As a hiring manager, it's your job to separate the best future employees from a pool of applicants as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means turning a critical eye to a vast quantity of resumes and determining which of the candidates are most worthy of moving on to the interview stages.
Features To Look Out For
It pays to remember that these documents aren't written in a vacuum. Applicants are playing into overall trends, attempting to tailor their resumes to your needs and preferences. By considering these trends, you can set a more accurate baseline for what constitutes a good resume in 2019.
1. Keywords That Change To Suit Company Needs
Don't be surprised to open a group of new resumes and find dozens of candidates who all boast the kind of experiences your company mentions in job postings. Sometimes, this means there is a great alignment between brand and applicant. In other cases, the writer may have just been overzealous about customizing the resume to the posting.
Time magazine recently recommended that applicants change up the way they talk about their skills to mirror the wording of the company's priorities. Such customization shows that the applicant has actually read the posting and may ensure human eyes see the resume in this era of automated applicant tracking systems.
With that said, your job as a hiring manager gets a little more complicated when everyone is using the same kinds of terms to talk about their abilities. It will be up to you to see who is really an exact match, and who has taken keyword tweaking too far.
2. An Objective - Or Not
While some elements of the resume format are decades old and relatively standard, others will differ from year to year. This is the case with the objective statement. As The Job Network recently pointed out, recent trends favor taking out the short personal objective statement which was once a common feature atop numerous resumes. The theory behind the trend is that the objective doesn't add value and thus isn't worth the space.
Due to the general disagreement about whether such a feature is useful, you should be prepared to see a variety of resume styles, some with and some without an objective. You'll have to become used to comparing candidates who do define their personal goals with those who let the rest of the resume speak for itself.
3. A Mash-Up of Classic and Digital Information
The header of a resume was standardized for a long time. Name and phone number. Then came the email address. Now, people may be tempted to include their social media account handles in the beginning of a resume. This trend will likely never take hold among people whose Facebook and Twitter feeds feature compromising posts, but links among more reserved candidates may become fairly common.
Time gently urged potential applicants to refrain from including social media information unless those profiles are relevant to the writer's experience and capabilities. What's the use of listing a Twitter handle if the person doesn't have any followers and never tweets? Your resume assessment process in 2019 may involve asking yourself that very question.
Assessing Resumes in Times of Change
The present era of business is a transitional period, with hiring managers and applicants alike frequently changing their opinions about which skills are most important in professional contexts. The relative value of soft skills vs. hard skills has fluctuated in recent years, and the role of digital information in resumes and beyond has evolved too. Advice on resume writing varies from one source to the next, so you should expect to see a host of different resume formats in 2019. Assessing them will prove a worthwhile challenge.