New Year, New Resume: Resume Trends for 2022 and Beyond
Bland, ineffective resumes are so 2021. Here are some 2022 resume trends we recommend following to get you hired. (You might be surprised – most of these aren’t really “trends” at all!)
By: Grace Mitchell | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
If you’re like most people, you’re probably ready to leave 2021 in the dust where it belongs. This is a new year full of new opportunities: time for overhauling your workout routine, dedicating more time to the people and activities you love, and maybe even update your resume to land that new job.
Before you decide to scrap your whole resume and start completely from scratch, though, it’s worth considering that the most important things you can do to create a job-winning resume in 2022 aren’t really trends at all.
We’re not here to sell you on the resume equivalent of distressed bell bottom jeans or crimped hair, but rather on tips that will hold long after those bell bottom jeans fade into oblivion.
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Just like it’s always a great idea to stay hydrated, incorporate healthy movement into your day, or set aside time for your creative endeavor of choice, the best 2022 resume trends aren’t really trends at all, but tried and true means of building an effective resume.
Here are the top 2022 resume “trends,” straight from an award-winning resume-writing service you can trust.
Resume “Trends” for 2022 to Get You Hired
1. Keep It Clean
No, despite what you might read, you still don’t need infographics.
When it comes to your resume in 2022 (or any year), simple designs are your friend! A resume that’s too busy can distract from the skills and experience you want to convey to recruiters. Utilizing white space, line spacing, easy-to-read fonts, and other basic formatting will make your resume easier to read and understand.
While the fancy templates you’ll find on Canva or Etsy may look pretty, these templates usually favor style over substance and provide little space for you to expand on your professional experience. Recruiters aren’t trying to measure how flashy you can make your resume; they want to know what skills you bring as an applicant!
Additionally, graphic resume templates often aren’t friendly to ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), which is problematic because most recruiters use these to filter applicants for necessary qualifications. You want your resume to be easily parsed by these systems. But don’t despair! Just keep your formatting clean, and save your document as PDF or Word file, and your document will be readable for humans and non-human entities alike.
It’s also important to make your resume skimmable. This means that a recruiter can glance quickly over the document and get the highlight reel of your career in their super-quick initial look-through when reading your resume along with hundreds of others.
When recruiters quickly get the information they need from your resume, your chances of scoring an interview go up. Everyone wins!
To make your resume easy to skim, use clear, commonly accepted section headings. No need to get creative with a new term for “summary of qualifications.” You’ll just be giving yourself and your recruiters extra work to do.
Try also limiting the number of bullet points for each job you’ve held, generally to 3-6 depending on how recent and relevant the experience was. You can also use a mix of bullet points, short paragraphs, and bolded text to enhance readability. (Read more tips for making your resume skimmable here.)
2. Hit a Target
Tailoring your resume toward a clear job target has always been a good idea, and it’s only getting more important in 2022.
What qualities should you list in a resume in order to snag a great job? Well, it really depends on what qualities the job calls for! No recruiter wants to read a generic resume that doesn’t speak to what they’re searching for. So you need to narrow your scope in order to hit your target—which is scoring an interview for this job, not just any job.
Your resume should always be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for, and the best way to ensure that is to carefully read the job description.
While you’re searching for the best job for you, recruiters are searching for the best candidate for the job. This means that you don’t have to go in blind. The job description tells you exactly what they are looking for.
Each job description includes both job must-haves and good-to-have qualities, so be sure to read thoroughly. One strategy we recommend is printing out the job description and highlighting terms that show up multiple times, and then making a list of those terms. These are the keywords that you should include in your resume.
Another way to hit the target with your resume is to include the soft skills you bring to the job. Deceptively named, “soft skills” (like leadership, flexibility, or problem solving) are difficult to develop and teach. So if you’ve got them, flaunt them! As with all of your bullets, find specific metrics that demonstrate these skills. For instance, a bullet point for communication skills might read like this:
- Coordinated 3 projects between mixed in-person and virtual team, submitting weekly progress reports to 6 independent investing parties
Even though you’re not mentioning the skill directly, any recruiter reading this will know that they’re dealing with a proficient communicator.
Your resume should also only include information relevant to the job you’re applying for. If, for instance, you’re applying for a job as a software developer after working mostly in restaurants, you’ll want to focus more on the educational experience that prepared you for software work and the skills from your old jobs that would transfer over, rather than on your experience that only matters to the restaurant world. (Be sure to mention those soft skills, though!)
One final way to hit the target with your resume is to use a headline. Your resume headline appears under your contact info and target job title at the top of your resume, emphasizing the primary three skills or experiences you bring to the job. These are among the first words your recruiter will see, so it’s important to choose words that speak to your unique brand and experience.
For example, in my day job I work as a library clerk. If I wanted to apply my writing and customer service skills to a resume writer position here at Let’s Eat, Grandma, my job title and headline might read like this:
Customer Service Specialist | Content Writer | Resume Expert
Your headline can also mention experiences you’ve had that, while not necessarily a direct tie-in to the job’s duties, are valued at that particular company. Maybe they emphasize taking risks and you were an entrepreneur. Or maybe the CEO’s service in the Navy was foundational to the company’s values, and you’re a veteran, too. Whatever your background, read the job description and research the company so you know what to focus on.
3. Show Your Results in Your Bullet Points
The new year is the perfect time to revamp your bullet points to get hired! Your bullet points for each job in your professional experience section should display your metrics-based accomplishments, not just describe what you did on the job day-to-day.
Let’s say you have experience as a sales manager, and one of your bullet points reads like this:
- Led team to close several large contracts
Your recruiter is left wondering how many team members, how many contracts and what type, how much money – basically, why this matters. Closing contracts is what every sales manager does, right? This bullet point does a disservice to the experience you offer.
A more effective bullet point might read:
- Trained regional sales team of 8 in new strategies, exceeding growth targets by 25% over 3 months
Some jobs are harder to quantify than others (but not impossible – you can find 70 ideas here). You may have to estimate or ask around to know what specific numbers you can truthfully present. (Pro tip: Please don’t lie on your resume!)
It’s worth looking into, though, because backing up your skills with numbers better demonstrates what you have to offer.
Your bullet points should also lead with action statements. No recruiter wants to read “responsible for” on a resume, so try using active verbs like “coordinated,” “delivered,” or “presented.” You can also check out this list of action verbs to make your resume stand out for more ideas.
4. Tell a Story
What narrative does your resume give readers? Another essential 2022 resume trend is to tell a cohesive story.
A resume is actually a marketing document. When used appropriately, this simple piece of paper communicates your unique brand and sells the recruiter on what you have to contribute.
In order to market effectively, your resume should tell a story about why you’ll succeed in the job. What experiences and achievements brought you to apply for this job? What skills and perspectives did you develop along the way? The more effectively your resume answers these questions, the more likely you are to score that interview.
It’s also helpful to consider the most important elements of a story:
Characters: How have you engaged with your coworkers? Were you a leader, a morale booster, a 9-to-5 hero of sorts?
Plot: What’s happened so far in your career story? Where is it headed?
Conflict: What obstacles have you overcome at work? What problems have you helped solve?
Resolution: What results have come about through your efforts? Can you identify any themes across your career? Thinking through these questions will help you better tell your story through your resume (and cover letter!), and thus sell that story to recruiters.
5. Out with the Old
While some resume tips are timeless, others have gone the way of dinosaurs and disco, and 2022 is the time to ditch them.
If you’re still starting your resume with an objective statement, it’s time to upgrade to the more purposeful and direct summary of qualifications.
Including an objective statement in your resume wastes valuable real estate at the very top of the page. A summary of qualifications, meanwhile, concisely tells the recruiter exactly why you’re the right fit for the job posting.
Similarly, you don’t need to include your full address in your resume since it’s unlikely that your recruiter will want to send you any letters. Including your full address can also pose a security risk if you’re putting your resume out on the web. Instead, include just the city and state you live in (if it’s the same as the city the job is in), or those along with the city you would relocate to or commute to for the job.
Start the Year Off Right with These 2022 Resume Trends
If you want to get hired, these 2022 resume trends will help you start the year strong. Cultivate a clean, concise resume that utilizes effective bullet points, tells a story, and ditches outdated resume conventions, and you’ll be set up for job-hunting success in 2022 and beyond!
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