Let’s talk about resumes! We can’t live without them and they’re not going away any time soon, so it’s about time to learn the ins and outs of how to write yours. Forget what you learned long ago, today’s most effective resumes are unique, customized, and pared down. We sat down with Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, to get our most pressing resume questions answered, straight from the expert herself!
FAQ 1 – Have resumes changed in the last five years? How are they different from resumes of the past?
Absolutely. I’d even say in the last TWO years! The focus is on creating a modern and relevant asset that’s aligned with today’s hiring manager’s higher expectations for the type of resumes that have become the gold standard now. If you’re still applying with your old resume (referring to design and layout along with the actual content) from 2011, you’re most likely not hearing back from hiring managers.
FAQ 2 – What can a job seeker do to make their resume stand out to hiring managers?
Where do I start?! SO MUCH. Resumes are meant to be concise and straightforward, a snapshot of who you are as a professional. You can’t just create one resume and use it for every job you apply for. That’s a guaranteed way to do the opposite of standing out and impressing—hiring managers can spot a generic resume a mile away.
Here are some things to consider:
• Bring your resume to life by linking your LinkedIn, email, portfolio, and social handles. This makes the hiring manager’s job so much easier because they’re definitely going to look at those things, and the easier you make their life by including direct links, the more favorably they’ll view you and your application.
• Keep it to one page but if you can’t, keep the most relevant info near the top and on your first page. This includes your relevant education, specific tech skills, and key experience that relates directly to the position you’re applying for.
• It must be visually appealing. Use your resume to reflect your personal brand and make sure you align your cover letter, portfolio, LinkedIn, and social accounts to show the hiring manager everything they want to know about you in one package. For example: What’s your favourite outfit? Create that same vibe through colours on your resume. If you were to buy your own domain, what does your landing page look like? Bringing these elements of your personality to life on your resume gives the hiring manager an instant first impression of who you are, and it’ll be a positive one if you go the extra mile to show them who you are as a person.
• Save space by nixing the objective section (or professional summary) and tell me in three words under your name what you’re all about. This is your professional title.
• Eliminate the fluff, as in words like hard-working or team player under your skills. That’s a given…we hope!
FAQ 3 – What do job seekers need to know about AI bot screening resumes for some companies?
Unfortunately your creativity won’t shine through here, so standing out becomes a challenge. Your resume becomes solely about choosing the right keywords. Boring. I discourage applying this way and encourage finding the hiring manager’s email or company’s career email! This gives you a better opportunity to personalize your application around who you are and how you align with the company.
FAQ 4 – What are the core components of a modern resume?
• Career achievements, technical skills, a professional title, and your LinkedIn or your Instagram (only if it’s professional enough for a future boss to see).
• If you’re wanting to move to a new industry, highlight your transferable skills and be specific. These include tech skills, details on your leadership abilities, sales achievements, etc. that demonstrate what you can bring to their company.
FAQ 5 – What should I NOT include in my resume?
• A resume that’s more than one page
• Hobbies and personal interests
• Objective or professional summary
• Mailing address
• Irrelevant or outdated work experience
FAQ 6 – What are some common mistakes that job seekers make on their resumes?
• Don’t include jobs from 10 years ago unless they’re crucial to the job you’re applying to. Even then, don’t include job details, just list the title, company, and years that you worked.
• Sending a Word file. Depending on how the hiring manager opens your file, the layout can be disheveled and your last name will most likely have a red squiggly line under it. It looks messy and all your hard design and formatting work is wasted. Send a PDF instead.
• Lacking focus and clarity. Being too generic is a big no-no. Put in the extra work and tailor your resume to the specific company and role.
There we have it—the insider scoop direct from Christie’s industry experience and expertise as leader in job-seeker and recruiting services. With these simple tips, it’s easier than ever to whip your tired, outdated resume into an eye-catching, captivating, modern application asset for the end of 2021 and the new year ahead!
Stuck on getting your resume just right? Style Nine to Five’s Resume Refresh service breathes new life into your resume so you can level up your job application and score the interview you deserve!
By: Jeanine Gordon – Jeanine is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for creating stellar content for global brands and small businesses alike – specializing in fashion and lifestyle.