Is the Resume Still Relevant? Mastering the Modern Resume

FindWRK Team

Categories: Future Of Work

August 30, 2022

The resume has long been a staple of job recruitment. Odds are that you got your current job with a basic resume. Seasoned employees may even remember when copies of the same resume could be handed out (in person!) at multiple job sites with a ‘now hiring’ sign in the window. New members of the workforce have likely submitted digital resumes to hiring managers—tailored to a specific industry and uploaded for consideration. Although communication techniques and employment trends change with time, the resume itself has endured. But will it continue to thrive in the modern job market?

Resumes are starting to become obsolete in an increasingly digital world as recruiting technology and tools are constantly evolving. It is more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd in high-volume recruiting pools. Read our article on Do I Need a Resume in 2022? How the Modern Job Market is Transforming the Resume. 

What is the Purpose of a Resume and What Should My Resume Entail?

Let’s explore the purpose of a resume and the key components that will help you and your resume stand out from the crowd. If you are looking for detail on this topic check out our article titled The Future of the Resume: What is a Resume and Do I Need One?

Key Words and Phrases

First off, what is the purpose of a resume? A resume is intended to display your achievements, work experience, and skills in one document with the objective and the goal is that with all of your information captured on one page, you’ll land your dream job. In today’s modern landscape, more and more companies have the viewpoint that a hard copy or an electronic resume is obsolete. Did we mention the future is digital? The use of technology in the workforce cannot be overstated. Many companies now rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen candidates. Resumes must contain specific language in order to make the initial cut. This involves a thorough review of the job posting and company website, including the key words and phrases which will help leverage your resume in your specific job market. 

Quantifiable Results 

Today’s employers are looking for quantifiable results, and numbers tell the true story of workplace achievement. Here’s an example. Rather than saying “Strong management skills” qualify this statement with numeric value, e.g., “Facilitated on-site training for 25 employees.” In other words, prove it! The more you can show instead of tell, the greater your chance to score an interview and land the job. In fact, when it comes to the most efficient resume approaches, 40% of candidates demonstrate results with numbers. 

With FindWRK, the platform allows you to input a variety of information in order to make your profile stand out. Showcasing your skills helps you to get a job with employers that you want to work with. The more information you add to your profile increases your chances of an employer reaching out to you. 

The Right Format for the Right Job

There are different schools of thought on how to successfully format your resume. Gone are the days of the generic resume and cover letter. Various templates are available online, but the best advice is to conduct industry-related research to determine the right format for the right job. An actor, for instance, will usually require a current resume and headshot to secure a role. Now imagine a construction worker applying to a job with that same resume and photograph? Or an actor auditioning in a hard hat and boots? For the most part, jobs have industry standards.

Take the guesswork out of how you should format your resume and jump into FindWRK. Gone are the days of constantly writing dozens of versions of your resume, simply create a profile and get discovered by real people looking for workers just like you.

Rule of KISS

Always remember the rule of KISS - Keep it Simple Sister (or Mister)! Some of the most common resume mistakes include the use of long paragraphs or texts and resumes that exceed 2 pages in length. Nobody has the time to read an autobiography when searching through numerous applications. Your resume should be concise and ‘skimmable’. A 1-page resume is ideal. Anything longer than 2 pages, or more than a few sips of coffee is a no-go! 

That said, there is no need to stew about the length or content of your resume. FindWRK takes care of the details for you. All you need to do is upload your skills and work experience to your FindWRK profile and you can sit back and relax. We have hundreds of employer partners across Canada and the U.S. Whether you are looking for a foot in the door or a job in a new city, FindWRK helps employers find you. 

How Does a Resume Fit in the Modern Job Market?

In today’s marketplace, diversity is key, and technology is advancing faster than ever before. Events of the past few years have only reinforced this truth. Simply put, COVID-19 has essentially shifted the landscape of work. New rules demand new strategies and innovative solutions. A traditional resume may fall short in meeting the current demands of the modern job market due to the rapid advances in technology and changes in the fundamental requirements of job seekers. Learn more about why the future of work has changed after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emerging Trends and Alternatives to a Resume

Some experts believe that the resume has survived due to a lack of viable alternatives. In a recent CNBC Work article The Old-fashioned Resume May No Longer be the Tool for Hiring a Diverse Team, Jonathan Keane explores the relationship between emerging workplace trends and possible solutions. Here are some important takeaways.

Skills vs. Experience 

Many current employers believe that skills outweigh experience. Resumes do a great job of summarizing work history but often fail to adequately represent knowledge and skills. They also expose gaps in employment. A stay-at-home mother, for instance, might be penalized for exiting the workforce. Fortunately, most employers now appreciate the value of transferable skills and place less emphasis on years of experience. More and more companies are branching out to develop their own recruitment methods and skill-based assessments, most of which have been made possible through technological advancement.

Robots vs. Reading

One increasingly popular trend in job recruitment is the use of software, algorithms, and AI tools. Before a resume is even read by a human being, it has most likely passed through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS identifies the key words and phrases that are required to move forward in the hiring process. This means that resumes must be tailored to a specific job and industry and incorporate the language the software is looking for. But beware, these tools are built by humans, and therefore subject to human bias.

How to Beat an Applicant Tracking System (APS)

1. Incorporate Keywords and Phrases 

For each new job application, a custom resume is advised. Not to worry! We’re not suggesting you start from scratch every time. What we do recommend is a thorough reboot of your existing document. This means that you should include keywords and phrases from the specific job posting and/or company website in the text of your resume, and ideally, your cover letter as well. ATS is designed to identify this language and advance your application to the next level. Keep in mind that it is always good to keep any documentation up to date whether or not you are actively looking for a job.

2. Include A Skills Section 

Skill-based resumes have become more frequent in today’s job market where diversity rules. Be sure to add a separate skills section in your updated resume. Experts recommend a strategic mix of competencies, with several hard skills and a few, well-chosen soft skills. Once again, you’ll want to include direct language from the specific job posting to move forward in the recruitment process. Once you land an interview, take a look at our 5 Interview Tips to Get the Job.

3. Use Action Verbs and Quantifiable Results 

Make the most of your skills and accomplishments through sharp bullet points. Actionable language will help to project a strong, confident image that supersedes typical jargon. It will also demonstrate your ability to achieve concrete results. For instance, words like ‘enhanced’ and ‘revitalized’ are bound to capture the attention of busy hiring managers. But don’t stop there. Quantify your results with numbers. Here’s a quick example: “Increased membership by 25% in 3 months.” The more specific and relevant your resume, the greater your odds of advancement. 

4. Avoid Busy Graphics or Charts 

With all the online options now available to jobseekers, you might be tempted to include busy graphics or charts in your resume. Think twice before choosing a complicated template. The best resumes are clean, consistent and easily readable. Want to get creative and use an original format? Go for it! Just remember that robots (and people) respond best to clarity.

If you want to learn even more about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) check out our helpful article called What is an Applicant Tracking System and How Do I Beat the Bots?

Why Should You Ditch Instead of Improve Your Resume?

A Large Portion of the Job Market Does Not Have a Resume

Many people with valuable skills across various industries may not know how to write a resume or have not been taught to craft a resume for the Canadian market. The inability for potential employees to write a resume is a huge barrier for employers to find the right candidate. Also, many newcomers to Canada may be a great fit for a number of jobs but fail to get hired because they don’t know how to create a traditional resume. 

Resumes are Static and One Dimensional

The concept of a resume involves recording all of your skills, experiences and achievements on a one page document - all in the hopes of attracting a recruiter’s attention. Why do you want to improve your resume? It is a very static form of communication. Traditional resumes do not allow for two-way communication between the recruiter and the candidate, which makes the process much less meaningful and informative. A static resume is extremely limited and does not provide an opportunity for feedback or interaction. 

In the evolving world of technology, there is now a way to bring your resume into the future. FindWRK is an online platform that connects workers with employers based on their skills. All you need to do is upload your work experience and skills and let the jobs come to you. Stop writing dozens of versions of your resume. If your potential employer requires you to bring a resume to your interview then check out our tips on How to Make your Resume Stand Out in 2022.  

The Takeaway

Resumes are still requested for most employment opportunities, but the world continues to shift toward digital platforms for convenience and to advance processes. Just as job postings have migrated from the newspaper to online sites, resumes will continue to evolve in the modern job market. In today’s landscape, resumes are becoming less essential to your job search - check out Looking for Tips to Improve Your Resume? Here is Why You Should Ditch It

But what if we told you there’s a better way to highlight your individual skillset and find work, fast? A stress-free and resume-free option designed with you in mind?

The FindWRK platform is designed to match the right person to the right job. Instead of using a static resume format, we connect interested employers with qualified candidates in record time. Here’s how it works:

  • Create a personal profile and upload your skills

  • Set working radius to your desired geographical location

  • Wait for employers to reach out with job opportunities 

  • Find the right fit and start working!

At FindWRK, we understand the importance of two-way communication in job recruitment. Based on criteria such as relevant skill set, potential employers will initiate contact with suitable candidates. This process allows individuals to connect on a more human level. FindWRK is turning the recruitment process on its head and leading the evolution of the modern job market - starting by ditching the resume! Regardless of what job you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered! FindWRK helps great people get discovered, hired, scheduled, and paid. All industries. All skillsets. Create a profile today and let the jobs come to you.