4 Ways to Modernize Your Resume

4 Ways to Modernize Your Resume - Style Nine to Five

It feels like we’ve been using the same application format for years. Don’t you think it’s time to change things up? Modernizing your application will not only keep you a step ahead of the trends but doing it early will make you stand out from all the regular resumes in the pile. Here are some ways to make your application feel a little more current.

1. New Look & Design

When you’re revamping your resume, the first thing you should always do is grab a new resume template. If you don’t have graphic design experience, that’s okay! Just look up templates on Google, or use sites like Canva – Style Nine to Five has job application templates available, too!

Designs that are customizable are helpful because you’re able to play around with the format of your application more – for example, if you have free space on your resume, you can insert pictures of past work so it’s available before the employer even gets to your portfolio. Re-organize the tried and true sections to draw the eye to the ones you want the hiring manager to see first. In short, play around with your template until you have something that feels new and fresh.

2. Brand New Sections

The same resume sections have been around for years now – skills, education, certifications, job experience, etc. It’s not like these sections are mandatory and set in stone, though, so it’s time to get creative with your sections – start making up your own!

First off, we’ve ditched the resume objective and personal summary for the most part, so consider adding your own professional title or tagline that sums everything up neatly, in even fewer words (and in a catchier way) than a summary would. This is especially a great idea if you’re going into any sort of communications or writing field – if your title or tagline is memorable enough, it’ll be evidence that you’re good at selling through words!

Otherwise, think of what else you can add to your resume that’ll look good. Think about ways to make your past experience and skills more concise and easier to read, or that highlight your absolute best work. Consider an accomplishments or career highlights section, or consider dividing up your resume by types of experience. For instance, if you’re in fashion, you could divide your past jobs up as “selling,” “styling,” “designing,” and so on – therefore, the headings alone show the kinds of work you’re capable of. For recent graduates or anyone starting out in a new field, consider adding a section for experience that was done on your own or in the classroom – not everybody has workplace experience starting out, so create a field on your resume that shows you’re still capable without past jobs!

3. Focus on Highlights, Not Duties

We’ve always been told that the right way to write a resume is to make lists of duties at your prior jobs. In order to step your resume up another level, nix the duties – instead, list your biggest accomplishments at prior jobs. Instead of saying you used to create social media campaigns, share the results of your most successful social media campaigns at that job – use metrics where possible, and share what the conversion rate was.

4. Use Clickable Links

These days, most applications are submitted via email or online form – meaning there’s room to tie your resume to the Internet. Whenever you submit a resume as a document, you can link your accomplishments directly to your resume. This gives your application a more modern feel overall, but can also give you a leg up on the competition. With clickable links to your social media, website, or portfolio, a hiring manager’s eye is drawn directly to each of your accomplishments, meaning your immediate first impression is a great one. Plus, the best thing you can offer up in a job application is evidence that your work is effective – and linking directly to past work is your best evidence!

Use this list as a starting point and get creative on your own. If you can tailor your application to your field, even better! There are plenty of new and exciting things you can do with your application that’ll be sure to grab a hiring manager’s attention.

Not the best at graphic design? Purchase a Style Nine to Five Job Application Template!

Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock