Digital Footprint (Part 5): A modern resume that stands out

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As we continue examining the Digital Footprint, we’d like to take a look at one of the essential elements for a job-seeker: a powerful modern resume.

All job seekers need a well-crafted resume that highlights their skills, experience and aptness for the position they are applying for.

You’ve heard of this almost all the time.

But as we progress through the digital age, the standard resume document formats, we get all the time seem to be falling out of fashion through extensive overuse.

Technological advances are shifting the way we search and apply for jobs and, inevitably, your typical resume will become obsolete.

Modernizing is the way to make all resumes stand out—from the creation of mobile-friendly cover letters and CVs to making the use of mobile apps.

You should use online resources to craft the modern resume.

Here is a look at how to use technology to create an optimized modern resume that is bound to impress a recruiter.

A move towards creative visual designs

Stand out from the pile of documents on the recruiter’s desk by creating your visual brand.

You don’t have to use expensive editing software. And there’s no need for incredible graphic design abilities when it comes to designing a modern resume.

All you need is an idea of how best to present your skills in an eye-catching visual manner, and a little bit of creative disposition.

Take a look at Pinterest for some design inspiration.

Once you get an idea of how you want to present your modern resume, you can use free image editing services like Ribbet or Picmonkey to make your vision a reality.

For those who still want to retain some traditional aspects, or find the idea of creating a design too daunting, a resume builder is a way to go.

Some naysayers will argue recruiters can spot template-built resumes from a mile away.

But, as long as you customize the given templates well, the result can come across as elegant and professional.

A quick tip on a modern resume: it’s best to have multiple versions of your resume.

A visually appealing resume is excellent on some occasions.

But for some jobs or certain circumstances, you may need to go for something more simplistic.

An example of this is when you are creating a cover letter and CV to make it easy to read on a mobile device.

Making layouts mobile friendly

This is quite simple to do.

A mobile-friendly resume needs to be easy to download and read on a small screen. So simplicity needs to be your key priority.

Some rules to follow include

  • keeping everything to a single column,
  • using a single font and making size variations to differentiate content,
  • while keeping extra lines, images and colours to a minimum.

Mobile resumes need to be simplistic, of course, but also shareable.

Find a way to save your mobile cover letter and CV online, so recruiters can readily access them.

A way to do this is to create an online portfolio and include it in your email signature.

Tips: There is no way of predicting which platform your recruiter will choose to open your resume. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to send a standard version in addition to the mobile version, just in case.

All about the written content

All of this is nothing without content that makes your skills shine through.

Sometimes, finding the right words to sell yourself to prospective employers can be a challenging feat.

If you want a quick solution to writer’s block, use a resume builder to help you flesh out the bullet points that you’d like to include for each of your previous roles.

The Resume Genius Free Builder, for instance, lets you generate and export these bullet points when you type out the descriptions related to your previous jobs and responsibilities.

Put the most suitable job keywords

And then, there is the issue of keywords within a job description.

We don’t need to tell you these make or break a job application.

A right way of finding the best keywords to use in your modern resume is to take the job description and input it into a word cloud generator like Wordle.

Look for the few words largest in size in the cloud, and make sure to include them.

Also, watch your wording.

Keep language simple, formal, and appropriate.

Opt for action verbs rather than passive, and use a thesaurus to help you describe things more impressively if appropriate.

Check your resume

Once you have inserted all the right keywords, while paying excellent attention to your sentence structures, check if your resume is both relevant to the job and easy to read.

Using digital tools to harness feedback is a great way to find out whether you have successfully created a document that presents your professional abilities.

Here are some ways to approach this.

  • Use a tool like Jobscan to check if your resume fully matches the job description.
  • If you need extra peace of mind, try running your resume through Rezscore too. It will give you a breakdown of how your resume scores in terms of effectiveness.
  • Use the Hemingway Editor app to determine whether your writing is easy enough to read.
  • Reach out for feedback on social media. Not just through your typical platforms, but through anonymous forums like Reddit too – just make sure to blur out any personal details you have in your resume if you choose to crowdsource feedback in this manner.

Other tech-savvy modern resume ideas

Where appropriate, include a link to your social media and networking profiles along with your contact details.

This is not limited to LinkedIn. By including a link to your Twitter profile, Google+ account or your blog, you help recruiters get better insight about you and your skills.

Just use a bit of common sense on the platforms to include, making sure there is nothing recruiters can see that could jeopardize their perceptions of you as a working professional.

Ever thought about incorporating a QR code into your resume?

You can use these in many creative ways.

For instance, a scannable QR code can direct employers to your website, or embedded videos of your references.

There are plenty of free online tools out there to create these QR codes, making them easy to incorporate into your resume.

Make use of graphs when highlighting your skills. You can use these as a quick visual guide to your levels of technical expertise across different areas.

Or, use graphic timelines to highlight your work experience and lead readers through different job positions you believe should receive greater focus.

In Conclusion…

These are just some ideas you can use to optimize and modernize the most traditional of job search documents.

With all the fantastic technology available to us, there is no excuse for keeping yourself out of the loop.

Make a move towards modernity, and leave a lasting impression.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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