Far too often, people try to be different with their résumé— and I get it… It can be quite a bore for your resume to feel it’s just like everyone else’s. But usually ,the creativity falls flat — unless you’re applying to creative agencies— which is why you want to remember the basics:
Too many résumés rely on long lists of things you did in each job, but these lists lack real texture and context! Don’t just list your experiences; describe them! The STAR method is an awesome way to ask yourself the same questions a hiring manager will. Describe the Situation, the Task at hand, and the Action you took. Then detail the Result.
In other words, don’t just write that you increased sales by 10% (though quantifiable results are great to share!). Give your results more context. For example, you could say that despite losing part of the sales team, you stepped up and incorporated new methods to drive performance, which resulted in the increase. The advantage to this method is that you convey that your techniques are portable—and hiring managers will be eager for you to recreate a similar approach in a new environment.
If your goal is to land a remote job, it’s also important to emphasize your experience and success working virtually. Start by adding the word “remote” or at the very least “partially remote” beside either your job title or location. If it represents a percentage of your total work, then say so. If your remote work concluded with a return to the office, then make sure to set apart the dates you worked from home. Don’t forget to add “remote-friendly” skills to the Skills section: Slack, Google Drive Suite, Teamwork, Zoom and Skype. Although most career sites list remote jobs, if your goal is full-time remote employment, you’ll want to focus on your attention on sites like FlexJobs, JustRemote and Hubstaff Talent.
In fact, your résumé should be updated for each new job application, precisely reflecting the job posting and earning a green “go” signal from the often-used applicant tracking software (ATS). In fact, around 70% of résumé submissions never get seen by an actual human. Instead they are discarded by ATS searches because the résumé did not reflect the job posting’s keywords, skills or requirements. Make sure to add these to your résumé before submitting. Expand on them in your cover letter.
Yes, age discrimination is illegal, as well as many other forms of discrimination that still happen. Unfortunately, our always-on, online world makes it exceedingly easy to discriminate. A quick review of your LinkedIn or other social media postings means the hiring manager can exclude you without giving your résumé a second glance. In some industries, age discrimination is rampant. If you’re concerned by it, you should also consider removing the date you graduated from college
Trim away any positions from 10 to 15 years ago, and consider a new email address if your current one is not professional. Although you don’t want to copy templates, you should know current résumé formats. That means avoiding phrases like “references available upon request.” Make sure your Skills section is modern as well with Slack, Skype and Zoom skills included.