Do You Even Need a Résumé Anymore?
What it takes to get in the door in the digital age.
According to White Plains HR exec Luba Sydor, CEO & founder Person2Person, LLC, the answer is a resounding “Yes,” but both style and substance matter. Here are some suggestions to boost your efforts to get past the front door.
Résumés have changed a lot. Format, design, and content have become much more flexible, and there’s no longer one right way to do it.
Professional Summary: Objective statements are a thing of the past. Use a summary statement instead, which is basically just an elevator pitch for why you’re the best person for this job.
Skills: The key to highlight your core qualifications and beat the ATS bot (see below). Capture skills directly from the job description to show a link in your qualifications.
Work History: Keep history short, simple, and benefits-driven.
Education & Training: Identify the university, degree, major course of study. No graduation dates except for entry-level candidates
Awards & Achievements & Professional Affiliations: A simple overview, no more
Optimize for ATS
Applicant tracking systems, or ATS, are designed to screen résumés using specific keywords, and the system will alert recruiters only when résumés match the criteria of an open position. To know which keywords will signal the bot that you’re a candidate to send through, read the job posting requirements carefully: The keywords they’re looking for will most likely be in the list of qualifications required. Then you can modify your intriguing first line with a little SEO magic.
Your social media profile and traditional résumé are resources meant for different audiences. Online profiles are for recruiters and employers who are searching for candidates online. Traditional résumés are meant for the hiring managers at companies where you apply for jobs.
Use your LinkedIn profile as a virtual résumé. The overwhelming majority of professions use LinkedIn, so your profile not only has to exist, it also has to support your résumé. The LinkedIn info should match your traditional résumé. Also, marking yourself as “open to opportunities” will allow recruiters to more easily identify and contact you. Add your LinkedIn vanity URL to the contact information on your résumé so that recruiters can easily click through to learn more about you.
Show what you know
Simply including a section listing skills and proficiencies is no longer good enough. Today, it’s critical to show the impact your work had on the organization. You’ll want to highlight how your hard skills were key to a project’s success, so be specific. Include metrics and quantify everything, if possible.
You’ve submitted an application: Follow up between 5 and 10 business days.
You’ve gone through phone screening: Follow up the same day.
You had an in-person interview: Follow up that day or the next day with a handwritten or emailed thank-you note.
You’ve received the dreaded “I’ll Let You Know When I Have an Update” Email: Follow up after at least 5 to 7 business days.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps are in the process. This can help reduce some of the stress during the waiting period.
A typical résumé should be one page for recent grads, entry-level applicants, or in-person networking, or two pages for most job seekers, particularly with 5+ years’ experience.