15 Things Your Resume Needs in 2018

A well-executed resume is a powerful tool in your job search. It must be well written and free of typos or grammatical errors. Merely dusting off an old resume and updating the job titles is not enough to stand out from the crowd in 2018. Understanding current trends, technologies and what recruiters are looking for can put your resume at the top of the stack.

Content is King

Your resume is not your autobiography!  Highlight just the roles most relevant to the job you’re applying for. The date you started and finished your previous job, the high school pizza delivery stint or the year you graduated from college are probably irrelevant. Some other things that should be dropped or added:

  • ·       Eliminate your street address. Specifying your city and state is fine, but no recruiter will be mailing you a letter. Instead, add your LinkedIn or personal website address.
  • ·       Most employers know that “references are available upon request” so there is no need to waste valuable space with this platitude.
  • ·       The Objective Statement is out and the Professional Summary is in.
  • ·       Job Title – When possible, match the title on your resume to the job listing. If the company is hiring a “Marketing Communications Director,” and you meet the qualifications, then use that title.
  • ·       Keywords are critical to keeping a recruiter’s attention on your resume. Make keywords easy to find during a quick scan of your document.  However, don’t simply copy a large amount of wording from the job posting.
  • ·       List accomplishments, not just responsibilities. Recruiters don’t want to read your job descriptions; they want to see how you’ve impacted your organization and added value to the business. Listing your revenue increases, improved website traffic, client growth, customer satisfaction stats, or budget savings can quantify your achievements. Be specific; provide data and relevant statistics.
  • ·      Soft skills, like those that show leadership, negotiation and communication can be included in moderation, but employers are looking for concrete skills. If they’re filling an engineering position, they don’t care how ‘outgoing’ you are.

Design

A good resume design is eye-catching, without being distracting and attractive without being full of unnecessary bells and whistles. Your accomplishments, experience, and education should take center stage on your resume, not your design skills.

  • ·       The top third of your resume is what the recruiter will see first. Choose a format that places your most notable achievements at the top.
  • ·       Fonts – The best resume fonts look good on both a screen and on a sheet of paper, so choose a modern style, and run a test print before you send it out. Don’t go crazy with ALL CAPS, bold or italics.
  • ·       Use a mix of paragraphs and bullets throughout the resume body.

Beat the Bots

Assume that a machine will conduct the initial scan of your resume. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) software programs are used by many organizations for the first screening. Recruiters input keywords into the ATS, and the software scans for those keywords and other requirements, such as years of experience or educational credentials. Only resumes that contain the correct elements move to the next stage. In some cases, more than 75% of candidates are rejected before a human sees a single resume. Here’s how to clear the first hurdle:

  • ·       Review the essential skills, experience, and educational requirements in the job ad and include those keywords on your resume using the same language used in the posting. However, don’t go overboard because the software can usually identify keyword stuffing.
  • ·       ATS systems scan vertically and left to right. Left justify the text and be sure the information flows from top to bottom.
  • ·       Even with common acronyms, use the spelled out version along with the acronyms, so you are covered regardless of which version the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is trying to identify.
  • ·       Avoid adding photos, icons, shading, creative borders or other design elements, as these can make it difficult for an ATS to scan your document.
  • ·       Stick to standard, easy to read fonts in black with a white background.

A current resume is something that every professional should have, whether you are currently looking for a job, or simply bringing your paperwork up to date. The professionals at The Daniel Group can guide you every step of the way. Our mission is to help one million people find rewarding careers with outstanding companies. Let us help you!

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