Five ways to update your resume for success in 2020
Did you know the first official resume was created by Leonardo da Vinci more than 500 years ago?
He might be considered one of the greatest geniuses of all time, but there’s little chance Da Vinci’s version of the resume – originally used as a type of letter of introduction – would hold up in today’s job market.
Rapid technological advances and increased competition among job seekers mean the objectives, design and content of a resume has changed dramatically since 1482.
One of the biggest trends in recruitment in 2020 is the role of artificial intelligence in the hiring process. Not only do resumes need to appeal to hiring managers – job seekers must now create resumes that appeal to computers, too!
If you want to update your resume for success in 2020, take a look at these five tips to help land your dream job in 2020.
Tip #1: Feature data on your resume
Humans generate a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day – and including some on your resume can be a powerful way to demonstrate to hiring managers and recruiters proof of your ability and the impact you’ve had in previous roles.
“Hiring managers love numbers because they add context and scope to the responsibilities of your role,” Lucy Chalmers, founder of Lucy Writes Resumes, recently told Canva.
“All potential candidates will list their previous responsibilities, yet few will actually support these with numbers.” The best way to include numbers on your resume is to identify any outcomes in your current and previous roles that would be considered key indicators of success – dependent on your industry,
this could include things like new clients acquired, customer ratings, number of sales, staff morale, response time and more!
Being able to demonstrate a bottom-line benefit for your employer can also be powerful to include.
Tip #2: Make your resume easy to read
Making sure both humans, and computers, can easily read and scan your resume for key information is essential in 2020.
Afterall, with so many companies using AI software to screen resumes, you wouldn’t want it to be sorted to the bottom of the pile, or rejected, because the computer program couldn’t recognise the font you used, or had difficulty reading it.
Make sure the font you use:
- Can be easily read – both printed out, on a computer screen, or when put through a scanner.
- Is not unique or quirky – non-standard fonts can show up as code on someone else’s computer.
- Is a Sans Serif font – fonts like Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, Century Gothic or Tahoma are good choices.
The overall design of your resume should also be considered. Sections should line up neatly, and columns, bold fonts, bullet points, and white space used sparingly will help hiring managers quickly identify your skills and expertise.
Finally – don’t put important information in headers, footers, text boxes or graphics. These may drop out in many hiring systems and may cause your data to disappear.
Tip #3: Include volunteer and extracurricular experience
A great way to add personality to your job application and showcase your transferrable skills is to include any volunteer and extra-curricular experience on your resume – particularly if it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Leonie Stanfield, a careers advisor with more than 30 years of experience and member of the National Executive Committee for the Career Development Association of Australia, believes you shouldn’t undervalue the potential experience gained from extracurricular activities.
“Volunteer work that aligns with the job can and should be added to a CV,” she told Channel 7.
Many companies, including international engineering and project management company Aurecon, agree.
Their Chief People Officer, Liam Hayes, said including volunteer experience and extra-curricular activities were especially important for recent university graduates, as it provided a way for them to demonstrate ‘soft’ skills.
“To us, they are important,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“Volunteering work or roles in student clubs help build competencies that are transferable into the working environment.”
Tip #4: Feature the same keywords in your resume as the job ad
It only takes a few minutes, but tailoring your resume so it includes the same keywords and phrases as the job ad could be the quickest way to make your resume stand out from the crowd.
Why? By using the same terms and language as the job description, you are able to demonstrate that you meet key skills, experience and attributes the employer is looking for. You’ll also be much more likely to make it through to the next round of recruitment if a computer program using AI is scanning the resumes.
“You will need to mirror the style of words used in the job advertisement, so you don’t get screened out,” Leonie Stanfield told Channel 7.
“Companies are trying to screen you out, not screen you in.”
Tip #5: Write a summary statement
According to Forbes, “if you still have an objective statement perched at the top of your resume, it’s time for some serious updating.”
Where objective statements tell the recruiter what you want, a summary statement explains the value you can bring to them.
It is usually two to three short, well-written and targeted sentences that summarise your skills and experiences that sit at the top of your resume.
But it’s important to note summary statements aren’t for everyone.
“Summary statements are usually best for more experienced professionals with years of experiences to tie together with a common theme,” writes Lily Zhang in her article for The Muse.
“Or, alternatively, they can be used to tie together disparate experiences with a set of key transferable skills.
“On the other hand, if you have a pretty linear or straightforward career path, the space is probably better used for additional bullet points in each role.”
When writing your summary statement, Forbes has three top tips:
1. Start by saying who you are
2. Make it an elevator pitch
3. Keep it short
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