If you haven’t been on the job market for some time, it is possible your resume won’t meet the expectations of today’s hiring managers. Formatting standards have changed, so the resume design you selected 10 years ago can actually hurt your chances of getting called in for an interview. To help make sure your resume is ready, here are some tips to help whip your resume into shape.

Reverse Timeline versus Functional or Skill-Based

An old standard in resume writing was the reverse chronological approach, positioning your most recent experience near the top and going backward from there. While this format can still be functional if your career went forward in a traditional manner, it isn’t always the strongest choice for certain circumstances.

For example, if your most relevant experience was a job or two ago, or if you are changing careers, choosing a functional or skill-based resume might be a better choice. This alternate resume format1 brings attention to your skills or specific aspects of your experience before including information about your work history. It creates a highlight reel of what hiring managers want to see first, helping demonstrate your relevant experience. Then, it lists your work history near the bottom to round out the information.

Big Blocks of Text

Another resume tradition that is no longer in use is the long, paragraph-style job description for each of your previous positions. In most cases, hiring managers first review your resume by skimming over the content, and big blocks of text aren’t conducive to this process. In fact, some research suggests most hiring managers spend only 6.25 seconds2 on average when determining if a resume is worth reading further. So, if your resume format isn’t easy to review quickly, you might find yourself in the discard pile.

Instead, it is important to make your resume highly readable and only include pertinent information within the content. For example, list key skills and points of interest as a series of bullet points instead of descriptive paragraphs. That way, hiring managers get the information they need quickly and can decide if they are interested in learning more with ease. Keep in mind, it’s appropriate to use fragments in resumes!

All Duties, No Accomplishments

10 years ago, it was considered normal to list your previous employment information based on the job description, containing information about the duties you performed and the responsibilities you’ve held. Now, employers are more interested in learning not just what you did, but how your work benefited the company. This means focusing on accomplishments or achievements instead of tasks.

Additionally, you want to make sure your accomplishments are well quantified3, using concrete data and numbers to demonstrate the value of the achievement. Include dollar amounts when you mention the project budget you managed, and use percentages to discuss sales growth or cost reductions. This helps provide hard evidence regarding what you are capable of and gives hiring managers details that can assist them in making a decision regarding whether to call you in for an interview. If you are a sales person, you are expected to have quantitative information in your resume to support your sales abilities.

Work With a Leader in Staffing Services in Atlanta

If you are looking for more tips on creating a resume that gets attention from today’s hiring managers, the recruitment professionals at Employ Partners can help you get up to speed. Contact us to see how a top staffing agency in Atlanta can help you find your next position.


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