How to update your resume for a 2020 job search

It’s 2020. The start of a new year and a new decade. Is it time for a new career? This time of year is a popular time for making fresh starts. Many people start off January armed with New Year’s resolutions to get a promotion, earn a raise, or land a new job.

Research shows that job applications spike by roughly 60 per cent in January over December.

If you’re one of these folks looking to make a career move right now, you’re going to need to update your job applications for the modern job search. Here’s how to get your resume ready for 2020.

Update your title.
Many people have the bold word Resume or C.V. across the top of their resume. That is a waste of valuable real estate. The title of your resume should be the job title of the job that you are applying for. (Or if you are posting your resume online, then the title should be the job that you want to be hired for.)

Craft an intro statement.
Traditionally, resumes opened with an Objective Statement about what the job seeker was looking for. Don’t do this. That is also a lost opportunity. The opening paragraph at the top is one of the first things that employers will read. Use it to highlight your essential qualifications for the job your seeking now – why you would be great at the job title that you’ve listed at the top.

When you are applying for jobs, update this paragraph with your most relevant credentials and accomplishments for each role. Think of it as a two to three sentence elevator pitch.

Add your latest accomplishments.
Employers are more impressed by accomplishments than job responsibilities in resumes. What have you achieved or been recognized for since the last time you updated your resume? Make sure that your 2020 document reflects your most recent accomplishments.

Employers are always looking for those exceptional candidates who accomplish results above and beyond what is normally expected in their job descriptions. Use numbers whenever you can to demonstrate your achievements is a measurable way.

Exceeded sales quota by XX%, Increased efficiency by XX, Saved XX$ by …

Update your skills.
Have you worked with new software platforms in recent years? Taken any courses or been trained on any new procedures. It’s important that your resume reflects your commitment to ongoing learning and that you are keeping your skills up to date.

Focus on the past decade.
Now that we are in 2020, consider trimming down the details of your work from before 2010. What you have achieved and learned over the past ten years are more relevant to employers than what you were up to before that. If you have a long and illustrious career that spans back twenty years or more, consider just listing job titles and bullet points for the older stuff, while devoting the bulk of the space for your more recent work.

Modernize your keywords.
Everything changes. This includes the trending phrases and words employers might use to describe the work they need done or skills they are looking for in job descriptions. Having the words and phrases that closely match what they are looking for can make or break the success of your resume. Applicant Tracking Systems and other software are routinely used to screen and filter out resumes that don’t contain the relevant keywords.

Read many different job descriptions that have recently been posted for the types of jobs that you are seeking. Make sure that the your resume uses wording that closely matches what employers are looking for in 2020.

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