10 resume tips to try in 2020

10 resume tips to try in 2020

In our modern world, there’s no shortage of ways to market yourself to prospective employers.

LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube (and even Instagram) all provide avenues to build your personal brand and attract the attention of the right people. However, even in our digital era, a professional and polished resume never goes out of style.

A well-crafted CV allows you to encapsulate all of your skills, experience and strength into one central hub.

However, applying for a job no longer has to mean submitting a black and white document. Instead, resumes are evolving to allow for more creativity and individuality and will continue to do so in the new year.

Read on for 10 resume trends to try in 2020, to land your application right at the top of a hirer’s shortlist.

1. Create a simple resume website

If you really want your application to stand out against the pack, consider creating a simple website to house your CV. This can help create that ‘wow’ factor for hiring managers and shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond.

“Resume websites are becoming more common as a way for applicants to showcase their portfolio in a creative and interactive way,” says Rebecca McFarland, career coach and founder of Pop Your Career.

“By providing examples of your work rather than just submitting a standard resume document, you’re allowing employers to get a greater feel for who you are and what you can do. This is incredibly powerful.”

Via Hubspot

In the above example, you can see how entrepreneur Gary Sheng uses a CV website to demonstrate his unique personality and experience.

Using a landing page with a high-quality image of himself helps Gary put a face to his personal brand. He has also exhibited his work experience and portfolio in an interactive way, which is likely to leave a more lasting impression on a hiring panel.

The good news is, you don’t need to be a professional web developer (or pay one!) to whip up a simple website resume. Canva has a range of website templates that can easily be customized with your own imagery, information, and experience. With most of the hard work already done for you, you can publish a professional-looking resume website within minutes!

Do you have a personable and friendly personal brand? Canva’s Mint and White Resume CV website template is a great place to start when creating your CV.

2. Start with a career summary

Most hiring managers read hundreds of resumes per day, so you really need to capture their attention immediately.

Including a career summary near the top of your CV gives them a quick snapshot of your skills and experience, without them having to wade through paragraphs of text.

“Including a career summary helps position you as the best candidate for the role that you are applying for,” says Lucy Chalmers, resume writer and founder of Lucy Writes Resumes. “It should align with the skills of that role, yet it is also an opportunity to highlight one or two key skills that may be considered a value add or a bonus to the hiring manager.”

“To write this section successfully you need to understand the skill set that is required for your desired role, so grab a highlighter and read through the job ad, identifying key skills,” advises Lucy.

She also recommends keeping this section brief—you don’t want the recruiter to get bored and switch off! “Keep it to a maximum of four to six skills and don’t just list them out—integrate them into the copy,” she adds. If you have more strengths you want to draw attention to, you can always include them in a ‘skills’ list elsewhere.

Canva’s Blue Gradient Minimal Software Expert Resume lends itself to including a career summary, as it has both ‘profile’ and ‘areas of expertise’ sections at the top.

3. Use pops of color

You’re not bland or boring—so, why should your resume be? Integrating color is a great way to make your resume more engaging and eye-catching. “Pops of color allows you to stand out from the crowd and show off your personality,” says Rebecca McFarland.

“I always found that well-designed resumes with a touch of color get a second look—as much as recruiters and panel members try to be unbiased, we can’t help what our eyes are drawn to.”

Via Etsy

However, when it comes to color on your CV, less is often more. Unless you’re in a highly creative role (for example, in the art or design industries), you probably want to avoid going overboard on color—as this can just distract recruiters from your awesome application. However, adding little touches of color (such as in your header, in the example above) can be a great way to set your resume apart without being overwhelming.

Canva’s Neon Green Simple Resume template integrates pops of color into its header to draw attention to its most important sections. You can easily make this your own by adding your color of choice.

4. Use reverse chronological format

In most cases, your most recent work experience is going to be the most relevant. So, it makes sense to showcase it towards the top by using the reverse chronological format in your CV. “This is the best way to show your upward career progression and continuous work history,” says Lucy Chalmers. “A hiring manager is going to be most interested in your recent roles, responsibilities, and achievements, as these roles will tend to align most with the role you are hoping to progress into.”

Reverse chronological order is achieved by simply listing your most recent or current position first, then working your way backward. You can see this in action in the above resume example, where the creator has started with her present role—and has also listed her relevant tasks and achievements.

Many of Canva’s templates are created in reverse chronological format, including the Pink and Cream Web Developer resume. This makes it easy to slot in your most current work experience and proceed backward.

5. Video resumes

When done well, video resumes can be the perfect way to show hiring managers you're the cream of the crop. After all, if a picture paints a thousand words, a video can paint a memoir. “Want to really stand out? A video resume is definitely one way to demonstrate your communication skills, technical ability, and personality,” says Rebecca McFarland.

Via YouTube

Creating a video resume doesn’t necessarily mean you have to speak in front of the camera. In the above resume example by Josep Arroyo, he has created a stop motion video to showcase his creativity and ability to think outside the box—both important traits in the tech and marketing sphere. You can use Canva’s animator tool to help you create an animated video for your own CV.

That said, it’s important to note that a video CV may not be appropriate it all industries. So, it shouldn’t be used as a standalone resume, but rather an added bonus. “Just keep in mind that not all employers will accept a video resume and that you should have a resume document to submit in conjunction with, or instead of, your video when needed,” says Rebecca McFarland.

6. Metric-based lists

There’s nothing like some quantifiable data to show hiring managers how much value you could add to their organization. For example, maybe you’ve increased your current employer’s sales by 200% or increased their social media following by 10,000 in the time you’ve been there.

“Hiring managers love numbers because they add context and scope to the responsibilities of your role,” says Lucy Chalmers. “All potential candidates will list their previous responsibilities, yet few will actually support these with numbers!”

When it comes to using metrics, Lucy recommends focusing on the following three areas:

  • Growth – “What did you bring to the business? How much revenue did you generate? How many new clients to did you acquire?”
  • Reduction – “How much money did you save the business? What environmental efficiencies did you achieve? How much time did you save?”
  • Impact – “How many people have you assisted? How many teams have you led? How many clients have you managed?”

Using metric-based lists can be an excellent way to visually represent this information on your resume.

There are a few different ways you can do this on your CV. Using infographics like a pie chart accompanied with icons—as seen above— can be an excellent way to showcase your strengths. “Using icons to showcase key career metrics (not for each individual role) can be an eye-catching way to draw the reader’s attention to your career achievements,” says Lucy Chalmers.

Canva’s Black and Pastel Modern Creative Resume template has both in-built bar charts and icons with text you can use to help you visually represent your skills and experience.

7. Keep it brief

Short but sweet is the name of the game when it comes to your CV. Now, one to two pages is the golden standard for resumes. “If your resume is six pages, it’s too long,” says Rebecca McFarland. “Recruiters and panel members often have thousands of resumes to review, so you need to get to the point quickly"

Focus on keeping the most important information on the front page of your resume and unless something is integral to you getting the job, you’re best to omit it,” says Rebecca. Using icons and a split format—as seen above—can also help you fit more on the page.

Canva’s Black and White Bookmark Resume template is simple yet sleek—using a split layout to add visual interest and pack in all relevant information.

8. Use readable fonts

Using legible and professional-looking fonts is incredibly important in all designs. However, it becomes even more crucial when dealing with resumes. After all, you don’t want the recruiter to immediately toss you into the ‘no’ pile because your CV is too hard to read. “I always reminisce about the time I received a resume that was completely presented in the Papyrus font—it was an absolute nightmare to read,” says Rebecca McFarland. “As we’ve established, the people assessing your resume are busy, so make it easy for them.”

Via Standout CV

Your resume is one time when it’s best to avoid creative, experimental or cursive fonts. Instead, keep it simple and play it safe. According to HubSpot, Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri and Helvetica are some of the most preferred fonts of recruiters. In the above example, you can see how Calibri is a clear, neat font which is still very readable even at small sizes.

Canva’s Traditional Accountant Resume template uses Montserrat, another professional typeface you can’t go wrong with. However, you can easily change this to one of the other readable fonts mentioned above using our editing tools.

9. Include a mission statement

Mission statements have become increasingly popular on CVs in recent years and for good reason. In modern times, employees (especially Gen X and Y) have become more proactive about forging their own career path, rather than seeing it as ‘just a job.’ “A mission statement is a short and targeted statement that outlines your career direction,” says Lucy. “Basically, it states your goals of employment and should be tailored to suit the job you are applying for.”

Via Novo Resume

In some situations, a mission statement can replace your career summary. “If you are new to the workforce (for example a graduate) or making a significant career change, a career summary may not be relevant for your resume and a mission statement will be more suitable as it focuses on where you are hoping to progress to as opposed to what has already been achieved,” says Lucy Chalmers. It can also be a great choice for freelancers, as it can help their clients understand their passion, vision and unique point of difference. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice as to whether you want to include a career summary, mission statement or neither.

Sometimes, a mission statement is called an executive summary, as seen in Canva's Pastel and Black Shapes Modern Resume. You can easily personalize this with your own phrasing and content for your own CV.

10.Break it up with bullet points and headings

It’s important to break up text-heavy documents with formatting and your resume is no exception. “ You want to make your resume is as succinct and easy to read as possible and the best way to do this is through using headings and bullet points,” says Lucy Chalmers.

Via Hiration

In this example, you can see how the creator has used bolded headings to break his CV into sections. He has also used sub-headings and bullet points within this to draw attention to certain roles and achievements.

“Headings allow for each section to be clearly identified and bullet points allow for easy reading as you to place the most relevant points at the top of each previous position,” says Lucy. “Make sure you start the bullet point with a bolded topic, followed by an action verb.” For example, you may have: ‘Marketing–executed / planned / delivered.’

Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time or refreshing your current CV, these 20 resume trends can help ensure your application is a cut above the rest. Give them a go-to to land that coveted interview for your dream job in 2020.

Canva’s Blue and Light Corporate Pharmacologist Science Template uses colorful headings and bolded bullet points to create a CV that’s polished and easy to scan.

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