The debate about what a good resume should contain in the year of 2016 is a never ending one. People disagree about the dos and don’ts of resumes every day while the resume standards keep changing. Every year, new things are discovered about what will make a resume more interesting and readable for an employer. Initially, long resumes were all the rage as people thought that the more they write, the better their employment chances will be. However, this has changed drastically over the years. Nowadays, more concentration is put on the quality of the information on a resume rather than its length. Why? It is simple; recruiters just do not have the time to read long stories. They need quality information so that they can decide quickly as they are bombarded with resumes everyday!
So what do the year 2016 demand from job seekers as far as resume writing is concerned? Plenty! We have established the fact that long resumes are a definite NO.
Sections of a Resume in 2016
Let us discuss what elements a resume should contain. A resume which will be deemed competitive needs to hold an engaging professional profile/summary which will provide information about your key talents and abilities in a paragraph form. What is also important is mentioning of your core competencies, relevant experience and educational background. You can also mention your affiliations and awards.
Now that we know what will be considered a good resume in 2016, let us now discuss the dos and don’ts of information in a resume.
• Use professional and easy to read fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman and Verdana
• Underline, bold or italicize information to emphasize important categories
• Tailor your resume for each position per requirements of a specific employer
• Quantify your accomplishments and use power verbs to provide credence to your statements
• Use bullet points for clarity
• Put special emphasis on your transferable skills
• Proofread and edit your resume several times before you submit it
• Write your resume based on a ready-made template
• Use fancy fonts and colors
• Exaggerate your experiences or accomplishments. You will be tested on them
• Include personal information like marital status, social security number or date of birth (An exception is federal resumes)
• Llist your references. If required, provide your references on a separate page or enclose letters of reference with your job application package.
If you are applying for an entry level position, you will have to write more information pertaining to your skills as that is all you will have to bank on. This means that you may have to tweak the sections on a resume according to what you need to write – core competencies will become academic accomplishments etc. However, if you are an experienced individual, you may want to take full advantage that different sections in a resume provide to you.
Below are some general guidelines and tips that must be kept in mind when attempting to build the best resume for any position in 2016.
Use of Adjectives and Power words: Replacing a few verbs with stronger action words and adding a few powerful adjectives here and there in your resume can work wonders. These power words will magically enhance the impression of your resume on potential employers.
Objectivity: Since recruiters don’t have enough time to go through long sentences or paragraphs, they prefer objectively formatted resumes. You can replace your qualifications section with a 3×3 tabular Core Competencies section to relieve the reader’s eyes.
Length: The average length of a resume must strictly be less than one and a half page. While formatting, keep in mind that one section doesn’t split on two pages.
Evidenced Accomplishments: 2016 onwards, as the competition increases in the market, every claim will need to be proved. This is where solid, quantified accomplishments come in.
Keywords: Resume scanning and shortlisting has increasingly become computerized. Make sure you include sufficient industry specific terminology. This will help software and human beings to detect relevance in your resume.
Performance Summary/Profile: A well stated summary or profile statement can set the desired tone for any resume. Invest time in writing a power packed performance summary highlighting your maximum value.
Layout and Format: 2015 has seen a strong drift towards functional/skills based resumes as well as combination resumes. Many recruiters agree that these are easier to scan and provide required information instantly. So get rid of the old fashioned chronological or reverse chronological resume and go for a skills based or combination resume in the year of 2016.