Just as the media world has evolved, so have resumes. We get our news from Facebook (unfortunately), Twitter, and all kinds of new digital sources. Increasingly, our consumption has shifted from reading long-form content like newspaper articles into shorter, more visual media.
Rather than fight a trend, work to capitalize on these changes by creating a resume that is not only powerfully written, but also grabs a readers attention through well-thought out design, strategically placed formatting elements, and a strong narrative style.
Your resume is your representation of your own personal brand in the hiring marketplace. It should grab the readers attention in the first few seconds with a strong, differentiated intro, then hold their attention throughout by leading with results and honing in on your key value add.
I work closely with my clients to understand thier unique selling points and then create resumes that consistently drive those home through achievements connected to the overall mission and vision of a company, demonstrated understanding of the impact on thier work from a big picture perspective.
The ATS is always a scary thing – understandably so – but my advice is keep in mind that you are writing to two different audience. The first – is the person. This is the resume with all the bells and whistles…charts and graphs as appropriate, color and other elements to create visual interest, and clean, well-written prose that clearly conveys your messaging. Secondary to that is the ATS resume. This resume should be stripped clean of formatting and saved as an ASCII or some other similar file format.
Trends in resumes are also constantly changing. I’m sure you’ve heard the old standby – even the President has a 1-page resume. A) I’m pretty sure that’s not true. B) Resumes are not one-size-fits-all. I’ve done 1-page resumes for executives and 2-page resumes for students. Format and content are not mutually exclusive. The strategy should be custom tailored to each candidate.
One cool thing happening for early career is the 2 column resume. This is most easily achieved with a table set-up and can be tricky to manage – best left to a pro! Also, I don’t love this format for more experienced candidates as the initial scan gives the impression of someone earlier on in their career.
What’s the best way to sift through all the often competing advice? Trust a professional! I’d love to connect and share insight about your unique situation. Reach out directly via 973.270.1777.