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Resume Writing: 30 Years Ago vs Today

Thirty years ago, a job seeker would mail a hard copy of their resume to a hiring manager they had located by finding a job posting in a local newspaper. The hiring manager might receive a few dozen resumes to review and would set up interviews for the top candidates.

In 2021, job seekers search the internet for job postings. Websites like,, and more offer the ability to find job openings all over the world. Candidates submit their resume electronically and hiring managers can potentially receive thousands of resumes for one job.

Obviously they don't have time to individually read each resume. Many companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help sort the resumes and eliminate those that don't have certain keywords. Studies have shown that hiring managers only spend 6 seconds looking at each resume.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Computer Software

Thirty years ago, a job seeker could create their own resume and even if it didn't have certain keywords on it, the hiring manager would take a close enough look to know whether the candidate might be a good match for the opening. Now, the ATS doesn't allow consideration to those without the matching keywords.

A hiring manager that only takes a few seconds to review a resume will also discard any that don't instantly and obviously demonstrate the requirements he is seeking. Therefore, potentially hundreds or even thousands of resumes are automatically discarded and the opportunity to have an interview is missed.

For this reason, it is vital that you submit a resume that passes the ATS or hiring managers quick evaluation. How can you accomplish this?

Create a resume specific for the job posting you are applying for.

You can create a basic resume and then edit it prior to submitting to a specific job posting. Rewriting your resume will allow you to tailor the resume for the specific skill set the job requires.

Make sure you demonstrate that you have the required skills by including them in your resume.

Always be honest and don't indicate you have a skill that you actually don't have because that will come out in the interview resulting in lost credibility. Be sure the skills you do have are listed on the resume.

Consider using a professional resume service like Revision Resume.

Resume writers make sure they are knowledgeable about the latest resume standards that hiring managers and the ATS are seeking. A resume writer will help ensure that your resume is designed and edited to make it through the sorting process and allow you the opportunity for an interview.

Person reviewing a resume during an interview

The resume review process has changed in the last few decades and therefore how a job applicant approaches creating and submitting a resume must also change. Sticking with the old way may result in missed opportunities. Contact us at Revision Resume, located in Rochester NY, for assistance with your resume!

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What’s Next?  With the Right Resume, the Sky’s the Limit!

The challenge for most job applicants is crafting the right resume. 

Revision Resume is here to help offering the following writing services:

Resume critiques are also offered to those who have already created their own resume but would like a second set of eyes to check for errors and to ensure the document is up to modern standards!

With up-to-the-minute knowledge of the hiring industry, Revision Resume can make sure you are submitting the right resume!

In addition to our blog that is packed with useful information and tips, Revision Resume also offers a monthly newsletter and group educational programs. 

Finally, for the "do-it-yourselfer," we offer a checklist package that helps you ensure you haven't missed any vital details. 


To learn more, contact us.

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