Resume formats and styles have rapidly evolved along with technologies for computing, mobile phone service and social media. It’s no longer enough to print a cover letter and resume and drop it in the mail. Resumes must be in digital or electronic formats. They must be filled with effective keywords so recruiters can match candidates with job requirements. Candidates must use "wow" words to get recruiters’ attention and vividly describe their qualifications, experience and achievements. Modern resume styles far exceed the printed paper and include a range of formats, including slide shows, compact discs and videos.
Resumes submitted online are easily and instantly searchable by recruiters using keywords. Resumes without relevant keywords won’t get the recruiter “hits” during searches and won’t be effective. Recruiters commonly use applicant-tracking systems and online searchable resume databases to narrow down qualified candidates to a manageable number. They search keywords relating to job skills, educational level, specific experience and geographical location. For example, a recruiter looking for qualified registered nurses for a position in a Manhattan, New York, hospital cancer wing would search with the following keywords: RN, registered nurse, oncology, B.S., and Manhattan. Resumes without any of these words and phrases would not come up in the search.
One of the main purposes of resumes is to get the attention of the hiring manager, recruiter or decision maker, and the best way to get attention with your resume is to use "wow" words. These are strong, descriptive action verbs that describe your strengths, skills and career accomplishments. Examples include “successfully executed” instead of processed; “accurate” instead of complete; and “conducted” or “coordinated” instead of planned or held. To ensure that you have a powerful, effective resume, use a dictionary and thesaurus while drafting your resume; review sample resumes for jobs similar to the one you are looking for; and have someone read your resume and circle boring or plain words that you can replace.
There are various ways to get a resume to an employer. You can email it, upload it to online resume databases, or upload your resume in response to an employer’s job posting. But if you have a smartphone and want to be able to send your resume instantly from anywhere and at any time, use a mobile resume application. You can send your resume while on the train, at the mall, or out to lunch.
Many more resume formats are available to job candidates besides the traditional printed version. New Media in electronic and online form present resume information in engaging, visually appealing ways. Candidates and job-seekers can present their resumes in video format, talking about their qualifications in a candid and professional manner while a relative, friend or videographer films them. They can use a video resume in social media or on a compact disc to give to an employer. Job-seekers can present their resumes in an attractive visual way by creating a slideshow in Powerpoint or Slideshare. They can upload an audio file to their social media profiles hitting their resume highlights.
- Resumes for Dummies; Joyce Lain Kennedy
- Unbeatable Resumes; Tony Beshara and Dr. Phil McGraw
- Resumes, Cover Letters, Networking, and Interviewing; Clifford W. Eischen and Lynn A. Eischen
Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.