Resumes have evolved significantly over the years to keep pace with technology, hiring trends, and varying roles and experiences. The resume format you used 10 years ago (or more) is likely outdated and in need of polishing. It’s time to update not only the information you include, but how you present it. We’re taking a closer look at what you need to know when it comes to resume writing in 2023 and beyond.
Keep It Simple
You want your resume to be clear, well-organized, and easy to read. Don’t go overboard with fancy fonts, graphics, colors, or formatting. While applicant tracking systems (ATS) have improved, complex elements can still be hard for systems to accurately process. This means you run the risk of having your resume rejected even if you’re a qualified candidate.
- Skip the header
Avoid putting your contact information in the header of your resume and include it in the body instead. ATS may remove headers and footers meaning all of that critical data is gone. In addition to your name, you should list your email address, phone number, and LinkedIn URL. With so many remote jobs available, providing your home address is no longer relevant or necessary. If you have a professional portfolio, you can add a URL to that as well.
- Start with a summary
Objectives are out and summaries of qualifications are in. Obviously, the purpose of your resume is to get the job you are applying to, and objectives focus more on what you want than how you can fulfill a company’s needs. Craft a compelling summary that emphasizes your core skills and what you bring to the table in order to capture the hiring manager’s interest and encourage them to keep reading. Pair this with a solid list of core competencies that includes both hard skills and soft skills and aligns with keywords from the job posting.
- Use a chronological or hybrid format
Present your job history in a logical way with your most recent experience listed first, followed by previous positions. While functional resumes may be used in certain situations, most job seekers will find that a chronological resume is most appropriate and widely accepted. If there are two or three specific skills you want to highlight, add them as bullet points with your summary rather than making them the focus of your resume.
- Use bullet points
Employers do not want to take the time to read large blocks of text, so break text into shorter statements that are easy to scan and understand. Call out your accomplishments, achievements, major projects, and other key capabilities that will help show a hiring manager what you can do.
Make It Pop
We’re not talking about creative visuals here. Make your resume pop by including metrics such as monetary figures, percentages, time saved, number of direct reports or people managed, ratings, rankings, and other figures. Numbers stand out against text and catch the eye. They also provide quantifiable results.
Another way to make your resume pop is to use horizontal lines to separate each section and create a better balance with white space. You don’t want your resume to look cluttered or have one section blend into the next.
Leave It Out
Now that we’ve reviewed some key elements that should be included in your resume, let’s look at some information you can leave out.
You don’t even need to say “References available upon request” because if an employer wants them, they will ask, and you will be expected to provide them.
In some other countries job seekers are required to include their photo, but it is not customary in the United States unless you are applying for an acting or modeling job that requests it. Plus, it can increase risk of discrimination or bias, whether intentional or not.
What you do in your free time is generally irrelevant to the job. Unless your hobby is closely related to the role you are applying for and adds value to your resume, leave it off. It can take up space that could be better utilized for other information.
- Any religious or political affiliations
Once again, unless it is pertinent to the job or your career, keep mentions of religious or political groups off of your resume.
Revamp Your Resume
Whether you are a current job seeker or just haven’t dusted off your resume in a while, a professional resume review and rewrite can make sure your resume is creating the lasting impression with hiring managers that you want. Contact Grammar Chic today at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!