resumes are a way to display creativity. Also, when they’re done correctly, video resumes display the applicant’s personality to recruiters-which they find useful because it helps them decide whether a person would be a good fit for their company culture before calling for an interview.

Websites

Many people already have their own websites that house their work portfolios, so it only makes sense to add another page that displays a keyword-rich resume. That makes it easier for employers to find potential hires in a search, and get the background information they need to move forward.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most obvious place to post a digital resume, and is arguably one of the catalysts for the digital resume trend. One of the best things about LinkedIn resumes is that when the common keywords for an industry are used in a profile, recruiters have an easier time to finding employees – even when they’re not actively looking for a job. LinkedIn also gives individuals the opportunity to expand their professional network, which is always a good idea whether a person is currently job hunting or not.

Infographics

Infographic resumes are the ultimate resume for the digital age, allowing applicants to use color and graphics to make experience and skills jump off the page. This visualization of a resume allows job seekers to tell their professional story in unique ways and show off their technological skills.

Traditional Vs. Contemporary Resumes
Traditional
  • Objective statement
  • Times New Roman font
  • Paragraphs
  • Written for humans
  • Listing common computer skills (e.g., Word and Internet Explorer)
  • AOL or Hotmail email address
Contemporary
  • Value proposition
  • Modern fonts like Arial and Helvetica
  • Bullet points
  • Written for ATS and hiring managers
  • Listing more specialized computer skills (e.g., Quark and InDesign)
  • Gmail or professional website email address
To Print or Not to Print?

Although digital resumes are growing in popularity, the paper resume is still alive and well. In fact, depending on the organization and the industry, some hiring managers still prefer them. Even if someone does have a digital resume, it’s best to also have a paper version because some companies still ask for a hard copy – particularly when a person is called in for an interview. Applicants should pay close attention to what the job posting asks for, and when in doubt, study the organization’s website for clues on what seems most appropriate.

Resumes Vs. Curriculum Vitae

Although many job seekers use the terms “resume” and “curriculum vitae” interchangeably, they are in actuality quite different, and smart job candidates will know when it’s appropriate to use one over the other. While a resume is a brief summary of an applicant’s experience and education, a curriculum vitae, or CV, is much lengthier and in-depth.

What Is a CV?

A CV is an extensive summary of a job applicant’s education, including awards, honors, professional affiliations, research experience, published articles and professional presentations. Like a resume, a CV will also include employment experience, including volunteer and leadership activities. However, while job search experts generally suggest that resumes not be longer than one or two pages, CVs are typically around three to five pages long.

In addition, CVs are used for specific types of jobs. Although job seekers send resumes to hiring managers for a variety of different jobs and fields, CVs are used by those looking for positions related to the academia. However, job applicants looking for work in certain locations – such as Europe, Asia, New Zealand, or the Middle East – will generally be expected to submit a CV instead of a resume.

Resume or CV

  • 1

    Are you applying for a job outside of the United States?

    2

    Are your academic accomplishments important to the job to which you’re applying?

    3

    Are you applying for a research, teaching or scientific position?

    4

    Are you trying to win a fellowship or grant?

    5

    Do you need to include awards and honors you’ve received that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying?

Tips for Crafting a Quality CV
  • Education should be the first thing on a CV, presented in reverse chronological order. Educational awards and honors should also be included.

  • It is generally preferred that work experience be written in reverse chronological order, with achievements listed beneath each position.

  • A CV should include the applicant’s published articles and books, as well as any academic presentations made.

  • Like a resume, CVs can include a section on extracurricular and volunteer experience, as well as a short summary of interests.

  • CVs may also include sections on professional certifications and licenses earned, membership in industry organizations and research activities.

Social Media, Recruiting and Resumes

Everyone is on social media these days, and employers are no different.

In fact, 93 percent of recruiters use social media when filling positions, and LinkedIn is the number one location for their candidate search.

However, just because hiring managers spend most of their time on LinkedIn doesn’t mean other social networking activity won’t impact a job hunt. Eighty percent of employers Google job applicants they’re considering, so ja ob hunter’s activities on Facebook or Twitter may help or hurt them.

Similarly, job applicants should carefully consider which social networking sites they list on their resumes. Although listing LinkedIn is considered a must nowadays, it’s best to use one’s judgement about whether or not to include sites like Twitter and Facebook. In most cases, it is better not to include them unless related industry information has been actively shared. Whether or not certain social media sites are listed on a resume, a potential employer can still find them, so make sure they’re cleaned up and recruiter ready.

Creating Effective LinkedIn Resumes

Since the majority of employers are using LinkedIn for recruiting, it would be a mistake not to capitalize on this trend and make one’s profile as comprehensive as possible. The site’s resume features have made it even easier to expand an online presence and catch the eye of recruiters. In order to get the most out of a LinkedIn resume:

Add a professional title under the resume heading in order to leverage the industry’s keywords.

Use the summary section to highlight qualifications.

Instead of writing job descriptions, construct a list of accomplishments for each position previously held.

Sanitizing the Social Media Presence

When it comes to a job search, social media activity can be a double-edged sword. When people are doing it right, social media can augment their resumes and make them attractive candidates. However, when they don’t, it can take them out of the running for the jobs they really want. In order to avoid this, it’s best for applicants to clean up their social media presence and ensure they’re projecting the right image. The following tips can help.

Search what’s out there.

To gain a full picture of what needs to be cleaned up, a person needs to know exactly what’s out there. By searching one’s own name, an individual can know what employers will see and what needs to be addressed.

Delete questionable posts

Friends may think it’s endearing to have the mouth of a sailor and the alcohol tolerance to match, but drunken photos and profanity-ridden posts will only turn off hiring managers. Be sure to look through all social media posts and delete anything that would be considered offensive or make someone question your judgment.

Use privacy settings.

Instead of deleting posts, ratchet up privacy settings to prevent employers from viewing certain activity. However, this is not always foolproof, and some posts may slip through the cracks.

Delete inactive accounts.

Delete old MySpace pages or dormant blogs. Employers don’t need to see what was being posted years ago, and, chances are, such information would not be helpful.

Address the things others control.

If there is something on someone else’s website or social media account that could create a bad impression, contact the person and ask that it be removed.

Resume Writing Resources for Veterans

By the time veterans complete their military service, they have gained experience and skills that can benefit any civilian organization. However, hiring managers who have never served in the military may not be familiar with everything that veteran candidates bring to the table, so it’s imperative for these job seekers to create eye-catching resumes that will attract employers. The following tips can help veterans leverage their military backgrounds and translate their skills and accomplishments on their resumes to find employment in the civilian job market.

  • Translate military work experience into civilian-friendly terms.

    The military world has a language all its own, so it’s important for veterans to illustrate what their experience means in civilian terms. Sites like O*NET offer tools that can help veterans translate all of their military experience they include on their resumes.

  • Be specific about career goals.

    Veterans have such a wide array of work experience that it can be difficult for a civilian hiring manager to know what kind of job they’re looking for. Applicants should be specific about the kind of job they want and tailor their resume accordingly, so employers know how their experience will meet the organization’s needs.

  • Highlight specific achievements.

    In order to help employers understand the importance of their military experience, veterans should highlight specific accomplishments throughout their career. In order to do this, they can use specific percentages, actual numbers and dollar amounts that describe their experience – such as cutting costs by a certain percentage or supervising a specific number of people.

  • Eliminate military jargon and acronyms.

    Military work involves an alphabet soup of terms that mean nothing in the civilian world. In order to successfully be considered for a job, these candidates must avoid using acronyms and military jargon in favor of civilian terms. When writing a resume, veterans should assume that hiring managers are not familiar with the military world in the least and tailor their word choice accordingly.

  • Don’t add information about combat experience.

    Although it’s admirable when soldiers put their lives on the line to defend their country, it’s best to leave the details of combat out of their job search efforts. Information about what candidates did on the battlefield will most likely make hiring managers feel uncomfortable.

  • Showcase military values.

    Just as being detail oriented, dedicated to teamwork and flexible are important in a military career, these are also characteristics that are valued in the civilian job market. Veteran job applicants should showcase these soft skills and demonstrate how they will contribute to a specific job.

  • List military awards.

    Military awards, citations and security clearances can make veteran job applicants stand out from the crowd and help demonstrate what they have to offer a company.

Resources Just for Vets

Hire Heroes USA. Veterans can find resume and cover letter templates here, as well as articles that give them tips on transitioning.

Military.com. Hundreds of articles to help veterans find employment after leaving the military are offered through this site.

MilitaryHire. With several articles about how transitioning military veterans can leverage their experience in their resumes, users can also search for jobs and get interview tips.

Quintessential Careers. This website has a section specifically for veterans that includes examples of resumes for military personnel transitioning into the civilian workforce.

Veterans Enterprise. This site includes a blog, online magazine and a job search engine for former service members looking for a job.

From a Recruiter: Expert Resume Advice

What are the characteristics of a good resume?

A good resume will be honest, concise and formatted in a digestible way. Unless you are looking for a job as a designer, your resume does not necessarily need to be flashy to be strong. It is much more important that your resume reflect your best, most relevant work in a format that is easy to read. It is okay to go onto a second page if you simply can’t fit it all on the first. Keep in mind, though, that a recruiter may lose interest after two pages.

What makes a resume stand out?

A resume that stands out will be clear and concise. A technical recruiter will want to quickly access what skills you have and what value you can add to the team. Try not to be overly wordy or include irrelevant experience. Adding personal flair is never a bad idea, as long as it remains professional. A flash of color and a sophisticated font can go a long way.

Also, don’t forget about your social media presence. While it may or may not be a part of your actual resume, it will be something a recruiter looks at. Be sure your profiles are updated and work appropriate.

What is the preferred delivery method for a resume?

Applicants should submit their online resume in Word format, rather than a .PDF, .JPG or .PNG format. PDF or image files often do not translate to applicant tracking systems, meaning pieces of your resume could be lost completely. Additionally, some companies prefer to reformat resumes to a standard template before circulating, which they will be unable to do unless the resume is in Word format.

What changes have you seen in resumes during the course of your recruiting career?

There have been many changes over the years, from simple formatting of the resumes (i.e., chronological vs. functional) to the type of language used. Additionally, the increased role of social media in candidate attraction and evaluation continues to evolve the resume as candidates are more often including their Twitter handles, links to their LinkedIn profiles and even links to their personal websites.

How do you think resumes will change in the future?

We can already start to see that people are going beyond the single-page, traditional resume. There are plenty of online services available that will help you create visual and interactive versions of your resume. Some people even opt to create a full website to showcase their resume, work portfolio and social media channels. I think as Gen Zers – the first generation to grow up with technology at their fingertips – start to enter the workforce, we will continue to see a greater number of digital resumes.

What resume writing techniques are outdated and why?

Particularly in the tech world, it is unnecessary to put that you are proficient in Microsoft Suite on your resume. That is expected and simply takes up space. Many people include “reference upon request” statements, which is also a waste of space. Recruiters assume you will provide them if asked. Also, including an “objective” may be beneficial if you are hoping to change careers, however for the most part, your objective will be clear from your past experience and your interest in the job.

Why resume writing techniques will stand the test of time?

Keep your resume concise. At no point will a hiring manager be interested in information that is not relevant to the position in question. Even though resumes tend to be a little longer in the IT field, it can never do harm to keep a resume as condensed as possible. Also, opting for bullets and lists over paragraphs will always be a good idea. You want your marketable skills to be noticeable with just a glance.

Additional Resume Resources

About.com. This site has examples of resumes for a number of different job titles.

CollegeGrad.com. Includes instructional videos and articles, resume templates and samples.

GotResumeBuilder.com. Users can build and format their resumes with this tool, as well as manage multiple resumes.

JobStar. Included are sample resumes and cover letters, as well as tips on how to create chronological, functional and electronic resumes.

LinkedIn Resume Builder. A resume builder which allows users to create a resume from a number of templates and share it with other professionals on LinkedIn.

LiveCareer. A resume building tool that helps users design a resume from hundreds of templates across many jobs and industries.

Monster. Includes articles on a number of resume-related topics.

MyPerfectResume. This site allows users to build resumes with their design templates and pre-written examples.

Priscilla A. Scotlan Career Services Center. The University of San Francisco’s Career Services Center includes information on resumes for people pursuing different majors. There are also sample cover letters and thank you notes.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. Tutorials on resume writing and design.

Quintessential Careers. Articles with resume and CV writing tips, as well as examples.

Resume Resources. Santa Clara University’s Resume Resources page includes checklists, tip sheets, and resume samples.

Resume.com. Tools to allow users to build resumes and post multiple versions of their resume online.

ResumeGenius. Includes information on resume formats, and how to write specific sections of a resume, including education, skills and objectives.

TG’s Adventures In Education. Information on words that should be used in a resume, resume mistakes and sample resumes.