Are you seeking a new job this 2021? The first step to securing a new position this new year is to impress the Hiring Manager with your resume.
To do so, you have to optimise the content, format and design of your resume as per the latest resume writing trends 2021.
Landing a new role this 2021 is not an easy feat. If you’ve submitted multiple applications but have not heard back from potential employers, there’s a chance that your resume is hindering you from being shortlisted.
In this article, our expert resume writers have come up with five key resume tips in 2021. Read and note these points from our resume experts to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest resume trends this new year.
Start off with a strong professional profile
If your current resume starts with an objective statement, it’s time to make key changes this 2021. Objective statements talk about the type of jobs you want for yourself.
Instead of listing out your wants, use the opening statement as your elevator pitch. Consider writing a professional profile to create a strong first impression.
Write a professional profile that’s about 4-6 sentences in length (or between 50 and 200 words). Make your professional profile more reader-friendly by splitting it into 2-3 paragraphs.
The first sentence should talk about you – your years of experience in your target position/industry, relevant qualifications and so on.
The succeeding sentences should enumerate your signature skills relevant to the job ad. Exclude irrelevant and/or not so important information such as your citizenship or residency status.
Improve the readability of your experience section
Does your current resume suffer from these crucial errors?
- Huge blocks of texts with no bullets – which forces the reader to read every line to find the details they’re looking for
- Too many bullet points (more than 10) – which can be too overwhelming for the reader
- Not enough information – which makes it difficult for the Hiring Manager to assess if you’re the best fit for the job
If your resume takes more than 6 seconds to skim, it will likely be tossed to the ‘no’ pile.
Make your experience section reader-friendly by listing a maximum of eight bullet points, with each bullet not exceeding two lines. Try to merge common responsibilities together or completely remove duties that are not relevant to your target role.
If you have more than one achievements in each role, separate your ‘Key Responsibilities’ from your ‘Key Achievements’ section under each position.
Use the ‘storytelling’ approach
You may have heard of the phrase “Show, don’t tell.” This concept also applies to resume writing.
Instead of claiming you have excellent organisational skills, tell the unique story of how you’ve used these skills in the workplace to solve a problem.
The storytelling approach that recruiters and hiring managers like to see looks something like this:
What was the challenge/problem that you had to resolve + what actions did you take to resolve this + what was result/outcome
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Make your resume robot-friendly
This 2021, more and more companies will start using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to narrow down candidates by parsing resume keywords and comparing these with the job ad.
This will eliminate around 60-70% of applications before their resumes even reach the hiring manager.
Make sure your resume makes the cut by using a layout that is readable by the ATS. Here’s how:
- Label your key sections correctly – use common headlines to organise your key resume sections, such as ‘Work Experience,’ ‘Professional Profile,’ ‘Qualifications,’ ‘Education’ and ‘Key Skills.’ Don’t be tempted to get creative by coming up with non-conventional labels (e.g. Skills Toolbox, Major Abilities, Career Progression).
- Avoid using graphics, photos and unique fonts – pictures could result in garbled content when your resume is parsed by the ATS; whereas funky fonts are difficult for the ATS to read.
- Don’t use text boxes and columns – texts formatted using this manner are not read by the ATS.
- Use font size in between 10-12 – ATS is generally able to recognise font sizes in between 10 and 12 points.
- Avoid underlining texts with lowercase letters q, j and g – these letters might not scan correctly with an ATS.
Other resume tips in 2021
- Keep your resume lean and short – there’s no standard length for Australian resumes but try to limit your resume to a maximum of 4 pages for C-Level Executives/Senior Managers, 2-3 pages for professionals, and one page for school leavers.
- Add hyperlinks of your social media accounts – specifically of your LinkedIn profile. This would allow the HR team to check if the information on your resume is consistent with the information posted online. So keeping a professional image online can give you some plus points in your job application.
- Start sentences with action verbs – which means you have to avoid starting your bullet points with ‘Accountable for,’ ‘Promoted from,’ or ‘Challenged with.’
- Send your resume between after 9 p.m. or early in the morning before 9 a.m. – this ensures your resume is seen by employers when they first check their emails.
- The best days of the week to submit your resume are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Why? You skip the piles of emails that have accumulated over the weekend and ensure you don’t send it when they’re wrapping up their last-minute task before the weekend.
To sum it up
Following these latest resume trends in 2021 can keep your ground in a highly competitive job market. Keeping your resume short and concise, using an ATS-friendly design and making sure that you’ve showcased your key skills and achievements are some of the key factors in building an effective resume this 2020.
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