People often tell me, “I haven’t updated my resume for 5/10 years. I wouldn’t even know what to do now.”
Truth is, resumes have seen a dramatic change in five years. If you haven’t updated yours in years, this information is for you.
1. Objective Statement: Five years ago, job seekers wrote a statement explaining what he/she hoped to gain from submission of the resume, something like this: “To obtain a position where my experience and education will benefit an organization.” Obvious much? All job seekers want the same basic thing – a new job! Fortunately, the objective statement has gone the way of the dinosaur, replaced by a skills deep-dive; if possible, expressed in numbers for maximum impact.
2. Branding: You choose Pepsi over Coke, or Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks. Why? Branding. When you apply the principles of branding to yourself – you are the product – you’ll share who you are, in which areas you excel, and how this can benefit the employer by answering the question, “What makes me different/better than my competitor?” Echo this theme as well on your LinkedIn profile to ensure cohesiveness.
3. Accomplishments: Five years ago, we listed every job duty. Mind-numbing! Today, we focus on key accomplishments. One simple way to win over your competitors is to focus on exceptional growth, strong leadership, improved sales, decreased costs, employee morale, etc.
SUPER-IMPORTANT: Use your resume space to talk about your capabilities in relation to the job at hand. If your last two jobs were in completely different industries with completely different tasks, don’t waste space talking about it! (You can still list it though, for transparency and accuracy.) Speak to the job at hand, using the job description as a guide to what the employer is specifically looking for.
4. Keywords: Five years ago, we used the same resume for each job application. Heck, some still do! You may have even walked your resume into the employer’s office, hoping a warm smile and a few well-chosen words might get eyeballs. Today, it’s all about key words. From targeted resume language to applicant tracking systems and online job boards, everything you need to land great interviews is a click away. There is no excuse to fail to use the right keywords, unless you actually want your resume to get rejected.
5. ATS: On the subject of keywords, we must talk about ATS, the Applicant Tracking System. The most successful resumes are decidedly relevant and focused on each job opportunity. This is why we’re constantly beating the drum of keyword compliance. But you can’t just dump a bunch of keywords on the page and cross your fingers. There is definitely both an art and a science to resume writing. We offer several assessments to our clients prior to beginning the writing process, to get level-set on what they want and what the industries/jobs they want to work in require. If there’s a disconnect, we fix it first. Next, we write a Master resume, then one or two ATS-compliant resumes geared to one or two specific roles, continuously adjusting the keywords, other words and phrases, qualifications, accomplishments, and education to that one specific job. In this way, your resume will be an 80% or higher match to the job description and guaranteed to pass The Digital Gatekeeper.