A well-written resume is key to a job search. It is the first impression a prospective employer gets of an applicant. It should highlight skills, experience, work history, education, and any relevant accomplishments or professional credentials having been earned. There is only so much space to include all these items, so the face of resumes has changed a little to accommodate and make room for information that is helping employers determine who best suits their need. There are a few top things that can now be removed or left off resumes and it not hinder the chances of getting called in for an interview.
The first is a career objective. This item tells an employer what you want from them, when the focus should really be on what you have to offer the employer that meets their need. Instead of an objective, you may want to include a professional/qualifications summary. This summary tells a potential employer what you will bring with you if hired. Here’s an example of a professional summary:
Warehouse Supervisor with Management, Customer Service and Forklift Experience
Today, with the internet being of access to all who have an electronic device, the threat of resumes getting in the wrong hands is a possibility. Due to privacy issues and the potential for identity theft, it’s OK to leave your physical street address off a resume in the demographic section. Providing an email address, phone number and one’s formal name will suffice. Of course, this is not the case with an application for employment. There, a complete address is required by law. But for the new face of today’s resume, this is a welcomed change for many.
The skills section of a resume should now be focused on hard skills and competencies such as accounting, administrative, automotive, computer, construction, engineering, health care, teaching — not soft skills like flexibility, patience, problem-solving abilities, teamwork and time management. Soft skills are still very, very important and should definitely be included on your resume, but as descriptives somewhere in the work history or maybe inside the cover letter. This allows for better use of space in the skills section to really market the value one has to offer.
And lastly, the information placed in the education section of a resume shouldn’t go back too far. If one has a college degree or has received some type of post secondary education or training, it’s already assumed that you’ve graduated high school and it’s not necessary to make note of this on your resume. However, there are some exceptions. If you worked while in high school or maybe started a business, that’s something you should definitely make mention of in the relevant work experience section of your resume. This is something potential employers want to know and you should be very proud to share.
Resumes are still as crucial today as they were 50 years ago. Even though the job search process has turned digital, resumes are still needed to display the many qualifications and skills one has to offer a potential employer. Now that we are aware of these new resume updates that have recently emerged, let’s begin to customize and slenderize the content of our resumes to quickly grab the attention of potential employers, so we can move on to the next step in the hiring process — the interview.
Mary Parker is the Career Center coordinator at Central Carolina Community College and a global certified career development facilitator. She has a master’s in human resources management from North Carolina A&T State University and a post-master’s in college teaching, adult learning and leadership from UNC-Greensboro. Send comments or column ideas to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.