Each and every year, the traditional resume is enhanced in one way or another. What continues to evolve even faster though are alternatives to the traditional resume. There are a lot of reasons why these alternatives haven’t taken hold yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know about them. However, for now, let’s talk about the traditional resume of 2014.
2014 is going to be all about resume customization and technology. You will have to be aware of both of these aspects when writing your 2014 resume. An alternative, of course, would be to consider a resume writer such as A Better Interview.
- 2014 Resume Customization – I’ve written on this topic before, if you missed it, click here. With unemployment still at higher than normal rates, employers want you to stand out. The typical job seeker will create one resume and blast it off to every company. Today’s companies want to know why you want to work for them and them specifically. This means taking the time to customize your resume to that company’s job description so that the reader can understand why you are a good fit. Doing this will also help you get past their ATS system, more on that next.
- Keywords – We all should know what keywords are by this point. While some ATS systems put an emphasis on keywords, some take it a step further with phrases. Either way, this brings back the previous point of customization. Take the time to read the job description and inject keywords and key phrases into your resume. This will help your resume beat the ATS ninja and be seen by a human being. Please don’t cheat either by writing the words on the bottom of your resume and putting them in white, you will be caught.
- Summary / Objective – The battle over summary or objective wages on. My answer remains consistent on this; it depends on your unique situation. There is no one answer as it simply “depends”. With that being said, summaries are becoming increasingly popular and therefore we should discuss it. Please don’t think of a summary as a bland and boring 3-4 sentence introduction of yourself. Include numbers, percentages, money signs ($) and even your branding statement. As we know, recruiters spend on average less than 5 seconds a resume. If your resume is set up correctly and is appealing to the eye, the first area they will read will be your summary. If you fail here, they will toss your resume, however, if you succeed, chances are that you will get a phone interview. So going back to the first point, customize! Be creative.
Now that we have covered the traditional resume, let’s discuss alternative resumes.
- The LinkedIn Resume – LinkedIn is the largest professional networking website on the internet. Before recruiters or hiring managers even pick up the phone, they most likely will have already checked out your LinkedIn page. This means that they like your background and want to learn a little bit more about you, perhaps what groups you subscribe to, what articles you’ve been sharing and your overall recent activity. I am beyond saying that having LinkedIn is critical because what is more important is your activity on LinkedIn. It is absolutely imperative that you are joining the right groups and engaging in as much discussion as you can. LinkedIn can make you can expert in your field instantly without any book signings, blogs, websites or notoriety. Hiring managers and recruiters are now lending more credibility to LinkedIn as a screening tool and in some cases utilizing it as their source of resumes.
- The Infographic Resume – There websites popping up left and right for anyone to create free infographics and turn them into really cool resumes. I must say that infograhics are not for all people and are not for all companies. As of right now, they can only be viewed as supplemental to the traditional resume. Infographics give you the ability to depict your resume with pictures, charts and graphs all in color! For example, if you are in any field of marketing, then an infographic resume is a must; basically any job that lends itself to being creative. Simply use whatever website you want to create it and then put the link on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Video Resumes – I believe this will become the future of interviewing and of resumes. A lot of companies are already using video resumes, but they are extremely progressive small companies. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot create your own video resume anyways. There are a lot of free video recording programs that you could use. As with the infographics, it can be submitted as a supplement to your resume. While I do believe that video resumes are the wave of the future, I must say use with caution as the federal regulations have not caught up with them. For example, a company is not allowed to know your age or gender when you apply to their jobs, but if you submit a video you will clue them in on both. They may not want to even open your resume or video file because it might open them up to a potential law suit.
So, as you can see, the resume is changing in 2014 and even more in the short future. I recommend that you stay on top of these changes and start making the necessary changes now. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me or take a look at the resume service I offer.