12/12/2019 Stephanie Anderson

Resume strategies to stand out in 2020

How people job search has evolved through the decades, but one constant has stood the test of time: the resume. For professionals trying to score an interview, it’s just as necessary to have one today as it was in the 1950s. However, that doesn’t mean you should apply the same resume writing style as your grandparents. If you want to get noticed, customizing and modernizing your resume is essential.

Last week LinkUp was proud to host a “Day of Success” for Dress for Success Twin Cities. We partnered with resume expert Stephanie Staff, owner of Resumes with Results, to provide resume reviews, as well as helpful resume tips to stand out in 2020 and beyond. Considering the modern challenges of making it past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and then standing out to a hiring manager who may review your resume for mere seconds, these tips couldn’t come at a better time.

Tip 1: Keep your resume concise

The rule of thumb for resume length is one page for every 10 years of experience. Do not exceed two pages unless you are a PhD/MD/academic and have publications and speaking engagements you want to highlight. People do not have the time nor desire to read a long resume, so your job is to quickly make the case why you’re the best candidate for the position.

Tip 2: Be selective in copy

Select only the most relevant and compelling accomplishments that you want to use in your next position. These are the things you are proud of and find exciting and challenging, meaning you would like to do them again at a future position. Other accomplishments and skills can be highlighted during the interview conversation.

Tip 3: Show your impact

Provide measures of your impact to the business by using metrics, results, examples or statistics. Saying you improved customer retention is nice. Saying you improved customer retention by 76% in just 6 months by taking three specific actions is nicer. Add numbers to complement your experience and you’ll make your resume shine.

Tip 4: Verify ATS compatibility

When you upload your resume online and an ATS reviews it, there could be hidden HTML coding you can’t see. To test your resume, paste it into Windows Notepad and you’ll see what it will look like when uploaded into an ATS system and corporate website. If there are strange symbols and inconsistent spacing, revise the document.

Tip 5: Proof, proof, proof

Every resume should be free of spelling and grammar errors. It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of college or a seasoned member of the C-suite, if there are errors, it’s nearly impossible to make up the mistake. Review it frequently and have a trusted contact or resume writer do the same.

Check out our resume and cover letter tips and tricks slick sheet for more advice from Stephanie Staff.

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