Here are a few things you need to do to keep your resume current and competitive:
Cut it down
If you’re a recent college graduate, that’s fine, you need to show all the experience you can. But most of us are five, ten or more years out of university and it’s time to remove some of our oldest experience. It might be difficult, but recruiters no longer care about your three-month internship in the summer after your graduation. Remove everything that doesn’t add value to your abilities.
Choose the most important responsibilities and skills and focus on these. If you have a small essay under each job, or even more than 3 bullet points, it’s probably too long.
It’s 2020 and the first “person” to read your resume will not actually be a person. That’s right, corporate job listings receive around 250 resumes for each opening, and rather than having a team read through each one they are first screened by an artificial intelligence algorithm.
So what does this mean for us? Most importantly, you must change your resume for each different job you are applying for. Look at the job listing and focus on the attributes they are looking for. Choose your abilities and tasks that best align with the company’s values.
Also, keep your language direct and simple. Basically, AI uses natural language processing and so your resume should sound natural when you read it out loud. Of course, be extra sure to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.
Make it nice to look at…and easy to read
So you get past the algorithm and that means the first human will look closely at your entire resume, right? Probably not. Depending on who you ask, HR professionals may look at your resume for as little as 6 seconds! Therefore, it’s important to make sure your resume has a nice design and that the most important information is easy to find.
Hiring managers are looking for your personal information, work history and job titles so make sure these parts are clear. Don’t be afraid to use different colors or fonts to create contrast. But don’t make it too crazy. Also, know the company you’re applying for. Graphic designer jobs may merit more colorful designs but an old law firm requires a more traditional resume.