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Is new year, new job your 2023 goal? You’re not alone. After a stressful few years of pandemic furloughs, recession layoffs, and quiet quitting, nearly 70 percent of workers are looking for new jobs. If you’re hoping to secure something new this year, dusting off and updating your resume is an inevitable first step. But if you’re overwhelmed at the idea of picking out a template — and filling it with bullets and words — not to worry. I sat down with a career coach and a hiring manager to learn what companies are looking for this year.
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Career and leadership coach, Erin W. of Talking Shop with Erin, stresses the importance of simplicity and minimalism with resumes. She explains, “Keep it simple might sound like a cliche, but for resumes, it’s true. This clean, straightforward template [focuses] on your accomplishments without resorting to flashier design elements like photos and charts that rarely make it past the applicant tracking system,” the software that allows recruiters to track candidates through the hiring process.
A hiring manager or a recruiter should be able to read your resume from top to bottom; there shouldn’t be several boxes fighting for their attention. When proofing your resume, Erin advises job seekers look for more than grammatical errors. “Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. If your resume is confusing or hard to read, your application is more likely to be rejected.”
When in doubt, think of your resume like an Instagram account. “Treat your resume like a highlight reel, not a laundry list — include only the experiences and accomplishments that relate to the job you’re applying for,” Erin shares.
For professionals with more experience, ditching the one-page rule is OK. “If you’ve got the experience to justify it, don’t be afraid to go onto the second page.”
Both hiring managers and career coaches alike stress the importance of steering clear of flashy gimmicks. Marketing and hiring manager, Tiffany Bryant, shares, “Contrary to popular trends, it’s better to keep your resume simple, so it’s easy for recruiting software to read it. It doesn’t have to be a fancy Canva template.”
Bryant believes your efforts are better spent highlighting your metrics with bullet points. “Include results in your resume that truly showcase your value. If you helped secure $60K in revenue for the company, explain how. Companies want to see examples of your success.” Erin echoes this sentiment, saying, “Be as specific as possible when describing the results you’ve achieved throughout your career. Swap ‘managed email campaigns’ for ‘increased clickthrough rates by 15 percent during the year-end giving campaign.’ A bonus: seeing your accomplishments spelled out so clearly is a major confidence boost.”
Stuck on what to highlight? Consider the following:
Finally, if there’s one thing to leave off your resume, Bryant says it’s your photo. She advises prospective candidates to be mindful of unconscious bias and diverse hiring practices and guardrails that managers may be working within. “Avoid putting your picture on your resume. You’re inviting unconscious bias into the process,” she says.
Even if you’re not looking for a new gig quite yet, keeping your resume up to date is always a wise idea. And refreshing your bullets in a sleek new template right at the start of the new year? That’s a gift to your future self.