In today’s tough job market, having a top-notch resume is more important than ever. But as society moves into a “Twittering” world, some of the rules for resume writing have changed. Let’s look at 5 notable trends in designing resumes:
1. Pump up the white space. Think of writing your resume as you would write your blog–short sections with plenty of white space surrounding each chunk. Gone are the days of 8-point font and .25″ margins just to squeeze 30 years of experience onto one page. Employers want to quickly skim your resume to see if they should actually read it. White space helps them do this.
2. Keep it short. Along these same lines, less is more. While I don’t agree that resumes must always, under every circumstance, be limited to one page, I do think they should be limited to two. And, if they go over one page, there better be a very good reason for it. Make sure that only your most relevant experience makes it onto your resume. Each position should generally have no more than 5 or 6 bullet points. Speaking of bullets…
3. Use bullets, not paragraphs. Bullets help aid employers with their quick scanning. Even if you only have a couple of sentences to share about a position, break them into short, bulleted phrases instead of long sentences built into a paragraph. This increases your white space and makes for a quicker read.
4. Have a targeted approach. With today’s market, every resume you send out must be customized to the job you are targeting. It used to be you could have 2 or 3 different resumes with slight variations and then blanket the world with them. Now, it’s not unusual for every job you approach to have its own resume. Use the job description to tailor your resume to it, complete with key words, even phrases, used in the description. More about key words…
5. Be conscious of key words. As you prepare your resume, think about the key words offered in the job description to which you are gearing your resume–then use them often. (Again, think blogging.) It can be helpful, especially if you’re in a technical field, to have a Key Word section at the top of your resume. Most resumes are electronically scanned as a screening method, and having key words pop up that the employer is interested in will help get your resume in front of a real person.
For a FREE resume consultation or evaluation, or with resume design help, contact me at email@example.com.