Resume trends come and go, and that was especially true with 2020. Last year, so much changed, and the job search process was no exception. Because of that, you could be hurting your chances of getting an interview if you’re submitting old resumes in 2021.
Even if your work experience and skills have stayed the same, there are still ways to write your resume for the modern recruiting process and job landscape. Read on to discover eleven impactful ways to update your resume.
1. Update your resume’s design
One of the most powerful ways to give your resume a modern lift is to update the design. Old templates tend to be clunky and poorly laid out. Today, there are thousands of free resume templates online. Find one that provides a pleasant reading experience, looks modern, and is compatible with applicant tracking systems.
2. Use a hybrid resume format
We now know that recruiters spend about 6-7 seconds glancing at resumes before deciding if the applicant is a potential fit. That means that in 2021, you need to get to the good stuff—primarily your abilities—quickly. A hybrid resume allows recruiters to see your skills at a glance and, in our opinion, is the best resume format for the modern day job search.
3. Make your experience section easy to skim
One of the most challenging parts of writing your resume is balancing the amount of information that needs to be included with making it easy to skim. As we mentioned above, recruiters allot a matter of seconds to each resume. Because of that, you don’t want to include large blocks of text or too many bullet points. Condense everything as much as you can and use an appropriate number of bullets (not too many!) to convey that you are the right fit for the job.
4. Add your remote work skills
Remote working skills became at once desirable in March of 2020, when COVID forced offices nationwide to close. Now that many employers are embracing remote work, it’s a good idea to include any work-from-home skills on your resume. Look closely at the job description to see if the company mentions any remote work collaboration tools like Google Docs, Asana, Trello, etc. Include these keywords on your resume where applicable.
5. Highlight efforts during the pandemic
As we all know, 2020 was challenging, especially for job seekers. Make sure to highlight how you worked through COVID-19—especially how resilient you were. How did you continue building on your experience? Or how did you help your business stay afloat? What new skills and tools did you learn? Don’t gloss over this challenging time. The fact you got through it, and especially your achievements during it, shed light on the type of worker you are.
6. Replace your objective statement with a resume summary
Many older resume templates prompt you to write an objective at the top of your resume. This was once a common practice, and if your resume is more than five years old, chances are good that you still have an objective statement lingering about. Try replacing it with an impactful summary statement. This is a brief overview of your top skills and experience that can quickly communicate to a recruiter who you are as an employee.
7. Add some action words
Is your resume engaging? Or is it a bore to read? Recruiters have heaps of resumes to read in 2021, and if you’re not using a compelling voice, you may not get more than the 6-7 seconds of their time. Energize your resume with action verbs like ideated, amplified, or spearheaded. Scan for passive voice and wherever possible replace it with active voice.
8. Start with a headline
We all know the importance of a compelling resume headline in 2021. How would you describe yourself to a recruiter in fewer than ten words? A well-crafted headline will help you frame your resume and catch the eyes of busy recruiters.
9. Remove outdated phrases
It’s possible your resume could include outdated language that implies your industry knowledge is also a bit dusty. Look for anything that stands out and replace it with industry keywords, especially if they are listed in the job description.
If your resume includes the phrase “References available upon request,” delete that and replace it with keyword-rich text.
10. Add measurable results
Job searching is competitive in 2021. To give yourself an edge, go back through your resume and add measurable results to demonstrate your skills and abilities.
Good: Grew traffic and improved conversion rate.
Better: Doubled organic sessions and improved conversion rate by 20 percent.
11. Optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems
Don’t get lost in the towering pile of resumes. Tailor your resume to the job description and ensure it’s formatted for easy parsing within an ATS.
Check to see how well optimized your resume is below.