Resume Trends: What’s In/Out in 2010 & Beyond
Fashion is not the only thing that suffers from the ebs and flows of economics. There are resume trends too, and the 2009-2010 Resume has a whole new look. In this recession, the rules & tools of the job search have changed and that includes the resume. For many job seekers thrust into the hunt after a long time of steady employment, these trends are not very obvious. And, there is always that familiar refrain, “…but I was told to do it this way.” Confusion reigns and simple ignorance is evident(no offense, it’s hard to keep up with all the changes) . This is apparent from the hundreds of “old-school” cookie-cutter resumes I continue to see. While the traditional format may have worked in the pre-recession economy, don’t expect too much traction with it today. That is, unless you have a unique skill set that is well highlighted through out the document and is the EXACT match for what the hiring manager, your resume is most likely not going to bring you the attention you want. So, if you think its time for a resume makeover, learn what’s in and out of vogue for resumes this season.
- OUT: Objective IN: Clear and compelling Positioning Statement / Value Proposition/ Job Title
The top ¼ of your resume is the most prime resume real estate. I see too many resumes squander the opportunity to catch the attention of the person perusing/ skimming/ eyeballing your document. Telling a recruiter “what you want” by way of the ubiquitous Objective does nothing for your cause and the statement became obsolete at least one recession ago. A recruiter or HR professional is going to spend approx 5-10 seconds scanning your resume for all the right KEYwords. Not only do they need to be up front and center, but so does your immediate value proposition. How will the recruiter be compelled to place your resume over all others onto the “call” pile? It doesn’t matter what you name this top section, what does matter is that it includes ideal job titles you identify with and your value proposition. Going for the old cliched statements don’t work any more either. This Positioning Statement has to be unique to you, and convey exactly why you are so well suited for the position.
2. OUT: One style fits all IN: A style that’s appropriate to you, your career history, your industry
The days of the traditional and boilerplate chronological resume are no longer. This format does not lend itself to presenting your most valuable skills or experiences in the most convincing or strategic way. Today, I mix and match various formats and sections to highlight each individual’s attributes, accomplishments and experiences that are relevant to the position they are seeking. While there are many pre-determined sections of a resume, every job seeker does not fit into the same mold, neither should the resume.
3: OUT: One Dimensional IN: Multi-Dimensional
Your resume can now be a dynamic branded online message conveying who you are on many different levels. The social networks such as Linkedin, VisualCV, or Facebook, not only allow you to outline your experience, but are also able to highlight your portfolio of work- and I don’t mean just for artists. If you are proud of a PowerPoint, articles your have written, or a blog, it should be up on LinkedIn at the very least. The quality of your posted recommendations and, in some fields, the extent of your visible network, go far in aiding you become a more viable and visible candidate.
4. OUT: Traditional personal contact info only IN: Linkedin/ VisualCV/Website/ Blog URL, Twitter handle, etc.
If you still just have your traditional contact info, and that means the old fashioned means of communicating such as telephone, mailing address etc., think again. By not including your Linkedin/ Website/ Blog URL or Twitter handle, you are missing out on the opportunity to share that whole other dimension about you we talked about in #5.
5. OUT: Only paid work is legitimate experience IN: All experience (including unpaid, volunteer, and internships) that is relevant can convey value.
I’m constantly amazed by the interesting things people do and yet they don’t consider including it on their resume because it doesn’t fall within their traditional notion of “work experience”. Yet, if articulated well, such information can and should be strategically blended into the resume to not only demonstrate a job seekers depth of capability but also to highlight their unique experiences.
6. OUT: Black font only IN: Careful use of color
The use of color on a resume was once only the purview of artists and designers. But the need to help your resume stand out trumps that idea. A subtle use of color to help your document catch someone’s attention (and brand you as someone who is willing to take a risk) can be very compelling.
7. OUT: List of responsibilities IN: Accomplishment-based statements
No recruiter is going to get excited about reading a job description regurgitated back to them on a resume. Accomplishment-based resumes are the foundation of your Value Proposition and helping set you apart from your competition. Creating a value-packed resume requires an assessment of how you made a difference in any/all experiences you deem relevant, and the outcomes accomplished, hence the name.
8. OUT: Paragraphs IN: Bullets
Bulleted statements have been around for a long time, but it seems that some may have missed the moment when they came into fashion. If you want someone to actually read your resume, spend time carefully constructing accomplishment-based, bulleted statements under each job title. The bullets serve a critical function in leading the eye to each sentence. They make a resume easier and quicker to read.
9. OUT: “References available by request.” IN: Personal testimonies
Definitely obsolete in the 21st century resume. It’s a given today that you will provide references if asked. Space on your resume is at a premium, so you want to make every word count. Instead, give the recruiter a chance to have direct access to your personal testimonials, (recommendations) on Linkedin (and you should have a minimum of three) by including your Linkedin URL in your contact section. In addition, there is no reason why you cannot add a short quote or two from a previous superior or colleague who sings your praises. No doubt, formatting, length and placement is key.
10. Out: One general resume IN: Multiple resumes to target different roles.
With the unambiguous demand for resumes to be highly focused and a direct match to the job requirements, there is little room for ambiguity surrounding your skills, experience or career goals. Since most professionals have a range of transferable skills that can be reconfigured for a host of different positions, creating individualized resumes, each with a clear and distinct focus is essential to be considered for a position today.
Creating a resume that meets the high expectations of today’s job market is no simple feat. Have questions about your resume, please comment below, or send me a copy for a Free Resume Review. While there are some steadfast rules regarding resumes, it is important to take artistic license to make you stand out where necessary. Most job seekers struggle with how to make the most of this, so lets talk about what your resume needs to really stand out. Just like I don’t try and cut my own hair, let a professional provide you with some real, constructive feedback, and don’t let your resume get caught out by the Resume police! Email me Donna@careerfolk.com
In the words of Zig Ziglar, American writer, “Stop staring at the steps and start stepping up the stairs.” Call or email Donna (at) careerfolk.com
If you read my previous post on updating your resume, you’ll see that you can get a lot more out of the process than you realize.