Updating Your Resume for the Modern Job Market

We all know that the world is changing faster than ever. As businesses focus on post-pandemic rebuilding, your resume is up against new technology, a crowded candidate pool, and overwhelmed talent acquisition professionals. Below are some of our best tips and tricks to help your resume match the modern market.

The proof is in the numbers

While some companies increased their revenue during the pandemic, most are trying to make up for lost time. To stand out in a sea of candidates, you need more than a conventional resume. Hiring managers are looking for hard numbers – that is, qualitative data showing that you walk the walk. For example, did your performance have a direct impact on the company’s digital transformation initiatives? Did you help your company achieve a specific growth or revenue goal as a number (#) or percentage (%)? Think of it this way: the more solid proof you have on your resume, the more likely it is that you’ll be considered for the position.

Soft skills

With the exponential rise of remote work, communication and the ability to build relationships is more important than ever. Hiring managers want to see that you can stay connected with your colleagues even if you’re an ocean apart. In fact, a recent survey found that over 60% of employers believe soft skills are just as essential as hard skills. You’ll have plenty of time to prove your soft skills during the interview process, but list them on your resume to land that first interview.

Length

A one-page resume might be suitable for someone just starting out, but if you’ve got the experience, take two pages to brag. Data shows that recruiters are 2.9x more likely to pick a candidate with a two-page resume for managerial roles and 1.4x more likely for entry-level positions. What’s more, 77% of employers say a one-page resume from a seasoned professional makes them NOT want to hire them. Don’t sell yourself short, or hiring managers will too.

Singularity

With companies looking at more resumes than ever, focus on the specific qualities you bring to the table. Many people have a B.S. in Computer Science but only you speak seven languages (no, C+ doesn’t count). While you should always tailor your resume to fit the job opening at hand, don’t be afraid to think out of the box and demonstrate the unique experiences you bring to your work.

Hard skills and certifications

While it may seem redundant to list your certifications and hard skills at the bottom of your resume, modern technology gives you a good reason why: almost three quarters of large companies report using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automatically screen resumes for keywords. They could use this method to determine who gets an email back, or who gets into their system at all. If Salesforce is on the job description, you don’t want it missing from your resume.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Formatting

On the subject of ATS, Forbes reports that up to three quarters of qualified applicants are rejected by an ATS because the software couldn’t read their resumes. While a beautifully designed resume is a critical part of your portfolio, it shouldn’t be the only component you consider. If an employer asks for a plain text resume, don’t get caught empty-handed.

Regardless of the format, don’t forget the basics. Be sure to check spelling, grammar, punctuation, and clarity. And, don’t forget to have a trusted colleague, friend, or family member proofread your resume and cover letter before sending it out.

Use the time you have

Almost one quarter of hiring managers say they spend less than 30 seconds looking at a resume and most recruiters say they make up their mind in less than a minute. The lesson is clear: Utilize every second of the attention that you’ve got. In your opening summary, don’t use two words when one will do. Make a clear and concise argument for your expertise before they have time to flip the page.

Make these updates and you’ll be more than prepared to show hiring managers you’re ready for what’s next. Long gone are the days of sliding your resume under a door and hoping for the best. Times have changed – your resume should, too.

Would you like to know what your resume might be missing? If you’re considering new career opportunities, be sure to consult an experienced recruiting professional who can offer an objective second opinion. This is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your resume is ready for primetime.