What’s the first step to landing your dream job? Creating a stand-out resume. The ultimate vehicle for communicating your professional capabilities and experience, a well-crafted CV is a balance of effective and spare language as well as eye-catching yet accessible design; a challenge that can send even the calmest professional into a minor tailspin. While it’s undeniably difficult to cram all of your relevant experience into a few pages while also considering the interests of a recruiter, it’s certainly not impossible to create a timeless—and simultaneously trendy — resume.
Read below for modern resume trends you can tap into for 2020.
If you think data is on its way to ruling the world, you’re not far off: over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Harness this new partiality to using data as proof by including some in your resume.
“Hiring managers love numbers because they add context and scope to the responsibilities of your role,” says Lucy Chalmers, expert resume creator and founder of Lucy Writes Resumes. “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:
Using metric-based lists can be an excellent way to visually represent this information on your resume and there are a few different ways you can do this. Infographics are a great way to showcase your strengths in a concise and visually arresting way, especially when you add custom graphics that personalize it to your and your experience.
“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 Chalmers.
One thing is common to every applicant; a CV. Something that’s a little less common is an online hub of all your achievements, which 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.”
Although it’s most popular with those creative industries such as design, writing, and marketing, creating a website to house the work you’re most proud of will act as an instant ambassador. What should you include? Start by creating a landing page with a high-quality image of yourself, helping to put a face to your personal brand. Then, make sure to exhibit your 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 is already done for you, you can publish a professional-looking resume website within minutes.
The toughest part of any job application is certainly securing an interview. With so few coveted spaces on that particular roster, it pays to do as much as you can at the CV stage to try and secure yourself one.
Multi-functional CVs with hyperlinks have become increasingly popular, giving recruiters a better (and quicker) opportunity to understand whether you’re a fit, professional and culture-wise, before waiting until you shake their hand in an interview situation. If you’re comfortable, include hyperlinks to your LinkedIn profile for more interactive explanations of your experience and performance, as well as your personal social media presence to explain a little more about who you are. Don’t forget to include the link to your personal website, either.
We know that color speaks to the viewer, and the same goes for resumes.
“Pops of color allows you to stand out from the crowd and show off your personality,” says Rebecca McFarland, career coach and founder of Pop Your Career. “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.”
Integrating color is a great way to make your resume more engaging and eye-catching but remember: When it comes to color on your CV, less is often more. Unless you’re applying for 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 the true depth of your application. Little touches of color (such as in your header or integrated within the format) can be a great way to set your resume apart without being overwhelming.
Templates such as Orange and Black Modern Marketing Associate Resume and Colourful Creative Resume add that subtle pop of color that’s certain to catch the attention of recruiters.
Those CVs with confusing layouts, over-technical language, and complex self-rating systems? Time to ditch them. “No matter how professionally job seekers conduct themselves in person, a resume will not receive serious consideration if it’s difficult to read,” explains Andrew Morris, the director of recruitment agency Robert Half Australia.
Considering research suggests that recruiters spend less than eight seconds on average scanning resumes, it pays for your approach to prioritize readability over any other element on your submission.
Morris explains further: “Resumes should not include several quirky fonts (no Comic Sans or Marker Felt), the sections need to be lined up neatly and easy to read with the judicious use of columns, bold fonts, bullet points, and white space.” With these elements, with one quick scan, recruiters are able to analyze your expertise and have a better understanding of what your specialties are, without needing to sift through the information for it.
The same research that proves recruiters spend a mere handful of seconds browsing your resume proves the importance of integrating relevant design into your list of achievements and skills. Careful curation of your personal branding is a thoroughly modern consideration; the proliferation of social media and subsequent creation of a growing online presence has helped this along considerably. Because your CV is a professional reflection of you, considering what it communicates visually is crucial in the job market of 2020; the design is as fundamental as the inclusion of your education credentials.
A functional resume design doesn’t have to mean that your CV is monochromatic and devoid of personality, nor that it’s jam-packed with elements that are irrelevant to your industry; it’s more about understanding the audience of your creation and considering this in the elements of your design.
Because readability is of the utmost importance to this particular project, for example, it’s important to prioritize layouts and templates that feature plenty of white space as well as clearly defined columns and sections so the most relevant information takes center stage for easy scanning. Similarly, you won’t opt for fonts that are so characterful that the words they’re depicting are difficult to discern. Choose something readable and sleek for this same reason; nothing overly complex or flouncy will allow recruiters to sweep through your skills more easily.
Color selection is of particular importance, too. If the job you’re applying for operates within a dependable service industry, for example, bright chartreuse might not be the best option to work into the design. Want to channel a 2020 color trend? This year is all about an earthy color palette, nodding to trustworthiness, maturity, and authenticity, thanks to its reflection of nature (see above).