If you haven’t written a resume in awhile, you may not be current on the trends in resume writing. You need to know what’s in and what’s out so that you don’t make costly mistakes when writing your resume.
Professional summaries are in and have been for several years now. A professional summary highlights a job seeker’s best assets and positions that person for the type of job that he or she is seeking. It has also become common to list core competencies (or keywords) underneath the summary so that the resume is more likely to be found by a recruiter or hiring manager after it has been scanned into a database.
Accomplishments are definitely in. A resume without crisply worded, powerful accomplishment statements is not likely to be noticed. Many job seekers make the mistake of simply listing their duties. But a laundry list of duties makes a job seeker sound like everyone else who has done similar work. Accomplishments distinguish you from your competition. And they show that you have actually made a contribution to the organization’s bottom line.
ASCII versions of your resume are in. Since job seekers often have to submit their information through an online form, it is best to have an ASCII version of your resume in addition to a Word version. The formatting in a Word document gets distorted when copied and pasted onto an online form, which is why the ASCII version is useful. The ASCII version is just plain text without the formatting. With ASCII you don’t have to worry about a bullet showing up on the other end as some other type of symbol.
A job objective is out for people who have experience in the field that they are applying for jobs in. If your work history supports your job objective, it’s not necessary to state that job objective explicitly on the resume.
References available upon request is out. It used to be standard as the last line on the resume, but now it is obsolete. It is simply expected that you will supply your references at the time of the interview.
Hobbies are out if they are unrelated to your job objective. You may really be a skydiving enthusiast, but if you are applying for a job as an accountant, it’s probably not worth mentioning in this setting.
Personal information is out. I still see resumes where people put their marital status and number of children. This is information that employers cannot ask about, and it is not information that should be included in a resume.
Leaving large gaps of time unexplained on the resume is unacceptable. If the gap is longer than three months, you need to account for the time somehow. If you did volunteer work during this time or stayed home with children, you can write this up so that you show job related skills.
*Have your resume professionally critiqued! Send the current version of your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, and a professionally resume writer will get back to you shortly.