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The pandemic has changed everything about work except the humble resume


Two years into a pandemic, many aspects of work have changed dramatically. Meanwhile, some people started new jobs, reviewed their days, and then left companies where they never even met their colleagues in person.

But one aspect of the job remains remarkably unchanged: the importance of the traditional one-page resume created in a word processor.

“Hiring managers and recruiters still rely on the resume,” said Vicki Salemi, job search process expert at online job posting site Monster. The CV, Ms. Salemi continued, is still “the norm for applying for a job and getting noticed”.

In Monster’s recent “Future of Work” report, recruiters in the United States ranked resume searching – the ability to browse resumes uploaded to sites such as Monster or Indeed – as the most effective tool for finding candidates. The report also found that for employers, a resume comes second only to an in-person interview to determine if a candidate is a good candidate.

Resume designs and formats are also relatively static. A job seeker may find themselves using the same format to apply for a type of job that didn’t even exist when they created a document with their name and address at the top and their work history in the bullet points. below.

That’s because while the basics of the resume itself haven’t changed, the audience has. In the age of databases and applicant tracking technology, software systems triage applicants before they reach recruiters. So it’s important to make sure a resume can be easily understood by humans and technology, said Kathryn Minshew, founder and chief executive of The Muse, a website that offers job postings and career coaching. career.

And both machine and human readers struggle with overly stylized fonts, such as Comic Sans. Time-tested classics like Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Calibri and Georgia are still some of the best font options for your resume, Minshew said.

“In many more traditional fields like banking and finance, STEM, academia, a traditional CV is still very important, but appearance carries less weight,” Ms Minshew said.

Ms Salemi said it was crucial for job seekers to highlight and quantify their skills and experience and ensure they were using the right keywords. These strategies help ensure that their resume shows up when recruiters search a job board or internal database for specific terms.

Unlike job seekers in the days of faxed and mailed resumes, today’s job seekers can apply for a job through a company’s job portal, view their uploaded resume and stored in a database, then be matched to a different position at the same company months or years later.

“If companies are experiencing labor shortages in different areas, they can very well check their database,” Ms Salemi said.

This is why keywords are important. Ms Minshew advises people to carefully review the job description and highlight the keywords and skills the company is looking for in the role. “Make sure that, if relevant and applicable, you highlight similar skills or even some of the same keywords on your resume,” Minshew said.

Ms Minshew noted that a 2019 Jobscan report found nearly 99% of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system, which could put job seekers at a disadvantage who don’t include the correct terms in their resume.

Part of the reason the CV has remained constant as the job itself has transformed is that no method has come to take over.

“The traditional CV is being disrupted, but I don’t think the outcome is necessarily clear yet,” Ms Minshew said, adding that it could be replaced by multiple products instead of just one. Part of the reason deviating from traditional formatting is risky is that a CV could be rejected by screening software if it cannot properly process a candidate’s experience. “It’s a classic situation where most people want something different,” she said, but no one has had the power to really change things yet. Although she said that a number of recruiters – humans, not robots – primarily consider a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, rather than a resume, which is why she encourages people to keep both in mind. day.

But just because the resume format hasn’t changed much doesn’t mean job seekers shouldn’t try to make theirs look good, especially in creative fields.

Marcos Chin, illustrator and professor at the School of Visual Arts, said design professionals are often held to a different standard.

“My resume should be beautiful in the sense that it should be visually appealing,” he said. “Thus typography would be considered.”

Mr. Chin also helps his students — many of whom are just starting out in their careers — polish their resumes, giving them feedback on font size and spacing.

“One really important thing is how the information is organized, so that it can be presented in a way that looks beautiful and makes the person receiving it want to dive deeper into what you’re doing,” did he declare. .

Design professionals often have the added burden of creating a personal portfolio or website that showcases their work. But as the job market places greater emphasis on personal branding as a component of career success, more and more professionals have begun to create personal websites and organize a presence on social networks. social. These platforms can pass on some of what resumes once did.

“I think people rightly wonder if the CV deserves to be at the center of every hiring process, if it deserves the kind of primacy that it has,” Ms Minshew said.

One thing is clear about the post-pandemic resume: Employers are less likely to be concerned about gaps in work history than they were a few years ago, according to Monster’s Ms. Salemi.

“They’re also more open to changing jobs,” she said.