What attributes ultimately characterize the best resume?
It’s a question that might answer itself: It’s the one that secures the applicant the interview and a job offer.
An endless discussion
The resume question has been one in constant discussion over the decades—and the answers have and continue to evolve.
An argument was once made that a resume should chronicle every aspect of an applicant’s career affiliations, including fairly detailed explanations of functional responsibilities.
Prospective employers expected it, the argument went. And based on that possibly faulty assumption, many of these chronological and traditional resumes can still be found in abundance today.
Yet, like most things in 21st century business life, the answer on what makes an exceptional resume differs substantially from the answer that existed twenty or thirty years ago.
Dynamic and customized
Today’s resume, this Wall Street Journal article contends, should be dynamic and easily adjusted to highlight functional responsibilities and accomplishments that are most germane to the job to which the applicant is applying.
What makes the most successful resume? In 2021, the answer apparently is multiple resumes to best fit the job to which one is applying.
There are other resume truisms. “Spend less of your real estate describing your job, and more time describing your results,” career expert and author Christy Noel says in this article. The argument is sensible.
Employers are looking (usually quickly) to validate or invalidate the thesis that your past results can be transferable into an expectation of success in the new position.
Fulfilling with distinction
There is measurable difference between holding responsibilities and fulfilling them with distinction, and the latter—including detailed accomplishments—should be detailed in specificity.
In our tech-driven era, applicants also should operate on an assumption that their resume will possibly be first screened based on keywords.
Work them in appropriately in ways that match the likely word searches that could be automated to filter in and out resumes that deserve personal consideration.
The difference between getting and not getting an interview may come down to one word a technical screen did or did not see.