The Modern Resume
How to Move to the Top of the Stack
Retooling your resume? You may be wondering about the latest trends in content and how to use social media to enhance your job search. Recently UW Professional & Continuing Education hosted two panel discussions on this topic, featuring Matt Youngquist of Career Horizons, Cheryl Ferguson, recruiter for Decision Toolbox, and Dustin Knievel, human resources professional. Here are the top 10 tips from that discussion.
- Focus on jobs you're qualified for. Up to two-thirds of applicants apply for the jobs they are unqualified for. Devote your time and energy to positions that closely match your skills and experience. You will see more results.
- Treat the recruiter as your partner. Today recruiters have a great deal of influence with hiring managers. Be respectful of everyone in the process. Don't try to go around the system or ignore instructions – there could be repercussions.
- Proofread. And then proofread again. Make sure your cover letter includes the correct name of the company and the job – not the other company or job you're targeting. Such mistakes are surprisingly common. But don't be so concerned about perfect wording or format that you don't act.
- Prepare different versions of your resume to sell different facets of your skills and background. Jobs have become more specialized, and having different resumes allows you to better match the job description. Few professionals can get away with a one-size-fits-all resume today.
- Spotlight highly transferrable skill sets if changing professions or industries. Make it easy for the recruiter to see that the career change will work, and be ready for the tough questions she'll ask. Some companies and hiring managers are open to considering people who have the functional skills but no prior experience in the industry.
- Craft your LinkedIn profile as another form of your resume. Recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates. Research what words and terminology industry recruiters are likely to use during a search, and place them in the summary and specialties section.
- Connect your online presence with your resume. Put links to articles you've written or presentations you've done in your resume. Make sure all content is consistent, connected and complementary. Your LinkedIn profile must match your resume. If professionally appropriate, connect your Twitter account with LinkedIn, but be thoughtful about what you tweet and how frequently (15 times a day and a recruiter might wonder whether that's why you're out of a job). Manage your privacy settings on Facebook – recruiters often search Facebook and Google for people's names to see if anything pops up that a hiring manager might not like.
- Use your cover letter to address gaps in your work history. Circumstances such as the poor economy or staying home to care for a sick relative are easily explained and should be understood. Recruiters know what's going on in the world, in your industry and in the local labor market. So be up front.
- Don't try to conceal your age on your resume. They'll figure it out when you meet them in person anyway. Age bias exists but in the majority of situations, it's not about age but about what you bring to the table. Look closely at your skills. Are they current? If you're not savvy to the latest and greatest information in your field, that says less about your age and more about how well you up keep with your profession.
- Use caution when including hobbies or outside activities on your resume. This is especially true of potentially controversial areas such as religion and politics. Evaluate what an activity or affiliation says about you as an individual, and how that might play to a majority of 100 hiring managers viewing your resume.
For more details about these 10 tips and more, watch the video footage from each of the resume panel events.
About the Career Management Event Series Hosted by UWPCE
Our events are free, informative and great places to network. Watch for more details about upcoming events by checking the events page on our website at or by following us on Facebook and Twitter. For video highlights of past events, visit the UWPCE YouTube channel .