Your Resume for 2024 and Beyond

The Right Resume

Written by CareerNet Nation

January 18, 2024

Resume Review for

CareerNet Nation Members

The last resume article of 2024.

Yes, this will be the final article on resumes for 2024. We may change the publishing date should our SEO rankings slip, but the content of the article won’t change at all. Building your resume properly is a vital skill to everyone, especially if you are under 30.

There is a reason for this. Not much will change between now and January 2025 in the resume, application submission world. You may hear about AI more. You may hear from Gen Z YouTube and tik tok personalities hyping a new resume strategy. But it won’t work.

By the time you try to use it, hiring professionals at companies will have adjusted their review process, recognized the new “hack”, and simply dismissed the changes you spent time working on. Meanwhile, you have submitted your resume filled with all your personal information to a database that knows your email and phone number are accurate. Please consider this before clicking to apply to hundreds of companies.

Then, you’ll just be a data point among millions of data points that these companies keep in their secure servers because they think that at some time in the future they may want to act on the stored data or, after a period of time, sell it. Sounds good to you? Apply for a job on the Indeed or ZipRecruiter sites and your email box is filled with things you don’t want or need.

At CareerNet Nation, we are solicited every day by people claiming to be great resume writers and designers. They believe our candidates are desperate to break through the application process and gain an interview. Any interview. They also have learned a few of the proper ways to format and write a resume and now they want to charge for their work. You may get better results, but it will cost you. We’ve seen ranges from $100.00 – $2,500.00.

People pay for perceived expertise when they need to learn how to do it themselves. Here is the truth: you must learn how to prepare your resume to remain competitive in an economy which values temporary staff more that permanent staff at the entry level – year 3. We’ll talk about this ridiculous hiring phenomenon in a future post.

The best part about it is that we have already written about how to create a resume that works. We have a page on the resume-example. Click here if you’d like to see it.

Modern Myths

  1. It’s easy to beat an ATS.

 

First, let’s define what an ATS is. It’s an Applicant Tracking System. It can do a lot of clerical work like automated emails, scheduling. What all ATS claim to do is to track applicants through the hiring process.

“As its name implies, an ATS tracks candidates through the hiring process. It helps with interview scheduling, issues notifications and alerts, and sends automated emails to candidates and employees, such as recruiters and hiring managers.

But these systems are far more than organizers. An ATS is also used to cull applicants and recommend the top candidates. It may conduct a preliminary analysis of the applicants to find the best fits for a job. It may also look for keywords or use AI-type algorithms that run a deeper analysis of the job applicant. The goal is to speed HR’s review of job applications and resumes.”

What this definition leaves out is the most important part. Most ATS users set their own key words for search by the software. They have also neglected to speak about the pre-application questions, which score your profile based upon 2 – 5 questions (typically). These scores then determine whether your resume will be reviewed by an actual human. The point is this. You have know idea what key words an ATS is seeking for any job so adding the words you think are key words to your resume will not improve your chances, it will just waste your time.

 

  1. AI writes a better resume.

 

Let’s start with AI is not your answer. It doesn’t help you cut corners. You shouldn’t want to cut them anyway.

 

Think for a moment. If you, and thousands of others are using AI to write their resume, does it not stand to reason that hiring professionals, HR Professionals and the data sorting machines they use have ways to recognize AI generated resumes?

 

  1. Resumes with attractive, unique layouts get more attention.

 

This is one we hear about and see in action all the time. We get it. You want to put the effort in to show you are dedicated, serious creative and competent with Word or Pages. So, you create a resume with multiple columns, boarders around the edges, colored backgrounds, embedded sections, shapes. It look great on paper, we get it.

 

You know where it doesn’t look great? To the ATS system(s) that virtually every company uses as a first line sorting tool. Even the best ATS “spit out” or flag resumes that are not simple for software to read. We’ve used dozens of the best, and we’ve even built and sold an ATS a few years ago. The truth is that an ATS wants simple. Keep your resume simple when clicking to apply. Bring a fancy resume to the in-person interview. Click Here to see examples of right vs. wrong.

 

Last bit of resume advice

 

You need to sit down and spend time looking at each job you want to apply for. You need to research the company at the website level. You need to read the job description all the way through. Then you need to show how your experiences, at work, an internship or in the classroom gave you experiences that show you have the skills to perform in the job you are applying for.

 

Each job or position you have held in the past has 3 – 5 single things that you have done that prove your skills exist AND that you understand the skills required to perform in the new position. Don’t over do it. We are all guilty of that. Rather, try to limit the description of your current or past jobs to 4 bullet points that reflect the skills required to succeed in the position you seek.

 

  • Keep the format simple, Times or Calibri font, 10 to 12 point.

 

  • Keep the resume to one page.

 

  • Only include “Additional Experiences” that are meaningful for the job or your personal description. These Additional Experiences are for talking points during an interview.

 

Your resume should include these sections in this order:

 

  1. Your Name, address, phone number, email address in the Header.

 

  1. A Personal Summary, either 3 sentences or 3 – 4 Bullet points

 

  1. Your job experience (last 3 jobs), start date and finish date with 3 – 4 bullet points, one sentence each bullet point, that discuss the things you did at the job which showcase skills you believe are important to the job you are applying for.

 

  1. Your education, School, location, degree, date completed.

 

  1. Software programs you are competent with.

 

  1. Additional Experiences (only if you have space)

 

Again, if you have a chance, click here to see examples of what works and what doesn’t with resumes.

 

Finally

 

The only way to progress in your life and your career is to put the work in.  Learning how to make your resume both simple and effective is a skill. It’s a crucial life skill in the modern economy. You’ll be moving around during your first 10 years of employment more than you might expect and being expert in resume writing is key. But, It’s also attainable. If you spend the time, a Sunday afternoon by way of example, with no phones and no YouTube, you can master it.

 

All you needed was some expert help.

 

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