Resumes for 2020 – What You Should Include
While some trends in resumes are fads, there are several resume best practices that career experts agree upon today. What used to be common in, say, 2010 simply won’t fly in today’s job market.
Empire Resume has compiled a list of eight things every successful resume should include today. Here they are:
Does it Pass the Six-Second Test?
Studies show hiring managers spend an average of six seconds scanning a resume before they decide if the applicant is a good fit.
Talk about pressure!
Your resume must be easy to read, and it must quickly make your top selling points to grab the manager’s attention.
Pass the six-second test by choosing an uncluttered format that uses black ink and a simple font like Times New Roman. Ditch fancy graphics and don’t get too creative with wording. Keep the presentation simple.
The rule of thumb is to convey the most relevant information in the most clear and direct way possible.
Include Your LinkedIn URL
Empire Resume experts say it’s wise to include a custom URL to your LinkedIn profile on your resume.
LinkedIn is a big player in today’s job market, and your profile is the next place a hiring manager will go if they like your resume. Including a link to your profile makes you look more professional and it shows you’re up to date with technology.
Create a Compelling Summary
An opening summary is a great way to showcase your strengths and make your resume stand out. A summary is a one or two sentence description that encapsulates your experience and skills.
Opening summaries break down years of experience and various skills to only the most relevant details a manager needs to know.
As we’ll discuss later, use relevant keywords from the job description and incorporate them into your summary. A great summary at the top of your resume will show you’re a good fit for the position.
List Achievements to Show Your Value
Including descriptions of your work achievements is another great way of making your resume rise to the top of the pile.
The accomplishments you list don’t have to be major awards, either. Think of positive results from actions you’ve taken at previous jobs, such as problems you’ve solved or something you improved or did exceptionally well.
You can list achievements in a separate section, but it may be even better to list them under each specific job you’ve had. Showcase achievements at each job either in addition to, or instead of, your basic duties.
Beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
We talked about passing the six-second test. Unfortunately, there’s another hoop your resume may have to jump through: an ATS.
An ATS is a type of software used by employers to collect, scan, and sort resumes. It’s an electronic gatekeeper that weeds out applicants that are deemed unqualified or unfit for the position. If your resume isn’t written and formatted with an ATS in mind, it’s possible it may not even be seen by human eyes.
Empire Resume experts say the best ways to get past an ATS are to keep the fonts and format simple and avoid fancy graphics. Most ATS software works by processing text, so graphics and creative layouts may get your resume rejected.
ATS software also scans resumes for keywords employers have specified. As a result, it’s a good idea to review job descriptions and look for likely keywords, and then include them throughout your resume.
More on Those Pesky Keywords
Incorporating industry keywords helps you get past ATS software. But it’ll also make for a good presentation if it gets in front of a manager.
Review job postings for the positions you’re seeking and look under the “qualifications” and “responsibilities” sections. Those are the most likely places to find industry relevant keywords.
Also check the company’s website, especially its “About Us” section. Pay attention to the language the company uses to describe itself.
Including similar keywords in your resume won’t just help you beat the software – it can also help you connect with the hiring manager.
Keep Your Resume Short
Shoot to keep your resume to a single page. Two pages is okay in certain circumstances, but that should be the limit. The best resumes, after all, pack a punch and showcase your strengths in a brief and simple format.
If your resume does extend to two pages, consider ways to cut it down, such as making sentences more concise, removing filler words like “that,” “to,” “an,” and “the,” and listing only achievements under each job, instead of long lists of specific duties.
Beware of Spelling & Grammar Errors
One of the easiest ways to end up in the rejection pile is to include a spelling or grammar error or (gasp!) several on your resume.
A smart way to proofread a resume is to print it out, especially if you’ve been staring at a screen for a while. Spelling and grammar errors tend to jump out more when you’re looking at them on paper.
If proofreading isn’t your strong suit, consider using a third-party source such as Grammarly. Websites like Grammarly point out writing mistakes that a simple spell check may miss.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology
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