By: Nicole Spears
Top Resume Trends 2012
The top 5 resume trends of late and whether or not you should adopt them
Landing your dream job, earning respect in your field, building your professional reputation-it all truly comes down to one thing: a strong resume. That’s a lot of weight resting on one (or, in certain cases, two) simple piece of paper, be it heavy ply or not.
All the fuss over what’s in and what’s out for resume trends may seem silly at times. But, in fast-paced industry of communication, people are always creating new ways to stand out from the competition. It is no coincidence that many of these methods for separating ourselves result in the latest resume trends, what’s that thing people always say about first impressions? They last. I don’t know about you, but I sure do not want my resume showing up in last year’s threadbare fashions.
So, get ready to dust off those resumes ladies and gents. To ensure that yours is up to date, we present the top five resume trends of 2012. And what’s more? We’ve brought in resident PR expert and ImPRessions professional advisor, M.J. Clark, to decipher what’s hot and what’s not in the world of resume couture.
1. Objective Statements
Once seen as a necessary component of every proper resume, objective statements are now a controversial topic. When used correctly, this section pinpoints the position or knowledge that you are pursuing. However, if someone is reviewing your resume, it’s likely that they already know what position you are interested in. On top of that-the experience and education details given in a resume can render this section unnecessary.
M.J. says: Leave it out. It doesn’t help you sell yourself, and it only wastes space. Your objective should be to get a specific job at my company. That’s why you sent me your resume, right? I know that. You know that. So it’s unnecessary.
2. Quantifiable Results
Broadly speaking, numbers kind of stink for us communication people. However, countless professionals now stress the importance of having quantifiable experience present on your resume. This not only clarifies the magnitude of your past experience, but it displays your ability to evaluate-a key strength in PR that not everyone can boast upon. Besides, things these days like Facebook Analytics can make numbers pretty fun.
M.J. says: Use the numbers if you have them. You will get more quantifiable results as you get more experience, so don’t worry if you don’t have them out of the gate. Think about quantifying results when you are putting together a plan for a client, so you will be sure to have them for the client and yourself when you’re done.
3. Visual Appeal
In this world of integrated communication, we know that presentation is (almost) everything. Ever since we turned in our first typed papers in elementary school we learned that we could boost the grade potential of a paper that was nicely formatted and neatly stapled. The key to getting visually creative on a resume is to make sure that the design elements enhance the content and organization of the document, and never take away from it. But with so many fonts, colors, and alignments (oh my!) this can be a hard balance to achieve.
M.J. says: Unless you are applying to an art museum or graphic design firm, keep your resume conservative. No cloud paper, neon paper, colored fonts or photographs, please. The rule I follow is don’t do anything that someone might not like. Everyone is okay with a black font on white or cream colored paper. Remember, your goal is to get an interview. Don’t give them any reason to put your resume in the “no” pile.
Out of all of the resume trends of late, the most diverse advice comes a propos de GPA. While the rule of thumb for quite some time has been to display a GPA of 3.0 or higher on your resume, some sources now say that it is irrelevant no matter what it’s stature. Still others recommend putting the relevant GPA for each area of study. This is one resume trend sure to leave your head spinning!
M.J. says: Don’t bother to list your GPA. Professionals want to make sure you have a college degree. They are not micro-analyzing your grades. They just want to know you have the basics down. You will learn much, much more once they hire you. And you will never stop learning (I hope!).
5. QR Codes
When QR codes first became popular, their lure was undeniable. How technologically advanced it made one seem to have that trendy little box in the corner of your resume, sending the reader swiftly off to peruse your Linked In profile! However, unless using a QR code to steer a reader to a digital portfolio or unique website, this trend may be a sold-out and unnecessary feature.
M.J. says: Don’t make your resume more complicated than it has to be. Most PR pros find the QR technology interesting, but they don’t use it regularly. I think it wastes precious resume space. If you are sending an electronic copy of your resume, I would list the hyperlinked URL to your portfolio or website. As an interviewer, I would definitely click that link and check it out. But if you’ve handed me a paper copy, I’m probably not going to take the time to type it in and pull it up. (Just keeping it real.)