Resume Writing Tips: 2017 Edition

Whether this is your first time applying for jobs or your 49th, it’s critical that you submit an impeccable resume. Unfortunately, if you haven’t updated your resume recently — meaning since the New Year — you probably are following some outdated trends that hiring managers will notice and frown upon.

Just like your interview clothes, your resume should adhere to current trends. To ensure you put forth the best resume possible, you should consider the following up-to-date resume writing tips.

Get Professional Help

At some point in your life, you may have enjoyed a professional cleaning service for your home. Most likely, you use a dry cleaner to immaculately wash your interview clothes. You probably even take advantage of apps that deliver groceries and other essentials straight to your home. Yet, you expect to accomplish a task as complex as writing a resume without asking for help.

Professional resume writers understand industry standards for resumes, closely follow the latest trends, and virtually guarantee at least one interview request. However, even if you don’t want to pay for an entire resume writing service, you can at least use a resume checker to ensure your application materials are tidy and legible. Because your resume is the most important document for your hiring potential, it makes sense to invest  in making it as perfect as possible.

Promote Your Personal Brand

Branding is big — and in personal marketing, your brand is your biggest asset. Therefore, your brand should take up considerable space on your resume, near the top where hiring managers are paying the most attention. You should provide addresses to important online pages, including your LinkedIn account and other influential social media profiles, as well as a summary of your achievements and attributes.

Across all media, your brand should be cohesive and work to explain what makes you a valuable employee. In the past, resumes included objective statements that tried to explain what you needed in a job; today, your brand materials should highlight why particular jobs need you.

Pay Attention to Placement

Recruiters and hiring managers truly only scan about a third of your resume before deciding whether you are a good fit for the position. Therefore, you must be selective about what you place in each section of your document. The best resume placement looks like this:

  • Top third: name, contact information, work sample locations, summary of resume
  • Middle third: Highlights of skills and accomplishments
  • Bottom third: Details of relevant professional and academic history

Stay Sleek and Stylish

Just as you would quickly navigate away from a cluttered, garish website, few recruiters are likely to linger on a poorly designed resume. Your goal should be balance: sleek and stylish — unique but chic. Here are a few design tips to keep your resume attractive this year:

  • Font. Serif fonts are easier to read when script is small and packed together, but sans-serif fonts are more legible for bigger text. Therefore, your name and section titles should use a clean, sans-serif, while the detailed descriptions below should use serif.
  • Color. This will always be true: white paper, black font. It might be appropriate to add a small amount of accent color — if it fits your personal brand.
  • White space. Blank areas are perhaps the most underexplained yet most valuable assets of design. While you do want to fill your resume with information, you shouldn’t pack every square centimeter with text. Spacing serves a as a visual cue and a break for the eyes, so you must use it well.
  • Bullets. You might have skipped the paragraphs above and went straight for the bullet points, and recruiters will do the same. Your bullets should be as informative as they are eye catching — and use simple, standard points rather than flashy symbols or images.

Use Numbers as Much as Words

A resume is a way for you to explain who you are and what you have done, but modern business is all about big data. Therefore, you must be able to explain yourself using numbers as well as words. Metrics help employers determine whether you are any better than your peers and fellow applicants. You should use and abuse statistics to prove that you have accomplished more than they expect from someone of your age and background.

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