It’s said that your reputation is often your resume and you’ve just got a few seconds to create the first impression with the recruiters.
Is there a magic formula for a perfect resume? No, but we do know some proven do’s and don’ts of a modern resume that can help you craft one that impresses the recruiters.
Your resume is a storytelling tool to market yourself and an effective resume presents the most relevant information about you in the most compelling manner.
So how do you write a resume that is informative yet easy to scan?
The do’s and don’ts of a modern resume that I’m going to discuss below are all aimed at helping you achieve this balance.
Without any delay, let’s get started.
Top Do’s and Don’ts of A Modern Resume You Should Know
A common challenge that every candidate faces is creating a resume that better connects with a recruitment manager. Well, it consists of several elements, and creating it is time-consuming.
To help you get started in the right direction, here are the most practical do’s and don’ts of a modern resume that you should take note of.
The Do’s while writing a Modern Resumes
Here are the things you should do when you’re creating a resume.
1. Do: Use an Online Resume Outline
Let’s kickstart our list of Do’s and Don’ts of a modern resume. It is a great idea to use an online resume outline as it is attractive and easy to read.
You can decide which sections to include and which ones to delete based on the job requirement and your qualification.
Once your resume is ready, you can use an e-signature tool from DocuSign alternatives to sign the document digitally and send it to the recruiters.
2. Do: Opt for a Professional Font
Choose a font that is classic, professional, and easy to understand. It helps increase the readability of your resume.
Use subheadings to divide your resume into segments so that the recruiter can easily go to the section that contains the information they are seeking.
For instance, the below is a poor font selection for a resume.
3. Do: Be Specific
Create a resume specifically for the job that you are applying for. Focus on the education, skills, and experience that are relevant to a particular position rather than listing down everything you know or have learned.
4. Do: Sum Up Your Skills and Brand
Writing a summary at the top of your resume will grab the attention of recruiters. It’s one of the most important things you should do to create a modern resume. This is an opportunity to highlight how you uniquely fit a particular position and create a brand for yourself.
Candidates who are starting off fresh from college can talk about their soft skills and education. An experienced professional, on the other hand, can use this space to highlight their experience and areas of expertise.
5. Do: Keep Your Resume Crisp
Your resume need not be a long story. Instead, it should be crisp and trimmed so that it’ll be easier to read and information can be quickly reviewed.
Ideally, you should focus on having a one-page resume but if you do have enough information to share, condense it all within 2 pages.
To take your resume to the next level, you can consider using a video editing tool and create a crisp 1-minute video to introduce yourself. You could incorporate a link to this video in the resume.
6. Do: Make it Machine-Readable
Remember, one of the biggest recruitment challenges is to manage the flood of resumes that recruiters receive. They won’t have the time to skim through each resume.
To simplify their work, they use Application Tracking Systems (ATS) and even AI-assisted bots.
This system screens through each resume to look for keywords and phrases that match with the phrases used in the job description and scores the resumes.
That’s why you should include as many relevant terms in your modern resume as possible to get a higher score.
7. Do: Highlight Your Social Work
Yes, your resume is aimed at getting your dream job. But it can be used to highlight your human side as well. If you’ve worked as a volunteer or have been working for a social or environmental cause, briefly include the information in your resume. It adds another dimension to your personality.
The Don’ts of Modern Resumes
Now let’s jump into that section of do’s and don’ts of a modern resume where we discuss the things you should avoid.
1. Don’t: Rush With Your Resume Writing
It’s strongly suggested not to start writing a resume right away. Always begin by putting together all the information you want to include in your modern resume.
Shortlist the information that’s really important and then start constructing your resume.
2. Don't: Make Your Resume Too Fancy
Be it the layout, color choice, or vocabulary, you should focus on making your resume simple and professional. You can leverage a writing app to maintain a friendly yet professional tone throughout the resume.
Your modern resume is not the place to be creative. It's all about impressing the recruiters with the information you have.
3. Don’t: Include an Objective
Writing an objective on top of your resume should be avoided. Instead of telling what you expect to receive from the employers, you should focus on showcasing what you bring to the table.
You could, however, let the employers know about your aspirations when you’re taking the onboarding survey for employees.
4. Don’t: Share Personal Details
I would suggest not sharing certain personal details that aren’t necessary for the recruiters to know.
Your name, address, and contact details are all that they need to know in the initial stage. If required, the manager will ask for additional information personally.
5. Don’t: Use Passive Voice
It’s not a good practice to use passive voice in your resume. Such sentences typically aren’t very engaging and that’s exactly what you wouldn’t want to happen to your resume. Write active statements that are to the point and convincing.
6. Don’t: Have Errors and Lies
Here’s another basic thing you shouldn’t do in your resume. A resume with typos or grammatical errors is absolutely not acceptable. Such mistakes must be corrected as they can put off your recruiters.
For instance, note how the below resume has a typo in the word “Experience”.
Another thing you should strictly avoid is lying about your skills, certification, or experience, irrespective of the jobs you’re applying for. Let your resume be absolutely honest.
Are You Ready to Implement the Do’s and Don’ts of a Modern Resume?
If job search is one part of the challenge, landing the right job is a monumental task and it all begins with writing a good resume. The most important do’s and don’ts of a modern resume that I’ve shared can guide you in the right direction.
Go ahead and use them to script a fresh resume or to restructure an existing one to impress recruiters and bag that dream job.
About the author
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company, and a Google Analytics and Google Ads certified professional.
He has scaled an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure income in just two years. He has increased leads by 10X, conversion rate by 2.8X, and traffic to 300K per month using content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, landing page optimization, sales funnel, and LinkedIn.
He contributes to reputable publications like HubSpot, Adweek, Business 2 Community, HuffPost, TechCrunch, and many more. He leverages his experience to help SaaS businesses, influencers, local businesses, and ecommerce brands grow their traffic, leads, sales, and authority.