How Do I Make My Resume Look Modern?

December 30, 2021
Image by Biljana Jovanovic from Pixabay

For further information on how to make your resume look modern, check out this selection of modern resume templates.

Modern Resume Do’s and Don’ts

It is important to keep up with industry trends in order to understand what is expected of a modern resume. Why?

If you’ve been updating your resume for decades or you were instructed by someone who has, you may be including resume elements that are no longer seen as necessary. Certain sections can make your resume seem old-fashioned and unlikely to impress. For example, don’t include the following on a modern resume.

  • Don’t include an objective statement. Use a professional summary instead.
  • Don’t use a dated email address. If you’re still using AOL, create a free Gmail for professional emails. It may sound silly, but it can make you and your resume seem dated.
  • Don’t include a landline phone number. Only list your cell.
  • Don’t list every job you’ve ever had. Focus on the past 3 jobs you’ve had, the past 10 years of experience, or only jobs with experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. There is no need to include unrelated entry-level experiences gained in the distant past.
  • Don’t include skills that are outdated, like software or manual processes that have been replaced by newer techniques (unless, of course, these may be needed in your niche).
  • Don’t include a list of references, complete with names and contact information. If your hiring manager requires references, they’ll ask for them. Leave off “References available upon request” as well.
  • Don’t create a long resume. There was a time when 2 to 3-page resumes were impressive. Not anymore. Keep your resume to 1 page whenever possible, and never exceed 2 pages.

So, these are the things you should not do. But what should you do?

  • Do choose a resume template that includes interesting headers and pops of color. As a society, we’re increasingly visual. A bit of personality is more attention-getting than a simple black-and-white document.
  • Do select an easy-to-read font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • Do follow a chronological resume format. This includes your contact information, skills, and relevant (and recent) work experience, and education in reverse-chronological order.
  • Do tailor the content of your resume to each job you apply for. This could involve adjusting which past employment you list or what skills you highlight within each job description.
  • Do include a link to your LinkedIn profile. Consider personalizing the profile URL.
  • Do include links to your portfolio or professional website.
  • Do include in-demand skills like speaking a foreign language, computer coding, or specific software currently in use.

Additional Modern Resume Tips

We’ve talked a lot about “don’ts” that can make your resume appear dated rather than modern. But there are also “modern” resume trends that can have a detrimental effect on your job prospects. Let’s look at them briefly.

  • Don’t include a photo unless you are in a specialized industry such as modeling. Many modern resume templates include a place for a headshot, but this could result in your resume being discarded. Why? Laws and company policies concerning discrimination can be strict, and no hiring manager wants to be accused of hiring you based on your appearance.
  • Don’t use a nonprofessional email address. We’ve already talked about updating your email provider. When you do so, choose a simple email address that includes some combination of your name or initials. Avoid “cute” email addresses.
  • Don’t link to personal social media accounts. The only exception is if you use an account like a portfolio, only posting work-related photos. You should also review your personal accounts and delete any questionable material. Even though it’s not on your resume, your hiring manager might do a Google search.
  • Don’t get carried away with graphic design. A pop of color or a sidebar with an interesting texture is good. Clipart, logos, images, or overwhelming amounts of color and design elements are not.

Where Can I Find Modern Resume Templates?

There are lots of online resources that offer free modern resume templates. You can even search sites like Etsy for original and creative templates.

Templates are helpful as they allow you to simply replace the filler text with your own information. Online resume builders take this a step further – they ask you to answer simple questions then place the information in the appropriate spots. Whatever helpful tools you use, don’t forget to proofread your resume when finished and correct any mistakes.

In Conclusion

Creating a modern resume is not hard, especially when you use a preformatted resume template. Simply avoid “old-school” techniques that make a resume appear dated, as well as “modern” trends that can cause your resume to appear unprofessional.

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