Tossing your hat into the ring for a fresh new job? What should your resume look like in 2020?
Today’s resume trends require a well-thought out strategy to catch an employer’s eye – positioning you as the top candidate for the job.
Like this award-winning Chief Marketing Officer resume, a bold look and ATS-relevant writing strategy will both help get your resume noticed among the competition in 2020.
According to Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa in What Does a Modern Resume Look Like, you’ll need to put relevant information in the RIGHT places to guide the reader.
Here’s what’s your resume should look like in 2020 – and what it needs to convey your value as the RIGHT candidate:
1 – Your resume should contain strong accomplishments with metrics in 2020.
It’s no longer a good idea to list your job descriptions on your resume and call it a day.
Instead, you’ll need to capture quantifiable proof of performance in dollars, percentages, or other figures. By displaying context and metrics, your resume will reflect your value proposition as a top candidate for the 2020 job market!
First, make a list of top career wins, such as major contracts, large initiatives, productivity improvements, or cost savings.
Next, put figures in each of your success stories, such as profit gains or improvements in market share. Your 2020 resume should contain succinct sentences that demonstrate results, as in these examples:
Expanded revenue 45% by opening APAC and European markets, using compelling marketing campaigns against established competitors.
Captured $40M in savings with efficiency projects identifying security, automation, and systems improvements.
2 – Your 2020 resume should incorporate a dash of color.
The most effective resumes of 2020 will selectively use color to distinguish core elements of your personal brand.
As an example, this Healthcare CIO resume uses a single deep-blue tone to set off important blocks of information, coupled with shades of gray and some gold for contrast.
Straightforward in design, it allows for simple navigation through a highly technical career.
Not sure how to use color? Start by changing one facet of the resume, such as your headings, for a fresh look.
3 – Your resume should apply a branded, storytelling approach in 2020.
An impressive resume provides a glimpse into your personality and work ethic – not just a list of duties. To truly express your value, you’ll need to take a hard look at your career wins, and answer the following:
- What results have you achieved that are considered above and beyond expectations?
- What do you consistently accomplish at each job that shows a pattern of leadership? These might be turnarounds, cost-saving initiatives, or ideas for business development.
- How did you attain these results? What models or steps did you create that are unique in your industry or company?
- What type of feedback do you receive on the quality of your work?
Use your answers to build a picture of each career success, including the context of your achievements and the actions you took, such as these examples:
Built 187% average sales record by consulting with decision-makers and overcoming objections with personal customer references.
Turned around troubled healthcare account and landed $2B+ deals using responsive follow-through – displacing Fortune 500 competitors.
Storytelling in your 2020 resume is one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate leadership skills!
4 – Your 2020 resume will benefit from branding headlines.
Just like headlines in a marketing campaign, you can condense your message of value – saving valuable space and quickly driving home your point.
In 2020, your resume is a primary marketing tool, and deserves the same attention.
In this example of an Chief Revenue Officer resume, these headlines serve as summary statements to convey a record of growth and customer retention:
Shattered Growth Records at AT&T By Closing Gaps Between Vision & Execution
Generated #1 Revenue & Customer Churn Metrics for 16 Straight Quarters
To craft a headline, think about what you’ve done that consistently generates praise or promotions, or the skills you possess that enable you to get stronger results than your peers.
Now, shorten these thoughts into a concise line stating your value – and you’ll have the right formula for a persuasive headline.
5 – Your resume should use a strategic mix of keywords to pass 2020 ATS systems.
In 2020, your resume needs to appease both the human reader and Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems, so you’ll need to add keywords matching your desired jobs.
To do this, gather several job postings that interest you, then extract each skill you possess from the descriptions (such as Budget Management, Sales Strategy, IT Operations, Prospecting, or Team Building). Aim for at least 30 skills, particularly those you see repeated for each job.
Add these keywords by blending them into your job descriptions and achievement sentences, or create a Core Competencies section. Either way, your keyword content will help draw attention (and an ATS match) from employers.
6 – Your 2020 resume could benefit from a chart or other graphics.
If you’ve never used a visual example in your resume, you’re not alone.
However, 2020 is the perfect time to upgrade your resume presentation.
A chart is one of the best ways to show your achievements, particularly if you led a long-term growth trend or saved considerable costs at work.
By supplying a picture instead of dense blocks of text, you’ll be able to point out valuable data to employers.
As an example, this RVP Sales resume employs a growth performance chart to show multi-category revenue wins, allowing the reader to quickly skim for more detail. This tutorial on charts in Microsoft Word can give you a quick-start lesson on adding a chart.
NOTE: You’ll want to put the chart “in front” of text that conveys the same data, enabling ATS systems to pick it up.
7 – Your 2020 resume can employ innovative resume section headings.
Custom-design section headings to represent your own brand in your resume. For example, your achievements could be shown under “Sales & Market Share Results.” If you lack formal education, you can still include an Education section titled “Professional Development and Training.” The idea is to explain your value-add with these descriptions.
If you are applying to online postings, however, submit a resume with standard headings (which lets the ATS parse them correctly), then follow up by sending your innovative resume version to a hiring manager.
So what should your resume look like in 2020?
A compelling, powerful tool complete with strong content and undeniable value to employers.
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