In this digital age, the rules for resume writing have changed. While much about the resume may appear to be the same, there are things that you as the job seeker need to do differently today.


Some old resume writing tips may have been effective as recent as a few years ago, but if you want your resume to get into the right hands and help you get through the doors to your target employer, ignore these old resume writing tips below.

1. Keep The Resume To One Page

Woman rewrites her resume

While it's still true that no hiring manager will want to go through pages and pages of your resume, trying to keep your resume down to one page is less critical than the content you have to present. If you have information that is worthy of inclusion to the resume—and that's relevant—then there's no real harm done if your resume ends up being two pages long.

The fact is many employers today also run resumes through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before it even gets into human hands, so your first mission is to get your resume past the ATS. In order to do that, it needs to include the right keywords that are often listed or mentioned in the job description. It needs to be optimized for the specific position that you're applying for.

2. Fudge Details

Man follows the best resume tips

Now more than ever, your resume needs to accurately reflect your employment history. Employers aren't just looking at the resume you send in. They are doing research online—looking at your LinkedIn profile to compare information. They will question if what is reflected in your resume is not reflected elsewhere, so don't try present information that is far from the truth because there's a good chance you won't be able to fool anybody.

Also, don't try to fluff your resume. It's never a good idea.

3. Stuff Your Resume With Keywords

Woman writes her resume in a cafe

Keywords remain critical to how well your resume is received by the ATS and the human reviewer, but it's not about having a set of keyword tags at the end of your resume or hiding them by changing the font color to white so it blends with the background.

You're writing a resume that will ultimately be reviewed and read by a human, so use the appropriate keywords in context with the rest of your content on the resume.

4. Include Basic Technical Skills

Man looks up resume writing tips

Technical skills are desired in practically every profession, but in the past where you'd highlight your knowledge of MS Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on, it's no longer relevant.

The technical skills you need to talk about on your resume today have to directly relate to the function of the job. Also, it's not about just listing that you know it. You have to help the employer understand how you put the skill to use and what results you gained from it to effectively deliver the message that your technical expertise with it will benefit the employer and allow you to succeed on the job.

How can you do this? By quantifying your accomplishments.

5. One Resume Does It All

Woman customizes her resume for the job she's applying for

Maybe you were able to get by sending out the same resume over and over again to every employer in the past, but if you want to compete today, you're going to need a resume customized to the employer's specific needs.

Just like the objective statement may have worked in the past where you tell the employer what you're looking for, today's resumes need to inform employers what you have to offer to them.

So, customize your resume for each position that you apply for. It may take more work upfront, but your strategic efforts will pay off in the long run.

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Change is all part of the path to greater success. Understand that what may have worked with resumes in the past will not necessarily work now. It's time to kick out the old resume writing tips that no longer work and revamp your resume with the techniques that do work today!


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This post was originally published at an earlier date.