Latest Trends in Résumé Writing

By Shel Horowitz, director, Accurate Writing & More

This is not your grandmother's résumé. Once upon a time, most résumés looked pretty much the same. They had the dates out on the left side, started with an objective, and offered a straightforward, chronological summary of education and experience. Often, they included such things as reason for leaving a job, full employer addresses, and age of the applicant (none of which we recommend including, in most cases). A lot of people are still writing that kind of résumé. But for about the last 20 years, there are a lot more interesting ways to present yourself on paper. We believe the right résumé format for you is the one that presents your strengths in the best possible light--because a résumé is not just an informational record; it's a marketing document. This might mean (to name some of many examples):

A skills or accomplishment-oriented format that highlights what you CAN do rather than where you've done it

Taking a job and breaking it into several components, with a paragraph for each

Mixed skills and chronological format

Separating work experience into several categories

A short summary page with a longer amplification

A format designed for scanners and Internet databases, laden with keywords or phrase that might be used in a search for your skills

For professors and performers, a long-form "curriculum vitae"

Another trend has to do with language. Light and breezy style is now accepted; clunky, passive language such as "was responsible for managing" is out--you could say the same thing with just one word: "managed"

And needless to say, any résumé must be attractive, easy to read, and printed out on a high-quality laser printer. Don't try to use an ink jet and hope no one will notice; the experienced eye can tell, and the inexperienced eye will just have a vague feeling that something's not quite right. Why shoot yourself in the foot?

Also, know what to leave out. In most cases, your high school education won't be relevant, and neither will your marital status and the number of children (In fact, in many places, it's illegal to ask questions about age, religion, marital and parental status.)

If you'd like affordable, expert help with this process, we're happy to write your résumé. Click Here to Get Started with Your Affordable Professional Résumé.

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