How the resume has changed, and what it means to you?  

How the resume has changed, and what it means to you?

When you think of a Resume or CV what comes to mind? Job applications and a record of your job history, skills, educations and accomplishments. Typically the resume contains the information necessary to gain the employers attention. But have you ever considered that the resume is the first perception that the employer will have of you? Think of it as the first ten seconds of meeting someone. Recruiters spend on average 15 to 30 seconds reading a resume and you are going to be more successful if you have the information they are looking for on the first three quarters of the front page. 

In the past decade the job market has changed significantly – we now live an almost completely digital world – and most of the workforce is more educated than ever before. It is not uncommon to meet people have more than one degree. So the question is how do you stand out? How can you prove you are the right candidate with limited work experience? It is very easy to stand out and get noticed if you have the right knowledge. Work with a professional career expert or choose a resume writer to get your resume into the hands of the right people.

Here are some of the most important questions to think about when it comes to resumes:

What are the different resumes and how should I use them?

Chronological: This is the most common resume type, it is best when you have a progressive work history with a steady demonstration of skill building in one industry. This is not suitable for people looking to move to another industry or if you have skills that you have not had a chance to use in other positions.  

Combinational: This resume is great if you feel you need to highlight certain skills and knowledge that you have not used a lot, or have only learnt in school. This is a format that is not utilized enough, and can produce massive results if done correctly. The main reasons to use this resume type is when you have had several unrelated jobs, you have a broad skill set, or if you have gaps in employment. Remember to list the skills that are relevant to the job you want rather than a general list of skills. You should choose 3 to 4 sections and list the information you want the employer to know under those sections. 

Functional: Use this resume if you have do not have experience in the target job or have no job experience at all. This will allow you to fully explain your skills at the top of the resume and list your job titles, dates, and company followed by education at the bottom.

How are employers looking for candidates? What can I put on my resume to make sure that I come in in their search?

Keywords is what will get you noticed. Think about it a resume is like a personal statement to the employer saying why you are right for them. They need to see their company reflected in the resume. Use their language and key words. Show in the professional skills section what you have done that will help them. Employers are looking for candidates who are both the right fit for their company, and who have the right skill set.

How important is LinkedIn and how can I make sure I am using it correctly?

LinkedIn is your most important tool right now! The world is digital, and the job market is going right along with it. Think about it this way, if you view a Facebook profile with boring information how long are you really going to look at it?  LinkedIn is the same, recruiters are all over LinkedIn looking for the right candidate. Make sure you have a picture, list your jobs the same way as they are explained in your resume. Make sure you have a great summary written in first of third person. This is what people will read first, don’t re-explain your resume, simply highlight you education, skills, accomplishments and put your easiest contact method! Sometimes it’s really hard to contact people on LinkedIn! The easier you make it, the more you’ll be contacted! Also use the head line! There are 140 characters there for you to use! Make it say more than just your current positon!

What are some of the biggest changes and trends in resumes and job search?

Social Media is making it much easier for employers to find you. According to a recent survey on Workopolis about 60% of employers will use social media to help them make a hiring decision.  Make sure that your social media is saying good things about who you are! Resumes today are more to the point, employers want to see you biggest accomplishments and most impressive skills. Avoid writing a novel! Make sure that your resume is clear and concise. With the job market being so competitive employers can receive up to 200 resumes for just one position!

How can a professional resume writer help me move ahead? 

A professional resume writer can help you move forward through identifying the most important information for your resume and were to place it. They can help you construct sentences that will clearly demonstrate your ability, while explaining talents you probably didn’t even realize you could use on your resume. Professional Resume Writers are people who are well versed in resume formats and the job market. They know what information to add and leave out. They have often worked as recruiters and know the processes that are used to locate candidates!

Thoughts from our writers

Laura Garbers

Life & Career Coach & Resume Writer

The most important part of a modern resume is the first page, as it includes the introductory Objective, Areas of Expertise and Qualification Summary sections as well as the most recent job position listed under Professional Experience. Most recent job positions should include both daily duties and quantitative achievements.

One should strike a balance between formal formatting versus modern font, color and graphics. Some employers prefer traditional and formal plain formatting and some employers like images, style and color, so it is important to be mainstream and find a good middle ground.

Remember that positions held more than 10 years in the past are not the main focus and it is also not necessary to list every position held at each company. Listing the most recent position at each company is enough. Remember to include target position and employer, main industry key words, a solid overview of one’s strengths and vital recent employment information.

Additionally, Education, Skills, Languages and other additional sections should come at the end. A well structured, powerful, balanced and concise resume will surely achieve the results one seeks. Additional resume materials, such as cover letter and profile, will only assist in boosting one’s potential for success.