Trends drive the world. There are trends in fashion, economics, technology, and science, among other fields. There are institutes where people study trends, conferences where people discuss trends, and publications where people read about trends. So why should resume writing be any different?
Knowing the latest trends in resume design and development is important to ensuring that you not only communicate you have the skills and attributes organizations seek, but that you also have a complete understanding of how to present them, and thereby yourself, properly. It shows you are contemporary, intelligent and on the cutting edge.
So what are some of the details you can incorporate into your resume that will give it that “hip” look? The first place to start is at the top by eliminating the objective. Objectives are passÃ?Â©’, old fashion, a thing of the past. Why? There are two primary reasons.
First, most people use objectives to describe what they want and then turn around and apply for a totally unrelated job, thereby rendering the objective useless. Or they adapt their objective to specifically match the position for which they are currently applying and it winds up sounding phony.
Second, objectives describe what you want when instead you should be describing what you have to offer. That way, the hiring company has an opportunity to see that you have what they want. Think about it from the recruiter’s viewpoint. Would you want to hire someone because of what they want or because of what you need? That’s why using headlines makes more sense.
A headline, like on the front page of a newspaper, evokes an immediate response and provides you with a capsulized overview of what lies ahead. It enables you, in one sentence, to capture the essence of the entire story: Your story. And your resume headline should do the same thing.
Begin by identifying key words to describe your experience and your skills and abilities. Then use these words to create a headline that describes you and what you have to offer. Center it at the top of your resume where your objective use to be. Here’s an example:
Highly skilled CPA with fifteen years of top-notch general accounting experience and excellent systems design background
From this one sentence you can tell a lot about the applicant. And if the headline is worded correctly, it can reflect all the key elements that the recruiter is seeking.
Another area on the resume that has been a long-held tradition, but is currently out of style is “references available upon request”. This statement is a no-brainer. Obviously your references are available. Everyone’s references are available. You don’t need to tell people that they are, because if they’re not, you probably will have a very difficult time getting the job. Leave this statement off your resume.
Finally, one of the newest components being added to resumes (in the place that use to contain the “references available” statement) is a section called “Keywords”. Keywords are a list of descriptive words and/or job titles that describe you, but that are NOT found elsewhere on your resume.
For instance, if you have been a project manager in human resources for the last five years, your keyword list might include program manager, program director, project director, human resources manager, and human resources director. It might also contain terms such as sourcing, training, development, and facilitation, just to name a few.
The purpose is to ensure your resume is identified and selected by whatever resume tracking software is being used. More and more companies are utilizing this software to enable their recruiters to quickly identify candidates who have the exact qualities that match current openings and are already in their database. The same way you can search the Internet for positions and companies that match your specific search criteria.
Therefore, the more diverse job titles and/or terms you add to your keyword list, the more likely you are to have your resume selected. A word of caution though. Do not go overboard by adding every title and term you can think of to your resume. Not only will you not have room, it will cause your resume to look unprofessional. Remember the intent is to capture only words that are pertinent but that have not previously appeared elsewhere in your resume.
So there you have it, three ways to update a tired resume and let future employers know that you are as forward thinking as they are.