Resume writing standards change over time. If you last created your resume in 2010 or before, it is likely outdated compared to current guidelines. Before you just dust if off, add a new bullet for your current job, and submit it to a new job opening, read this article to learn about the key differences in formatting and content expected in current resumes.
Difference #1: Formatting
In the early 2000s resumes were generally only one page long and the infographic style resume was making its debut. This meant people creating their own resume crammed as much information as possible onto one page. Some even utilized the header and footer to fit it all in. Others incorporated tables, graphics and columns to make it visually appealing.
However, when applicant tracking systems (ATS) came along, they changed how resumes need to be formatted. The ATS is a computer system used to bring resumes into hiring departments. The program makes it easier for hiring managers to handle the hundreds of resumes they receive for any one job opening, but these computer programs have limitations. Often, they are not able to read tables, columns, and graphics. In addition, they don't bring in information contained in the header or footer.
Therefore, in 2022 resumes typically are just text -- no tables or graphics. They are written for a hiring manager to read, but also so that the ATS can parse all of the information. Resumes need to be formatted with the ATS in mind.
Difference #2: Sections
It was common to include an "objective statement" in a resume in 2002. This would be at the top of the resume and would tell the hiring manager what the job seeker was hoping to find in the position. It might mention professional goals and aspirations.
Over time the "objective statement" has become outdated and fallen out of favor. In 2022 an "executive summary" is used to highlight the unique skills and qualifications the job seeker has that makes them a good match for the opening. It is much better use of this "prime real estate" to write an executive summary, enticing the hiring manager to keep reading. The goal is to demonstrate that you are good match for the job, not just suggest what you are hoping to obtain.
In addition, it was common to include a statement at the bottom of the resume that said "References Available Upon Request." Since everyone included this same statement, it became known that references would be requested should the resume be selected for follow-up. Therefore it is no longer necessary to include that statement on the resume. It is just automatically assumed.
Difference #3: Details
Resumes in 2002 listed job titles, locations, dates and a few responsibilities you held. They would read "Responsible for the research and development department" or "Tasked with marketing." However, this content didn't provide the hiring manager a view into how successful you were in the specific role. Was the research and development department creating new products? Did the marketing result in increased sales?
In 2022, hiring managers and recruiters are looking for actions and results, not just a list of responsibilities. They want to read details about the successes you achieved on the job. So, more powerful bullets would be "Led the research and development department to achieve 22 patents and 3 successful product launches" or "Oversaw marketing strategy that resulted in a 25% increase in sales."
If you haven't written a new resume in a few years, it is worthwhile to evaluate the current industry standards so you can be sure you are submitting a resume that is up to date. Need help? Revision Resume would be happy to assist you! Contact us!