Effective resume writing is always a moving target. The preferences of recruiters and hiring agents are constantly changing, and staying abreast of these changes is the best way for a jobseeker to communicate professionalism and differentiate himself from the competition. Here are the top 2 trends that will become heavily in demand in 2012:
1) Personal Themes
The first step to creating a personal theme for your resume is identifying exactly what it is! Simply put, a personal theme is a 2-3 line encapsulation of what makes you special. Sure, employers are looking for candidates that possess the skills listed in a particular job posting. But that’s only half the story (and the reason why mirroring skills in a resume based on a job posting rarely results in interviews). They want to be impressed by skills that COMPLEMENT what they’re looking for and lend some insight into what you, and no one else can bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to communicate passion! Here’s an example of a great personal theme for a Product Manager candidate:
“Accomplished leader with a passion for developing and launching industry-first products, building long-term client relationships, and spearheading process improvement and QA initiatives. Highly skilled in crafting targeted branding and marketing strategies, managing large external sales forces, and consistently exceeding revenue targets. Expert communicator with a track record of success spanning both established and startup environments. “
Make this personal theme the opening for your resume and make sure that the abilities listed are touched on in various forms through the work history section.
2) Strategic Editing
Lack of proper editing can kill a resume regardless of a candidate’s experience. Conversely, strategic editing can minimize all sorts of possible red flags and shows that you respect a reader’s time, which is always valued. Apart from the good practice of keeping the document limited to 2-3 pages, here are some tips to reduce clutter and maximize impact:
-Group together short-term or contract positions into a “Short-Term Position Highlights” or similar section in your work history. This section would use 1 bullet per job mentioning a key accomplishment, as well as the exact job title, company name, and dates.
-If you’ve held positions of gradually increasing responsibility within the same company, you are not obligated to list each position in-depth. Instead, focus on the most recent job and, within the “Key Accomplishments” or similar section, include a line that references the older jobs. An example would be “Promoted from Sales Associate to Sales Manager during tenure.”
-Only list education and training credits that are RELEVANT to the type of job you’re seeking. You have the option to leave everything else out.
Best of luck in your job search!