HomeBlogResume TipsWhat Your Resume Needs to Look Like in 2021 –

What Your Resume Needs to Look Like in 2021 –


Elevate your hand in case you’ve ever felt just like the resume writing course of is unending, overwhelming, or a ache. 

I requested my LinkedIn followers to fill on this clean: The resume writing course of is ________________.

Many of the responses mirrored simply how difficult the method will be. A few of my favourite responses had been: 

“Like a sport of Tetris, with fireplace.”

“Traumatic and cathartic.”

“Like baking a cake for Cake Wars and hoping your creation blows the judges away. 🎂”

“Writing the right CliffsNotes a couple of lifelong novel.”

After which somebody shared this image:

I’m going to take a guess that in case you’re studying this, chances are high you in all probability really feel equally. 

It’s not straightforward attempting to condense 10, 15, or 20+ years of labor historical past into two pages. Particularly in case you’re not 100% positive what’s necessary to incorporate or omit, and what is going to make the largest impression on employers. 

That’s why at the moment I’m sharing seven ideas and actionable methods for what your resume must appear to be in 2021. As a result of the job market and job search course of has modified dramatically (thanks, 2020), in case you’re going to face out it’s good to clean up your resume and ensure it aligns with the fashionable hiring course of. 

Let’s soar in. 

What Your Resume Ought to Look Like in 2021

Your resume wants a transparent place and business goal. It ought to be centered on that one function and your entire resume ought to help the function you’re concentrating on through the use of arduous expertise, key phrases, and comfortable expertise that align with the necessities of the function, and through the use of accomplishments and quantifiable outcomes that relate to the place. 

And right here’s a professional tip for you: embrace the place title you’re concentrating on on the prime of your resume. I see so many resumes that say “advertising and marketing skilled, gross sales skilled, or HR skilled.” However the factor is, employers don’t use these phrases to look their databases or job boards. They use the place title or arduous expertise to search out candidates which are a match. 

Be sure you embrace the place title on the prime of your resume proper beneath your contact information and proper above your profession abstract.

Subsequent, help your goal place with the way you add worth. 

That is the #1 problem I hear from job seekers. “It’s arduous to write down a resume that displays my worth.” 

The most effective methods to do that is by focusing in your accomplishments. We use a framework referred to as the CAR formulation. It’s a solution to write your resume bullets to be able to present an instance of your accomplishments to potential employers.

CAR stands for problem, motion, and outcomes. 

You begin by explaining a problem you confronted, then an motion you took to deal with the problem, and at last what the outcomes had been of the motion you took. 

Whenever you’re writing the precise bullet it really works effectively to start out with the motion verb, then convey the outcome, and wrap up the bullet by sharing the problem. There are various other ways you possibly can write a bullet utilizing the CAR format, however I like to recommend at all times beginning with an motion verb.

In the event you need assistance with motion verbs I created a free PDF that features 178 motion verbs and high-impact phrases you can obtain. I’ll hyperlink to it within the present notes.

Embody your strengths with an equal mixture of arduous expertise and comfortable expertise.

I’m usually requested in regards to the distinction between arduous expertise and comfortable expertise. Each play a vital function when writing your resume.

Laborious expertise are the key phrases employers use to look/scan resumes. They search for arduous expertise to see in case you have the skilled, technical, or tutorial {qualifications} for the function.

Smooth expertise are the EQ and character expertise that make you an excellent folks individual, allow you to guide or inspire others, and contribute to teamwork.

Each have an necessary place in your resume.

Embody arduous expertise to extend your resume’s capacity to populate in search outcomes and present you might have the abilities for the function.

Incorporate examples of the outcomes you’ve achieved due to your comfortable expertise to indicate employers you’re tradition and other people match.

Optimize for applicant monitoring programs and for people who scan and skim.

Your resume has a number of audiences so whereas it must be optimized to indicate up in search outcomes when a hiring supervisor searches a candidate database or job board for resumes, it additionally must attraction to the hiring supervisor screening the resume to find out who to interview.

The easiest way to do that is to offer content material that appeals to each audiences. As I discussed earlier, arduous expertise are sometimes the key phrases recruiters use to look in candidate databases they usually’re additionally the key phrases they’ll search for when skimming your resume. 

Past the content material, although, it’s necessary to make sure the design and format of your resume is optimized for ATS and people. 

Listed below are just a few key ideas that will help you with this:

  • Use a place title on the prime of your resume, as I beforehand talked about.
  • Hold paragraphs equivalent to your profession abstract to a few to 5 sentences—that method it’s not too text-dense.
  • Alongside the identical strains, just remember to’re not itemizing greater than three to 5 bullets collectively. Something greater than that and the resume loses its capacity to be rapidly scanned. 
  • Create a key phrase/ core competencies part that features 12 to fifteen of your arduous expertise. Save comfortable expertise on your bullets.
  • Create a notable accomplishments part the place you spotlight two to a few of your prime achievements—those you need to make further positive that the hiring supervisor sees and doesn’t miss. These will go within the prime third of your resume. Use a shade border, shading, or daring textual content to attract consideration to this part.

For extra recommendations on optimizing your resume for ATS, learn this weblog here.

Incorporate branded content material. Model your resume—quotes, outcomes, your onlyness issue.

Social proof is a wonderful solution to validate the standard and effectiveness of your work. You possibly can solicit brief quotes or testimonials out of your community and former supervisors, or pull them from suggestions in your LinkedIn profile.

Keep away from selecting obscure statements like “John is a superb man. We actually worth what he did for us.” As a substitute select a testimonial that’s particular: “John at all times goes the additional mile for his purchasers. Due to his distinctive consumer care, he secured a $2M contract with a beforehand competitor-aligned firm.”

Utilizing a brief quote is a good way to brag about your self with out bragging about your self, which is fantastic for individuals who are uncomfortable boasting about their wins. It additionally offers the much-needed proof and validation that employers are so hungry for.

Discovering widespread themes throughout your profession might help you develop your private model in case you’re uncertain what it’s, or make clear your message in case you already know your model. I can’t advocate the Reach personal branding survey sufficient in case you’re within the discovery section of the branding course of.

Listed below are some questions you possibly can ask to search for these themes:

– What profit or contribution do you add to the corporate?

– What key achievements or successes have you ever earned time and time once more? Massive gross sales? Profitable restructurings?

– What would you say is exclusive about your self and the way you do what you do?

– What do others see as the worth you add?

– Learn by way of your LinkedIn suggestions and previous efficiency evaluations and search for themes. Whenever you put comparable phrases and phrases collectively, what image do you get?

– What do others say are your best strengths or most beneficial {qualifications}?

– How do others describe you?

– What do your boss, crew, or direct studies come to you for regularly?

Trendy design. Don’t be afraid of borders, shading, visuals, and graphs. 

Let’s go forward and speak about this controversial tip proper now. Each time I like to recommend that your resume structure embrace visuals, borders, graphs, graphics, charts, or shading, somebody pops up and asks “What about ATS?”

OK, what about ATS?

You possibly can create an ATS-optimized model of your resume that doesn’t embrace charts, graphs, or visuals. Nevertheless, ultimately your resume goes to get to a human reader they usually’re going to be the one deciding whether or not to name you for an interview for that govt place you need.

Utilizing charts, graphs, and visuals is not going to mechanically kick your resume out of ATS. There are various ATS that may learn these (expertise is advancing). Even the archaic variations of ATS that some firms should use can learn a resume that makes use of borders, shading, and shade.

Sure, there needs to be steadiness, however you possibly can obtain that steadiness just a few other ways:

1. Have a contemporary resume model and an ATS-optimized model. When it’s important to apply by way of an automatic system, use the ATS model. Comply with up with an e mail (if you understand the e-mail handle) and embrace a PDF model of your fashionable, visually participating resume.

2. Miss the charts and graphs however use the bolded textual content, borders, shade, and shading that you understand will be capable to undergo the system with no points.

3. Work round ATS. Discover and submit your resume through e mail, networking, utilizing social media, or making use of on LinkedIn the place you possibly can add a PDF model of your resume for employers to see with out the trouble of ATS.

You have got choices in terms of creating a contemporary and visually participating resume. After we work with purchasers to create a professionally written resume, we create two variations: a contemporary resume that’s visually participating for the human reader and one which’s extra modest in design to breeze by way of ATS.

In the event you don’t need to create two variations, then go together with choice two above and have a steadiness of each.

Handle the ache factors by exhibiting all the pieces you possibly can provide.

What are three important challenges this firm faces or the individual on this function would face? How have I tackled these challenges or comparable ones in previous positions? Put that data entrance and middle in your resume and in your cowl letter. 

After I learn a resume, I’m not simply seeking to see if the individual has the required key phrases, expertise, and credentials. I’m studying the resume and considering “Can this individual meet the wants I’ve, remedy the issues I’m dealing with, and contribute in a significant method?”

If in case you have an efficient resume, when the employer reads it they need to say “That’s precisely what I need assistance with!”

They need to be getting enthusiastic about the potential of what you are able to do for them primarily based on what you’ve been in a position to do for others.

That is why it’s necessary to know and perceive the wants and ache factors of the employers, departments, and firms that you simply’re concentrating on. What wants are distinctive to them? What issues are they dealing with and need assistance fixing?

There are some issues that would be the identical for a selected function it doesn’t matter what firm you’re employed for. For instance, as an HR supervisor, having the ability to display, interview, rent, and onboard new staff rapidly is crucial to the profitable working of a enterprise. If I can lower the hiring time in half, then I’m saving my firm cash and bettering their productiveness and effectivity. On the flipside of that, if it takes me months to search out and rent a professional new worker, my firm is shedding cash and priceless time.

After I labored for Medtronic as an employment supervisor, it used to take them over a month to search out, interview, rent, and practice new crew members. I used to be in a position to lower that point in half finding, hiring, and coaching new crew members in two weeks. This elevated the crew’s productiveness by 20% and saved hundreds in misplaced income and time. It additionally turned a theme throughout my human sources profession as I used to be in a position to do that in a number of totally different positions throughout various organizations.

I perceive how necessary it’s to have the precise folks in place as rapidly as doable. Lacking a key individual is like limping alongside versus having the ability to run at full velocity.

Even in my very own firm we’ve skilled such fast development that I’ve needed to revamp our hiring and coaching course of to have the ability to discover top-performing resume writers who can dive in and excel instantly at creating efficient, professionally written resumes for our purchasers.

I take advantage of my very own private examples for instance how you can discover the wants and ache factors of the employer after which write about accomplishments that talk to your capacity to fulfill these wants. In the event you’re uncertain what their best wants are, they’re straightforward to analysis. Begin with Google. Discover out what widespread points are inside the firm, place, and business. You possibly can even try employer reviews on Glassdoor.com to search out out what particular firms are fighting and the place they excel as shared from these with expertise inside the group.

As soon as you understand what the corporate’s struggles are, share examples of the way you’ve overcome comparable obstacles in your present or earlier roles. You are able to do this utilizing the CAR (Problem, Motion, Outcome) format:

Problem: State a problem or impediment you encountered.

Motion: How did you overcome that impediment?

Outcome: What was the results of the motion you took?

Embody COVID Contributions

Employers need staff who’re adaptable and versatile. They’re additionally searching for staff who’re updated with new applied sciences like Zoom. Handle these EQ expertise and tech expertise on the prime of your resume. Additionally, contemplate what contributions you’ve made for the reason that pandemic began and the way you’ve added worth. Embody these accomplishments in your work expertise part. 

For instance, we had a consumer who labored as a medical gadget gross sales rep and truly was chargeable for ventilators, which turned an enormous want. He took initiative and proactively secured the gear that his purchasers wanted in order that his firm had what it wanted to help their purchasers. In consequence, his gross sales elevated and his purchasers’ wants had been met. This is just one instance of how somebody may have added worth or impression in the course of the pandemic. Take into consideration what your contributions are and ensure to make use of the CAR format I mentioned earlier to convey these accomplishments.

I assure that in case you can efficiently incorporate the above ideas in your 2021 resume, the content material and visually interesting design will propel it to the highest of the hiring supervisor’s stack. Nonetheless feeling just like the canine within the image I shared earlier, attempting to brazen it out whereas the room goes up in flames? Our crew of licensed resume writers is aware of simply how you can current your model, accomplishments, and arduous and comfortable expertise to have the most effective likelihood of constructing your subsequent profession transfer. 

Try this article, in case you are searching for extra recommendations on differentiating yourself from other similar candidates.

In case you are contemplating a profession change in 2021, listed here are 101 resume writing tips for career change resumes.


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