There have been vast changes in the job market over the last couple of years. From shifts towards remote work to staggering numbers of workers leaving their jobs in search of new opportunities, many of us are left wondering how it all affects the job application process.
Resumes still remain the #2 factor employers look at to determine if candidates are the right fit. But as the world of recruitment and job searching evolves, so do the requirements of a successful resume.
Here are five current resume trends to follow in 2022:
1. Resumes are becoming more skills-focused
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid technological advancement and the resulting transformation of skills requirements in tech jobs was resulting in a widening digital skills gap.
This skills gap has only widened further as a result of the pandemic. Both the nature of work and the recruitment landscape have completely transformed in less than two years. According to Monster’s annual global survey, 9 out of 10 employers report difficulty filling positions due to a skills gap.
As a result, employers are changing their recruitment strategies. Companies are focusing more on skill sets, actively seeking candidates with the hard and soft skills needed for long-term success in a role. Candidates who use their resumes to effectively demonstrate their skills will have an edge over others vying for the same position.
Recruiters in many industries are having trouble finding candidates with the hard skills needed in today’s digital workplace. Skilled candidates are particularly sought-after in the upward trending sectors of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity, and digital marketing.
Employers recognize the importance of working towards closing the skills gap. 68% of learning and development leaders say that the level of urgency to create learning programs for employees has risen significantly.
If you have technical skills that match the job listing, feature these skills on your resume so employers don’t miss them. Your hard skills are a critical part of what qualifies you for a position, and help inform an employer’s decision to hire you or not.
Don’t have the technical skills for the job you want? You may still be okay. Some studies show that 70% of employers are willing to train the right candidate. Even if you don’t have the hard skills for a position, if you can show you have the right soft skills, you might still get the job offer.
Here are some sought-after soft skills to highlight in your 2022 resume:
- Critical thinking
- Learning quickly
- Problem solving
- Strategic thinking
- Communication skills
- Time management skills
2. Your online presence matters
With more and more people working online, it’s no surprise that your online presence can help (or hurt) your job hunt. According to a survey conducted by Monster, employers say viewing candidate profiles online is the third most effective resource for finding new hires.
According to a 2020 survey by The Manifest:
- 98% of employers do online research on candidates
- 90% use candidates’ social media profiles as a factor in hiring decisions
- 79% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
Additionally, with such a large pool of candidates on social media platforms, up to 84% of organizations use social media as a recruitment tool. Cleaning up your social media accounts and representing yourself professionally can help you attract recruiters and earn more opportunities.
These statistics make it clear that managing your online presence has a significant impact on your job search.
Start by adding your resume to LinkedIn. This resume trend makes your professional information more accessible to recruiters and increases the likelihood that they’ll reach out to you.
While LinkedIn is the most popular recruitment platform designed specifically for job hunters and employers, don’t neglect other social media channels. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also commonly used by recruiters, so it’s important to make sure your profiles don’t contain anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
Portfolios and websites
Another part of a professional online presence is a website or online portfolio. For jobs in creative industries like design, photography, or writing, creating an online portfolio is an effective way to showcase your skills for potential employers.
A popular resume trend is to include a link to a website or portfolio on your resume. Such a link should also be included on your social media accounts and featured on your LinkedIn profile.
3. Resumes targeted at specific jobs are more likely to succeed
With a widening skills gap and so many employers reporting difficulty finding qualified candidates, it’s increasingly important to tailor your resume to the job listing. Making one generic resume and sending it out to dozens of employers won’t show those employers how you’re uniquely qualified for the position they’re hiring for.
Instead, carefully examine the job listing of the open position for important keywords. These keywords are generally industry-specific skills and experience employers are looking for on your application. Include them as much as possible (without lying or stretching the truth) to show you can handle the work if hired.
Use each section of your resume to incorporate these keywords, including your:
The more closely you match a company’s qualifications and demonstrate the proper skill-set and experience, the greater your chance is of gaining an employer’s interest.
4. Work experience is changing
Over the course of the pandemic, many workers quit their jobs to pursue new opportunities. Others were laid off or forced to stay at home under lockdown measures. These personal circumstances led to an increase in self-employment, freelance work, and personal pursuits to develop new skills.
As a result, one resume trend is that employers are seeing more of these types of experiences on resumes. With learning and development being prioritized by employers more than ever before, self-taught skills are very valuable experiences to include in a resume.
Give these forms of experience the space and attention they deserve on your resume. Freelance work and self-employed work can be listed in the work experience section, as you would list experience for any other position. Employers will likely be impressed by your adaptability, initiative, and entrepreneurial spirit.
If you’ve taken courses and acquired new skills, you can list them specifically under a continuing education or professional development section. Including such information shows employers that you’re a motivated self-starter who is eager to learn and grow.
5. Automated application processes continue to grow
Many industries have been undergoing rapid digitization, and recruiting is no different. Up to 35% of recruitment professionals in a LinkedIn survey reported that automation is the biggest trend influencing their hiring practices. In addition, Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is expected to experience sustained growth through 2029.
Job seekers now must contend with more automated platforms throughout the hiring process. Not just ATS either, but even Candidate Relationship Management systems (CRMs) and chatbots.
Greater automation means candidates should make sure they’re writing ATS-friendly resumes and cover letters that use easy-to-scan formats (.docx or .pdf). These systems are often used to filter candidates before hiring managers get a chance to see applications. Ensure your resume is set up to make it past the first automated rounds of screening, and you’ve already made it further than many other applicants.