Not-so-breaking news: Two-page resumes are fine. And in some instances, they may even capture the attention of a recruiter more than a one-pager. Though it’s easy to forget since 2020 has been an unpredictable year, it is the start of a new decade.
Another 10 laps around the sun inspire new networking methods, change business customs, and create ‘new normals’ for applying for gigs. If you are looking to make a move in your career or are unemployed and actively applying, consider these resumes trends as predicted by career experts.
Resume length is a myth
Resume expert Wendi Weiner says while your resume used to be a mere summary of your work history, today it a keyword search tool. How come? Thanks to the development of ATS and other systems created to filter through applicants, your resume now needs to be as thorough as possible to beat the system.
Weiner says this document should be ripe with various phrases that illustrate your experience, while also checking boxes off job descriptions. “The rule of thumb is that your resume should be as long as it needs to convey your career story. You want to emphasize achievements, results, and projects to highlight your leadership and value,” she adds.
Resume designs that include left-hand columns
Does your current resume only have text? If so, your resume might be outdated, according to Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume. As she explains, fresh resume designs are continually tested to determine which will satisfy the ATS software requirements and grab catches recruiters’ eyes.
One creative approach is to use columns to separate text and emphasize specific (and impressive) parts of your experience. Augustine says at TopResume they’ve found that resumes with a left-hand rail or column offer a fresh look that employers’ attention, but also successfully passes through the ATS, whereas a resume with a right-hand rail or column will not.
Resume gaps will not be frowned upon in 2020
In the past, one of the greatest worries for those who have been laid off or went through an extended period of unemployment was having too large of a gap on their resume. It was usually considered a red flag to employers, and something to avoid at all cost.
Given the nature of an unpredictable pandemic, Weiner says not to fret if it’s longer than you would have liked. Instead, make yourself a more attractive candidate during this time and make sure to add it to your resume. “Don’t be afraid to highlight the gap in your work and discuss what you’ve done to fill in the time: undertaking a new course, new certification program, or even doing an unpaid internship/mentoring gig,” she continues. “It can be something to show how you’ve turned lemons into lemonade during this historical and unprecedented time.”
Remote work takes center stage
There have never been more professionals logging in to the ‘office’ from their homes across the globe than now. Nearly all industries have adjusted to remote work, and how you’ve faired as an individual should be a big part of your resume, according to business coach and author Ivy Slater.
Make sure to express how you’ve adapted, providing examples of leadership, as well as technology proficiencies. Since many companies will have some sort of away-from-office working program for the foreseeable future, explaining how you’ve been flexible and proactive will set you apart from other candidates.
COVID results/strategies are a must
In a similar vein, however, you have adapted to the COVID-19 crisis is a must-have for your resume in 2020, 2021, and beyond, according to Weiner. Mainly, if you’ve been on the frontlines navigating human resources, team morale or other departments. “If you’ve been making executive leadership decisions on managing the pandemic for your company, or any other items of importance, you should discuss the impact of your work,” she continues. “It’s clear that this is a trying time, but it’s a great way to stand out and discuss how you’ve handled it in a proactive rather than a reactive way.”
Soft skills and personality traits will gain more resume real estate
While robots get the job done, they won’t meet you for a coffee and a breath of fresh air when you need a break. And even if someone is an incredibly skilled, talented, and award-winning professional, if no one wants to be around him or her, it’s unlikely they will be successful at a company. According to Augustine, especially in times of chaos—say, a global pandemic—those soft skills matter more than ever.
In fact, according to a recent study conducted by TopInterview and Resume-Library, 70 percent of employers consider a candidate’s personality to be among the top three factors in deciding whether to extend a job offer. And a whopping 62 percent said they wished resumes provided greater insight. “In the age of COVID-19, we’re finding that employers favor candidates who possess certain traits in addition to the job-related skills, such as flexibility, adaptability, critical thinking, and problem-solving,” Augustine continues. “Expect to see more resume space dedicated to offering insights into a candidate’s personality and proving that they possess the soft skills employers care about.”
Resumes slowly become less relevant
Though you shouldn’t toss your resume into your computer’s trash can just yet, some experts believe one day, we won’t use one at all. As a career coach and co-founder of Going Places Anna Schuilger predicts, eventually we will get to a place where LinkedIn will represent your work, or a video that shows people what you’re capable of, rather than writing about your work history.
“If five years ago, 50 percent of the job-hunting process was having a killer resume, now it’s 20 percent. There are more qualified people looking for positions than ever before,” she explains. “So, the other 80 percent is your ability to speak well to your experience and to explain how you are going to add value.” And those aspects are demonstrated through networking and interviewing—not a resume.