There’s been a lot of changes in the job market during the pandemic. However, one thing that’s remained the same is the need for a solid resume. It’s your ticket into the interview process to land the job you want.
To help you create a polished and professional resume, here are some trends for 2022 to keep in mind:
Optimize for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Good, bad, or indifferent, ATS software is here to stay. So, make sure you’re optimizing your resume to get through them. In fact, according to reports, around 75% of employers now use them during the hiring process. This helps them screen out candidates who aren’t the right fit. However, if your resume isn’t optimized for ATS software, then it won’t make it into the hands of a human – even if you’re the strongest candidate.
What do to: To optimize your resume, review the job description first. Look for relevant keywords and phrases. You can also check the company website for other verbiage that’s important to include, related to your particular industry or the job.
Once you have a list of keywords, incorporate them into your resume where it makes sense. Keep in mind, you also want it to be reader-friendly for a hiring manager, so don’t use stuff your resume full of them.
Another important area to focus on when considering ATS software is your social media profiles. The latest technology is able to pull in online information from your social profiles. To avoid any red flags, take a look at your profile on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others to make sure there’s no content that will make a negative impression.
Keep it simple with resume formatting.
When it comes to formatting your resume, you want to make it as easy-to-read as possible for the hiring manager. Remember, they only spend a few seconds on each resume. If yours is packed with tiny text and tight margins, then they’re going to have a hard time understanding why you’re a fit for the job.
Another reason to keep formatting simple? If you try to get fancy with graphics or the font, the ATS software won’t be able to read your resume. You can sabotage your job search efforts in the process.
What to do: Keep your resume clean and simple with plenty of white space around the margins. Don’t include any borders, images, artwork, or script-like fonts. This will ensure your resume is further optimized for any ATS that scans it.
Also, skip the functional resume fad, which is typically used to hide employment gaps. Instead, for 2022, the tried-and-tested reverse chronological resume is the way to go when you’re organizing and formatting your resume. This simply means you should list your most recent job first and go back from there.
In addition, make sure each section, such as Work History and Education, is easy to spot and scan. Your Work History is the most important section and should therefore be at the top, followed by your Education, Certifications, Specialized Skills, and Industry Associations.
Leave out unnecessary information, like an objective statement or a saying that “references are available upon request.” This simply wastes valuable space and makes your resume look dated. Other areas to skip are personal details, like your age, gender, birth date, street address, and headshot.
Don’t just talk about tasks, demonstrate results.
Today’s employers want to know about your track record in past positions. It’s why using facts, figures and any metrics is key to showing your value. A list of skills and tasks you’ve handled is boring and won’t stand out. However, when you quantify your accomplishments, it makes a more memorable impression. It also brings your background to life, so you’re not just another candidate, but a unique and compelling performer.
What to do: As you’re writing your Work History section, you should gear the content toward results, not just listing the skills you have or tasks you were responsible for. This can include anything from the size of the team you managed, how much you increased sales or improved customer retention, and the percentage by which you boosted web traffic.
This gives the hiring manager a clear picture of what you bring to the table if they hire you. It also helps to make the case as to why they should consider you over another candidate.
However, don’t include everything you’ve achieved. Instead, focus on 3-6 examples that are the most relevant for a particular position. You might need to customize and edit your resume for each position, as a result. Doing so, though, will help you to easily spotlight why you’re a strong contender for the job.
Avoid buzzwords and be straightforward.
Since hiring managers don’t spend long on a resume, it’s important that you use language that is clear and concise. This means avoiding buzzwords, cliches, and hyperbole.
What to do: Avoid vague words like “hard worker,” “strong work ethic” and “motivated team player.” These should be sidestepped because they don’t really mean anything to the hiring manager. Instead, use simple, straightforward language. Also, emphasize your strengths and accomplishments. Anyone can claim to be a “team player,” which is why it’s important to give examples of why and how you’re a strong team player, instead of simply stating it.
Ready for professional help with your resume?
At ResumeSpice, we’re the #1 resume writing service for a reason. Our approach has been designed by recruiters who know what hiring managers want to know about you. We can help you put your best foot forward, as a result. Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us online to get started.