Making A Modern Resume


Even if you’ve only had one job since your last update, it’s never a bad idea to modernize your resume’s style and content!

Times are changing, and so are recruitment styles. You need a resume that’s ready to match the way employers are scouting for talent. We all know that a resume contains your employment and educational history, as well as your accomplishments and your credentials that fit your industry. But it’s more than just what you put on paper; how you lay it out counts just as much towards landing your dream job!

Here’s how to make your resume stand out, without making it outlandish.

Grab An Industry-Specific Template

One of the aspects of building a resume that can feel most overwhelming is figuring out how to design it stylistically. You want something that’s aesthetically pleasing, but presents your content in a clear and organized fashion as well.

Depending on what type of work you’re looking for, this can manifest in different ways, and constantly rebalancing margin lines, columns, section styles and header formatting, among the myriad of other visual choices you need to make, on top of making sure you fit in everything you need to say, can be extremely daunting.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a shortcut?

Well good news! There are THOUSANDS of shortcuts! By doing a few searches online, you can get an eye for the designs that are most predominant in your line of business. And better yet, using a template means no fuss when it comes to striking the right visual balance. Just input your info, and you’re good to go!

Different industries have different approaches. A straightforward, minimalist approach is best suited for a corporate office job, while something more fun and lively is going to get you noticed when applying for a creative position. Look up recent template designs specific to the jobs you’re applying to, and save yourself the hassle of building a resume from scratch. With a template, you’re already halfway to your goal.

What style of resume is popular in your industry?

Cut It Up And Be Consistent

Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager: you’ve been sifting through resumes all day, and you’re starting to think your eyes could use a break at some point. That’s why using blank space to your advantage is going to let recruiters read your resume with fresh eyes.

To do this, cut up your resume into bite-sized, manageable chunks. Long walls of text, run-on-sentences, and uneven sections are visually frustrating to readers. Remember, your resume is not a novel, it’s a quick way for employers to digest details about why you’re a top candidate. So let space speak for you, and show you can summarize your ideas into neat little sections.

You also have to be mindful to be consistent with your formatting. When it comes to art, many wild, clashing colours, and patternless, competing structures, will definitely grab your audience’s attention, but while it may make your resume more noticeable, too much variation is a turn-off for recruiters.

Stick to only one or two font types, as well as only one or two sizes or colours to differentiate things like titles and subheaders. A bit of flair is appealing, but a lack of consistency will quickly dismiss any appeal on paper.

Could your resume be improved just by adding a bit of whitespace, and subtracting some font choices?

Share Your Social Media

It should come as no surprise to anyone that most employers are “stalking” your social media to get a clearer picture of who you are, and how you present yourself. Part of any job search today involves combing through your online content and curating it to show off only what you want people to see. In other words, what’s appropriate for your profession.

So why not show them you have nothing to hide?

Putting you social media handles/links on a resume is quickly becoming a common practice. As a job seeker, your brand is your personal image. So you need to market yourself, and network through your preferred online platforms. This is especially true if you want to work as a freelancer!

As a result of employers using social media in tandem with traditional recruitment processes, you should also stop submitting a photo with your resume (if you have done so). Let your curated content do the talking!

Is your social media ready to be reviewed?

Resume Now. Reference Later.

This is a long debated topic, but let’s put it to rest: you should not include your references on your resume. Unless you are specifically requested to submit them in advance, the traditional “References available upon request” will suffice.

Why? Because no busy employer is going to spend time to contact your references before they’ve had an interview with you. It takes time to call people, especially if they end up playing phone tag.

So instead of wasting space on your resume that could be used to highlight the value you’d bring to the business, just print out your references and bring a copy to your interview. You can always email them separately later, even if you’ll have a remote interview for a particular position.

Could you free up valuable page space by removing your references?

Keywords Are The Key

Want to hear something that sounds like science fiction, but isn’t? The first person to read your resume is most likely going to be a robot.

Ok, ok, so not the stereotypical robot we see in movies and books, but rather a sophisticated program that’s designed to weed out irrelevant application material.

Let’s say an employer gets 1,000 resumes and wants to narrow it down to 10 interview candidates. Even if they read one a minute, with no breaks, it would take them over 16 hours (that’s two whole work days!) to get through every single one. Not to mention how difficult it would be to maintain focus the entire time. It’s just not feasible. So what to do, instead?

Well, using the same type of algorithms that search engines use to show you content related to what you search for, pre-screening robots sift through resumes and look for similar or exact matches to the job-related jargon that’s in the job postings.

While each may operate slightly differently, they all rely on keywords. Did the job-posting call for a “team-oriented” individual? Keywords in a resume like “team”, “group”, or even specifically “team-oriented” will promote that resume to the top of the ranks, and save it from being tossed out.

By rapidly analyzing the content of a database of resumes, a robot can turn that 1,000 into 100, so the job of a human recruiter is made that much easier.

What does this mean for you? You need to craft your resume around the job-specific requirements detailed by the employer. Using the wrong name for a license, or having typos in your listed skills, or simply having irrelevant content is going to get you bounced into the “delete” bucket before the employer even sees your name themselves.


While resumes themselves have been around for hundreds of years, what they look like is constantly changing. Keep your resume up to date with the latest trends discussed here, and you’ll be ready to modernize your job search to get today’s hottest jobs!