You don’t need us to tell you how important your resume is. It sums up your qualifications for a recruiter or hiring manager, and it’s the document they use to decide whether or not you might be a fit for your dream job. (No pressure!)
So you definitely want it to be the best it can be—and you definitely don’t want it to look messy, outdated, or hard to read. With all that in mind, what should a resume look like in 2020? We’ve got the best advice for how to create a resume that will stand out from the crowd and land you that interview.
1. Keep It Simple
Unless you’re applying for a design role, a clean, simple layout is best.
- Use clear section headings and make them stand out with bold type, capital letters, and/or a different color.
- Make sure there’s plenty of white space—an overstuffed resume is hard to read.
- Skip the fancy graphics, pie charts, and illustrations, which don’t play well with resume-scanning software.
2. Use a Summary Statement Instead of an Objective
A resume objective (“Seeking a senior-level product management role in the fintech space”) tells the recruiter what you want. A summary statement, on the other hand, explains what value you can bring to them.
3. Spotlight Key Skills
Whether you put your skills section at the top of your resume (like the example here) or at the bottom, after your work experience, make sure the skills you list match the requirements for the job you’re applying to. Not sure what those are? Read the job description carefully to see which skills, programs, and keywords are mentioned. If there’s a requirement or responsibility listed in the job description that you’ve performed in a current or previous role, it should be on your resume.
4. Put Your Latest Experience First
Recruiters still prefer the traditional reverse chronological format, where you list your current or most recent job first.
5. Break It Down
For each job, list out your responsibilities and accomplishments in easy-to-skim bullets, not in paragraphs, which look denser and harder to read. Make sure you start each of these bullets with a strong action verb.
6. Consider Adding Volunteer or Other Experience
Listing volunteer work or other interests can add personality to your resume and help you seem more three-dimensional. These experiences can also help you highlight transferable skills you’ve gained outside of the workplace.
7. Quantify Your Bullets
Wherever possible, add numbers and results to your bullet points to show the impact you had in a role. You can do this even if you’re not in a numbers- or dollars-oriented role: How frequently did you do a task? How big was your team? How many people used your product?
Use these tips to get your resume ready for the new decade—and get yourself that much closer to the perfect job.