How to write a resume in 2020

by Tyler D. | 5 min read

Resume writing is a skill all too often overlooked by job seekers, to their own detriment. A great resume is much like a great recipe. Worded well, it can make potential employers salivate even before meeting you in person. Worded poorly, it can make their stomachs turn. Unfortunately, in recent years, the art of resume writing has only grown in complexity.

As we progress, our use of technology continues to alter the basic ways in which we handle all tasks. Businesses have certainly not been immune to this trend, with software and automation taking root in almost all areas of operation. In the talent acquisition corner, software already reigns supreme, serving as the first net with which big businesses catch good applicants while ignoring the bad. Thus, resume writing in 2018 involves circumventing not only the dulled senses of tired recruiters, but also the algorithms put in place to separate viable applicants from unacceptable ones.

This article should help to guide job seekers safely through this modern application minefield by touching on the key elements of resume writing that matter most this year.

Step 1 – The Basics

There are plenty of interesting and effective ideas in regards to the formatting and styling of your resume, but we will go over all the details later. Of primary importance are the basic fundamentals that your resume must contain to serve its purpose effectively.

Be sure to include all of your contact information along with a strong opening statement. You will also need a list of your skills, education and employment history as well as a reference or two (if possible).

Step 2 – The ATS

As was mentioned before, technology is a big part of the recruiting process for both large and small companies alike. Thus, it can help to know the basics of bypassing the programs keeping you from your dream job. These programs are known as ATS or applicant tracking systems and bypassing them is simple.

All you need to do is pay close attention to the keywords that were used in the job description and match them closely at least once in your resume. This is the single most effective way to sidestep these types of programs and get your resume into human hands.

Another great thing you can do is deliberately section off your resume into Contact Information, Skills, Experience and Education. These are the four sections the software is most likely to divide your resume into as it is being processed, so it can help to be proactive in signaling where each portion begins and ends.

Step 3 – Transcend the Page

No, you need not take up intermittent meditation to make this possible. All you need to do is be yourself. Nothing bores recruiters like a resume printed by the hands of a lifeless machine. This is your chance to grab their attention and (hopefully) inspire them to hire you. Try not to waste it by sounding lifeless.

There are plenty of ways to inject personality into your resume, but it is probably ideal to get creative at the beginning and/or end of the document. As was noted above, a strong opening statement is fundamental to a good resume. Confine the bulk of your personal touches to this area as human eyes will be glancing here first.

Resume writing is so much more than the stringing together of bullet points and buzzwords. Your resume can be a prime ticket to a successful career or it can suck. Aim to complete the series of steps outlined above and you should be set to capture the attention of prospective recruiters instead of falling between the cracks.