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10 Current Resume Trends & Forecasts for 2020/2021 You Should Be Thinking About

Category: B2B News

The first step to getting hired is impressing the hiring manager through your resume. Formatting, content, and functionality of your resume are only some of the factors you must consider. You must get them right if you want to secure the position you are applying for. Thus, taking the extra time to choose and prepare a winning resume will help you stand out to prospective employers.

Landing a job is not as easy as it sounds, and there’s a great chance your resume is preventing you from getting a shot at countless job opportunities. In this article, we will lay down the current trends in resume writing that can lead you to better job opportunities. What are the things you have to consider when building your resume, and what are the fatal errors you must avoid? Reading the trends here will help you craft a resume that may be the key to getting your dream job.

key resume trends

Staring at a blank screen can get fairly intimidating when starting to write your resume. After all, this single piece of document is one of the deciding factors whether or not you can step foot at that office you have been eyeing for so long. Your resume serves as a powerful marketing tool in the eyes of hiring managers and prospective employers.

A Glassdoor research shows that the average job opening attracts 250 resumes. That means there are 249 or more people out there competing with you. This further reiterates the significance of writing an exceptional resume[1] and standing out among the hundreds of applicants out there. Chances are, an impactful resume will give you a good first impression from the get-go, while a bad one will have the recruiter glazing over at the next candidate’s resume.

Source: Trading Economics (2019)

Several employees call this year a golden age for getting a job. In the first half of 2019, 164,000 jobs were added[2] according to the US Labor Department. Most recent job gains came from the service sector, unlike last year when job openings came mostly from blue-collar jobs. Moreover, reports say that hourly earnings are increasing at an average of 0.4 percent, a bit higher compared to the 0.3 percent in July. With this in mind, here is a look at the current trends to guide you in what your resume should look like in 2019.

1. Field-specific resume

The golden rule in applying for a job is this: make sure you’re applying for the job that matches the skills that you have. Preparing for the wrong position is just likely to get you ignored by hiring managers. One glance at your resume and they’ll know if you don’t qualify as a candidate. Thus, sending out your applications to the job positions that match your abilities can save you valuable time and effort.

So, how should a resume look in 2019? Tailoring your resume to a specific industry and career field is one trending approach. The generic resume no longer works for most companies. Nowadays, field-specific or targeted resume types are both smarter and more critical. By highlighting the skills that match the job criteria, your resume can immediately show that you are qualified for the job. This can get you better chances of being called for an interview.

When writing a field-specific resume, it is important to do background research about job requirements. Apart from what’s posted, you can also expand your research to the most commonly requested qualifications for that specific job. By doing so, you’ll have better ideas on how best to present your related skills, qualification, and achievements.

According to a Manpower survey in 2017, one in five employers revealed that applicants don’t have the appropriate technical skills or relevant experience required for the job. This further emphasizes the importance of highlighting the skills that you have, which are those relevant to the job position. This way, recruiters immediately see how the company can benefit from hiring you.

resume trends reading time

Field-specific resume trend takeaways:

  • Nowadays, field-specific or targeted resume types are both smarter and more critical.
  • 1 in 5 employers said that applicants lack appropriate technical skills or experience for the job.

2. Keeping it short

Even if it took you the whole day in building your resume, hiring managers and prospective employers won’t take as long as reviewing your application. Having an extensive work history that runs on a two-page resume is not always equal to having better chances at securing a job offer. Sometimes, it can even be the cause of your application not moving forward.

There are mainly four things that recruiters and hiring managers look for in the resume scanning stage: work experience, education, skill set, and personality. If you’re wondering how should a resume look in 2019, these are the things you’d have to keep in mind. If your content starts becoming too long, it’s time to cut back on some details and retain only the most important ones.

All the job responsibilities you’ve had do not need listing down, except those most pertinent to the job you are applying for. Compromising the quantity for a better quality of your employment history can be more beneficial.


Resume length trend takeaways:

  • A two-page resume is a deal-breaker for 17% of hiring managers. [3]
  • Recruiters have short attention spans, and they won’t scan more information in your resume than necessary. [4]
  • A hiring manager takes only an initial 10 to 30-second glance and then sorts it into the keeper, or maybe, trash piles. [5]

3. Social media sites

Social media as business advertising drives growth in revenues. Likewise, your personal social media is your brand, and hiring managers definitely take that into consideration. As part of a routine, most hiring managers now scan online social media pages of the applicants. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites make up your online identity and personal brand, so keeping a professional image online can give you some plus points when applying for a job.

Social media provides a glimpse into an applicant’s personality beyond the resume. The content of your personal blogs following the trends can reflect some of your skills as well. Other than those, though, questionable content or behavior is the first thing most employers or recruiters look for, ensuring that the applicant wouldn’t be involved in several issues in the future that can risk the company’s branding. Social media platforms also allow hiring managers to check if the information on an applicant’s resume is consistent with the information posted online.

Source: Jobvite (2015)

Social media job trend takeaways:

  • More than 90 percent of employers use social media in their quest to find new talent. [5]
  • For 35% of employers, an unprofessional email address is a major problem. [3]
  • Reading resumes is the least preferred method of recruiters for finding good talent. [5]

4. Technological competence

Most of today’s industries are defined by various technological advancements. Finding employees online can even be done by most companies. Hence, certain technical skills can give you an edge when putting forward your job application. Hiring managers look for and usually expect technological competence from qualifying candidates.

That being the case, it is important to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest technology innovations shaping the industry. Doing research from time to time certainly helps too. Trade periodicals and online resources are available for perusing. Likewise, they can update you with the trends and latest happenings in technological aspects affecting the field you are pursuing.

Furthermore, you should be able to show that competence in your resume. Image editing, SEO, CSS, HTML, and website inspectors are some useful skills that you can advantage of. Business intelligence analyst skills can also come in handy. Knowledge and competence in these aspects can help impress your future hiring manager.

resume trends talent shortage

Technological competence trend takeaways:

  • Technical skills highlighted on your resume give you an edge when applying for a job.
  • Keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in your field can impress hiring managers.
  • Image editing, SEO, CSS, and HTML are some useful skill you can often use.

5. Using dynamic words and quantifiable achievements

Appropriate, thoughtful word choice in your resume can help you better present your skills and capabilities to prospective employers. With the hundreds of applications the HR deal with, some generic words have even lost their meaning already. Some words don’t do enough in showing off what you can do for the company.

Choosing several action verbs can demonstrate your skills, all the while undermining the strength and effectiveness of your resume. The goal here is to deliver enough impact in a matter of seconds and to convince your reader that you are fit for the position. By using the key terms that the company uses to describe itself, you can denote that you will be capable of upholding the company’s values. Furthermore, instead of tirelessly repeating the same words over again, remember to can use a variety of terms that can best describe your skills and achievements.

Using numbers can also give recruiters a better grasp of your accomplishments. Numbers are often better indicators of impact, and it can show your results-oriented and hardworking personality. Quantifying your achievements is the best way to make a lasting impression for anyone who glances at your resume. Numbers can show that you have a legitimate achievement in your entire employment history.

While choosing the best words possible that can best show off your skills and achievements,  a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology in 2017 reports that too much self-promotion in resumes can come across as unlikeable for many prospective employers. According to the study, ingratiation tactics, the act of balancing humility and self-promotion in writing resumes and cover letters, allow better chances of getting noticed by the recruiter.

Furthermore, job seekers who use numbers in their resume see a 40% boost over the competition, according to Talentworks.

resume trends top skills to highlight

Resume writing trend takeaways:

  • Using numbers in your resume can better present your accomplishments.
  • When you quantify your achievements, you can have a 40% boost over the competition. [6]
  • Choosing the best words possible and several action verbs results in an effective and impactful resume.

6. Showcasing personality and emotional intelligence

In a Career Builder study, results show that about 77 percent of employers believe that soft skills are important. Skills associated with your traits or personality are just as important as hard skills. The 16 percent, however, believe that they are actually more important. Apart from your skills and work experience, employers also look for certain qualities and personalities that are sometimes difficult to express in a single piece of paper. Nonetheless, proper resume writing can achieve this feat.

Showing your personality and emotional intelligence through your resume assures the hiring manager that you are a person and not likely to become a robotic employee during your tenure. Some of the top qualities that employers are looking for include apt communication skills, flexibility, eagerness to learn, and the ability to work harmoniously with coworkers.

Career Builder also listed listening skills, emotional intelligence, and communication skills as some of the top qualities employers are looking for. In your resume, mentioning some unique and worthwhile hobbies that can be relevant to the job position you are seeking makes you a better candidate.

Personality & EQ in Resume Trend Takeaways

  • 77 percent of employers believe that soft skills are important.
  • Some of the top qualities employers are looking for include listening skills, emotional intelligence, and communication skills.

7. Optimized resume for ATS scanning

An ATS-friendly resume goes places. By beating the bots, you’ll have more chances of passing a company’s ATS scanning, providing you with more job opportunities. In the past years, ATS software solutions were used mainly by large organizations. There are plenty of ATS tools that help in sifting through the thousands of incoming applications that they receive on a weekly basis. Today, however, ATS platforms are widely used among employers and recruiting firms of all sizes.

ATS can scan and rank job applications a company receives online. It serves as an electronic gatekeeper for an employer. Recruiters and prospective employers also use them to collect and sort resumes during the hiring process.

When writing an ATS-friendly resume, a PDF is not usually the best file type for your resume. Since an ATS automatically scans the content of your resume, a Word document in .doc or .docx or plain-text files can be more easily scannable by the system. You can also use several relevant keywords to better optimize your resume. Keep in mind that some ATS will determine your skill strengths depending on how many times a term shows up in your resume.

applicant tracking system process

Most Popular Applicant Tracking Software Solutions

  1. ClearCompany is an applicant tracking solution sporting useful robust features for video interviews, candidate experience management, interview feedback, and background checks. It also offers a module for branded career sites and offer letter management.
  2. UltiPro provides users with talent, payroll, and labor-management apps to help businesses streamline HR processes. It has a robust recruiting module that helps you track candidates and help them through onboarding and job proper.
  3. Freshteam combines recruitment applications and applicant tracking capabilities. Its intuitive user interface sports features for job posting management, collaborative hiring, candidate profiles, recruitment CRM, and many others.
  4. Recruiterbox offers core applicant tracking tools like application status checks, custom application forms, candidate auto-response, and hiring process management. It also has other modules like social media sharing and task management, among many.
  5. Sage People is a web-based HR platform that helps businesses manage talents effectively from hiring to retaining them. It has great applicant tracking features such as a dedicated talent finder, employee profiles, data analytics, and candidate portals.

8. Resume format

An Undercover Recruiter study reports that over 40% of recruiters are put off by too much design. Thus, when developing an effective resume, you must take into account the format as well. Choosing the right format can aid in better delivery of your personal and professional story. Another thing to consider in your chosen resume format is the highlighting of specific skills and experiences. They should be highlighted and fully showcased within the entire document.

Various career sites recognize the three resume formats: reverse chronological, functional, and combined. These are the formats often used by most job seekers. These formats effectively highlight your qualifications and offers greater flexibility when tweaking your resume content.

  1. Reverse chronological format: This is one of the most simple resume formats often used but is nonetheless effective. This format best demonstrates relevant work experiences. In this format, the employment history receives the greatest emphasis, whereas the skills and education background items follow behind.
  2. Functional format: The functional format is also known as a skills-based resume. Instead of work experience, the skills relevant to the job position receive more emphasis. This format can be great when you want to showcase your relevant skills to your prospective employers.
  3. Combined resume format: In this format, work experience and skills are both highlighted and given an equal significance. This type of resume has a flexible layout and is best for applicants with an extensive work history.

Resume format trend takeaways:

  • There are three resume formats: three resume formats: reverse chronological, functional, and combined.
  • You must choose a resume format that best highlights your specific skills and experiences.
  • Too much design puts off about 40% of recruiters. [7]

9. Most common resume mistakes

In building your resume, you must pay attention not only to the list of dos but also in the don’ts so as to stay away from the common errors committed by hundreds of other applicants before you. Certain errors in your resume can cost you your dream job, and there’s no correcting it once it lands in the hands of employers.

Spelling and grammatical errors are on top of the list of the most common mistakes by job seekers. One letter, or sometimes even just one word, can get the hiring manager slowly glancing at the next candidate’s resume. You don’t wanna lose the chance of your resume getting picked up, so it’s best to practice proofreading your resume every time you’re about to submit it.

An unprofessional e-mail address can also be the cause of your rejection. You have to keep in mind that in the corporate world, having a professional image at all times is important, and an e-mail like just doesn’t cut it. If you want to make it at least to the interview stage,  it’s helpful to have an e-mail address that reflects who you are as a professional.

It is also risky to have outdated information in your resume profile. Revising your resume from time to time cannot be helped. There are certain details that you have to update as you gain new skills and work experience. Contact information is also crucial information that needs to be constantly checked and updated.

Moreover, the second pair of eyes can help in ensuring that your resume is well-made. There are times when no matter how keen you have become in proofreading your resume, minor errors remain hidden. Having someone else double-check your resume, however, can ensure error-free content.

Source: Career Builder (2018)

Common resume mistakes trend takeaways:

  • Spelling and grammatical errors are the most common mistakes found in resumes.
  • About 76% of resumes with unprofessional email addresses are rejected. [8]

10. Online resume builders

Using the services of online resume builders is not something that can be held against you. Those online tools are there for a reason, and they can be a great choice when you want to cover all the required details of your employment history and relevant skills without fatal human errors.

By plugging in your information, the application will help you build a cohesive resume through several interactive resume templates. Using these online resume builders bring a number of benefits, among them are saving time and having the latest trends in resume writing. The output also uses several industry keywords that can pass even the best ATS software scanning. And although some resume builders can be costly, the investment is worth it if it pays off by getting you called in for an interview.

Here are some of the top resume builders online:

  1. Zety Resume Builder
  2. Resumonk
  3. SlashCV
  4. VisualCV
  5. Cvmaker

Online resume builders trend takeaways:

  • Online resume builders are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Interactive resume templates can help build an effective resume.
  • Using an online resume builder saves you time and keeps your resume format up-to-date.

Creating an Effective Resume

The short amount of time recruiters, hiring managers, and prospective employers take to review your resume is also the time your future career path gets decided. Employers take it to the next level when searching for the right candidates to fill a job position. This is why they use top applicant tracking software and other tools to get the right candidates hired. Also. this is why it’s important to already have your best foot forward at the very first stage of job hunting, which is sending out several resumes.

Keeping your resume simple, using the appropriate templates, and making sure you meet all qualifications for the position are some of the most important factors in building an effective resume. In today’s highly technological era, you must also consider various ATS platforms that most companies use to automatically screen your resume. There are also several freelance platforms where organizations can search a database of candidates filtered by criteria such as skills, experience, and more

These resume trends can keep your ground in the globally competitive market. Indeed, building and updating your resume can cost you a lot of time and resources. However, you’ll soon find that it is well worth the extra effort as it means getting you next to a paycheck and achieving your career goals.



  1. ^Tips for Writing an Exceptional Resume
  2. ^U.S. labor market chugs on with 164,000 jobs added in July
  3. ^5 Resume Stats All Job Seekers Should Know
  4. ^Is a Two-Page Resume Ever OK?
  5. ^Interesting Statistics About Resumes
  6. ^The Science of The Job Search, Part I: 13 Data-Backed Ways To Win
  7. ^The Ideas Shaping the Future of HR and Hiring
  8. ^Avoiding job rejection


Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

86keys dot com says:

Great resume tips, graphically enhanced resumes may look spectacular but they don't comply with the ATS systems many companies use when scanning resumes.

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