Resume and Cover Letter Tips: Resume Trends for 2020

The most important part of your job search is your resume and cover letter. You are not able to meet with everyone who has a position you might be interested in, so you need to create documents that summarizes your experience, sells your soft skills and gives those potential employers a taste of who you are.

What are employers looking for? Here are three resume and cover letter trends for 2020:

1. Keep it short

Really this isn’t a new trend, but something everyone should keep in mind. You’re not trying to give hiring managers your whole history, but a taste that shows you meet their requirements and have some special skills or attributes that make them want to meet you. Highlight your best; even better, tailor your resume to specific applications for a better chance of moving forward. Focus on quality over quantity.

Resume length stats:

  • 17% of hiring managers don’t even look at two page resumes (The Motley Fool)
  • an initial 10 to 30-second glance is all the time hiring managers take before sorting it into keep, maybe, or trash piles (WorkPlaceLit4Adults)

2. Social Media Presence

If you didn’t realise it yet, it’s time to accept that you are a brand and your social media profiles are the main way you broadcast the values of your brand. Most job applications now ask for your social media accounts as part of the hiring process and it’s not just LinkedIn. Companies are checking out your Facebook, Twitter and sometimes Instagram profiles as well. It’s important to keep this in mind when engaging in social media. Before you start applying for jobs, take a look at your accounts to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot by having content that could reflect negatively on a potential employer’s brand. Your social media is also a great way for you to share some of your skills, experience and personality, beyond what you have on your resume.

Social Media Stats:

3. ATS Scanning

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. What it is is a type of software/algorithm used by companies to scan and rank job applications. If you can pass the scan you have a much higher chance of getting an interview. It used to be just the big companies using this technology but it now has come to businesses of all sizes.

When trying to beat the bots it’s important to know that a PDF is not usually the best file type for your resume. The algorithm finds .doc, .docx or plain-text files easier to read. It also looks for key-words and how often they appear. Luckily there are sites that allow you to test how your resume is read by and ATS system, like, but this is only in general terms as the users tailor the scan to their preferences.

ATS Scanning Stats:

  • 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using an ATS system to manage applications (glassdoor)
  • sometimes candidates are notified if they don’t move past the ATS stage

A resume is very personal and can be done in many different ways. But it’s up to you to decide how you want to present yourself. Don’t get too stuck on one resume, be open to continuous editing and modifications as you begin to see how it is received and you’ll start to see greater results. For more resume tips make sure to follow us on social!

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