Over the past few years, we learned that it was time to ditch the resume objective in favor of a professional summary and that jobseekers should never, ever send their resumes out in a text format. But what can you do in 2018 to show you are on top of your job search and paying attention to current trends in resume writing?

We’ve compiled a list of 7 resume trends for 2018 that will help you dive into your job search and get noticed.

Shake up your resume format

While, in the past, resume format was a one-size-fits-all proposition, today recruiters are open to several different resume formats. When considering how to organize your resume, this is one of the 2018 resume trends jobseekers should keep in mind, as it could aid in the job search.

Since your most impressive accomplishments should live in the top one-third of your resume, choosing a format that places your most notable achievements up high is critical. Recruiters typically only spend 6 seconds reading an applicant’s resume, so packing a punch up top is critical to landing an interview.


While a chronological format is the most commonly used, students and those with limited work experience might find a functional or hybrid resume format more useful for emphasizing their educational accomplishments.

Study the three major resume formats and decide which will best show off your accomplishments.

Less design is more

Recruiters and hiring managers agree: clarity in your resume design should always outweigh plucky design elements. When considering 2018 resume trends, keep this top of mind: less is more when it comes to adding flair to your resume.

“[A] resume doesn’t need to be fancy,” said Alison Mackay, Silicon Valley Recruiter for Facebook. “It just needs to be readable so that I can see where I need to go to get the information I need.”

To stay on top of this resume trend, repeat the following mantra: keep it simple. Today, the best resume designs are eye-catching without being distracting, and attractive without being full of bells and whistles.

Your accomplishments, experience, and education should take center stage on your resume, not your design skills. Overly decorating your resume can not only detract from the vital information in your resume, but it can also disqualify even a qualified applicant.

Keeping it simple doesn’t have to mean a resume design that is unattractive or boring, however. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a clean resume design with plenty of whitespace.
  • Avoid adding photos, icons, or other design elements, as these can make it difficult for an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan your document.
  • Avoid fussy fonts and creative borders in your resume, as these can also confuse an ATS. To add personality to your resume, consider adding a splash of color in the header to emphasize your contact information.
  • To add emphasis, use a mix of paragraphs and bullet points throughout the resume.

“Too many design elements just muddy the water,” said Rose Dougherty, senior recruiter at BOLD. Overly designed resumes, she said, “make me wonder if the content is fluff [and] whether they really do have the experience.”

“Too many design elements just muddy the water,” said Rose Dougherty, senior recruiter at BOLD. Overly designed resumes, she said, “make me wonder if the content is fluff [and] whether they really do have the experience.”

Eliminate your street address. Ditto your references.

Experts agree that with the prevalence of online applications, the time has come to stop including your mailing address on your resume. No recruiter will be writing you a letter, so save the real estate and skip adding your snail mail details.

Adding a location – San Francisco, CA, for example – is fine, according to Dougherty, but a street address isn’t necessary. In addition, don’t add your references to a resume. If a recruiter is going to need those, they’ll request them.

“Don’t even write, ‘professional references available upon request,’” explains Angie Lou, career counselor at the UC Berkeley Career Center. “Most employers will assume that.”

Optimize your resume for an ATS

Gone are the days when jobseekers could be sure that a human being would review a job application.

Today, with applicant tracking systems (ATS) being used by so many organizations—both large and small, one of the most important resume trends for jobseekers is learning to adapt their resumes to be readable by ATSs.

An ATS is a software application that scans resumes for the critical requirements, such as the number of years of experience a candidate has or educational credentials. Recruiters input keywords into the ATS, and only those resume that contain those keywords move onto the next stage in the process.

When applying for a position online, jobseekers should always assume that an ATS and not a human being is doing the first screening of a resume. For this reason, your resume should be customized for each job ad’s keywords.


Customize your resume content

If you only absorb one word on this year’s resume trends, let it be this word: personalization. Hands down, one of 2018’s most important resume trends is the need for jobseekers to customize the content in a resume for every job; it’s critical to landing an interview.

Again, since so many companies use an ATS in the hiring process, it’s best to assume that a machine is doing the initial scan of your resume. To make it past this hurdle, customizing your resume to reflect the keywords stated in the job ad is critical.

Review the key skills, experience, and educational requirements in the job ad and include those on your resume using the same language as is used in the job ad. These are keywords and echoing them exactly is imperative to getting your resume past an ATS.

Keywords are also critical to enticing a recruiter to continue reading your resume. With only 6 seconds to make a good impression on a recruiter and land an interview, making keywords easy to find ¬during a quick scan of your document is critical to your success.

Try adding your most impressive accomplishments to your professional summary and creating a skills section that lists your hard and soft skills in a bulleted list. Doing so will make it easy for a recruiter to see your value in a matter of seconds.

Tout your accomplishments, not just your responsibilities

Another tip at the top of the list of resume trends for 2018? Writing a results-driven resume. Recruiters don’t just want to see what you’ve done, they want to see how you’ve used your skills to impact your organization and add value to the business.

“Make sure you define your major accomplishments on your resume or LinkedIn profile,” said Lou Adler, founder of Performance-based Hiring. “Don’t just have a boring list of skills; [instead] say what you’ve accomplished with those skills. Customize the message to make the link between how these [skills] can benefit the employer.”

Concentrating on results is critical to showing a recruiter what you’ll bring to the table. Be specific; provide data and relevant statistics related to your performance wherever you can.

Listing accomplishments such as revenue increases, improved website traffic, client growth, customer satisfaction date, or budget savings are great ways to quantify your achievements.

Write a killer professional summary

Another of 2018’s resume trends: writing a killer customized professional summary. Once you’ve decided which of your stats are most relevant to the job at hand, incorporate them into your resume in your professional summary.

Think recruiters aren’t paying attention? Think again.

According to Kelli Marinelli, principle people strategy consultant for SolveHR and special expert for SHRM’s Talent Acquisition Panel, not customizing the professional summary on your resume comes at a cost.

“It’s not helpful – and it’s actually harmful – to include a generic professional summary,” she said. “It tells me you’re not focused and that you didn’t take the time to gear your professional summary toward the role and the industry that you’re applying for.”

Remember, the top third of your resume is the most valuable real estate, meaning that your professional summary is a section of your resume that a recruiter is most likely to read. Make it speak to them.


by LiveCareer Staff Writer

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