With the job market more competitive than ever, it's important that you create a modern looking resume
that is relevant and eye-catching to potential employers and hiring managers.
- Eliminate objective, add skills
Keep in mind that your resume is a marketing tool that not only highlights your education and experience, but needs to underscore your skills and achievements in order for that potential employer to want to find out more about you and if you are the right person for the job.
Today's "modern" resume typically does not include what is now considered the "outdated" objective at the top of the page. If you are a more experienced job seeker, you may want to consider including a profile or summary of qualifications at the top of your resume with 4 to 6 bullets or phrases that emphasize your most relevant skills, according to the career services office at St. Louis University.
You can include your job objective in your cover letter, which should still always state the skills you have that will be the most valuable to the company.
- Make it easy to read
Another important thing to remember is to keep your format and font simple. As a rule of thumb, font size is generally 10 to 12 points in the Ariel or Times New Roman style, which are considered easier to read overall. You can, however, have your name in bold, in a couple of sizes larger than the rest of the document, however, your address, phone number and email address should never be larger or in bold. Margins on each side do not need to be more than 1 inch.
You can refer to an online resume template
to help you decide which format and font will work best in your career field.
- List results
Regardless of whether you decide on a chronological or functional resume, it should always list results, not just duties. You can keep your resume succinct and to the point by listing examples of career success in concise, short paragraphs.
- Keywords rule
You need to keep in mind that your resume most likely will be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS), which will automatically determine whether the words you've included on your resume are relevant to the jobs posting. In order to make sure your resume makes it past the ATS and onto the desk of the hiring manager, you must include industry keywords that will make your resume stand out. According to online resume expert Pat Kendall, the most common keywords that employers look for are the position titles, education, degrees and words that are included in the description of the specific job you are applying for.
- Be tech savvy
Try to know your audience and how they will be viewing your resume. When emailing your resume and cover letter, always send them as PDF documents to preserve formatting. Also, remember a number of people will be reading your resume over their smartphones - you will want to make sure you include an eye catching headline and compelling opening to encourage the reader to continue scrolling down.
If you have a website or other information that gives the reader more insight to your skills, you should include those hyperlinks within the body of your resume.
- References are out, testimonials are in
There's no need for you to include that "references are available upon request" anymore. You can however, include a brief testimonial from a former colleague that can provide a hiring manager with better insight to your abilities and problem solving skills.