10 Resume Trends for 2016

John Krautzel
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Hiring trends are constantly changing, and so should your CV. Next time you write a resume, remember these top 10 resume trends of 2016 to ensure you give recruiters the best possible impression.

1. Get to the Point Quickly

In 2016, resume trends reflect the fact that there is strong competition for jobs in many fields. Recruiters have little time to spend reading each applicant's resume, so you need to quickly communicate why you are the best fit for the job. Use short sentences and bullet points to list your key accomplishments, so the recruiter can quickly see what you have to offer.

2. Edit Ruthlessly

When you write a resume, you'll almost certainly include too many unnecessary words on your first draft. Read back over what you wrote, and cut anything that's not a critical part of the message you want to convey.

3. Assume Recruiters Will Skim Your Resume

Many modern recruiters don't read resumes word by word. Instead, they skim over the main points before deciding whether they want to look at parts of the resume in more detail. Use bullet points and headings to highlight key information to skim-reading recruiters.

4. Use the CAR Formula

CAR stands for Challenge, Action, Result. It's a formula you can use to explain your key achievements. First, explain the challenge that you faced at work. Next, explain the action you took to resolve the situation. Finally, state the result.

5. Quantify Your Achievements

Employers in 2016 are looking for someone who can increase their company's profits or decrease their costs. If you've raised revenue or cut costs in a previous role, quantify your achievement on your resume by stating the amount your actions raised or saved.

6. Use Visual Information

Online resumes are becoming more common. Embrace this modern trend by adding graphs and charts to your resume or LinkedIn profile to communicate quantifiable information. People process visual information faster than text, so these resume trends could help you communicate more effectively.

7. Try an Infographic Resume

One of the hottest resume trends in marketing, social media and design is an infographic resume. Similar to trend No. 6, these resumes use visuals instead of text to deliver information. They're a great opportunity to show your creative side.

8. Use Short Sentences

In 2016, recruiters are used to reading tweets and other bite-size pieces of information. Follow this resume trend by making your CV easy to digest using short sentences of 140 characters or fewer.

9. Create a Personal Brand

Use words, images and color to create a strong personal brand on your LinkedIn profile or website. You can include these words and colors on your resume to continue your personal branding and create a confident presentation of your professional self.

10. Forget About ATS

Until recently, employers used ATS (applicant tracking software) to scan resumes for particular keywords. However, they're starting to realize that the software isn't great at finding the best candidates for a job. With fewer employers using ATS, you don't need to worry about cramming keywords into your resume.

Recruiters' attention spans are getting shorter each year, so if you want to stay competitive in the job market, you need to adapt. Create an effective resume in 2016 by keeping up with these resume trends.

Photo courtesy of Anoop Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Arlin thanks for your comment. I wish I had the answer to that one. Who is right? As of this point in time, ATS is being used by the larger percentage of companies. Will it continue or will it be replaced by yet another system? Only time will tell. Your best bet is to write your resumes and cover letters as if the company uses ATS; use the keywords, etc. If the company does not use ATS, it will still only receive a cursory glance - around 6 seconds is the average - by a recruiter/HR. Sorry I didn't have an answer but I don't think that anyone actually does. As the market calms down, things will change yet again.

  • Arlin R. Lagasse'
    Arlin R. Lagasse'

    There are many 'opinions' that are available...so how do you know who is the most correct? Mr. Hankes (Feb 2)...I concur with your question of "who's right" on the current use of ATS not being used as much now. A person's opinion, whether personal or professional, depends much on that person's set of experiences and/or training...that determine their 'point of reference'. What's the answer? How to determine who's has the most accurate information? I wish I knew.

  • edeltrudes d.
    edeltrudes d.

    This will help the new graduates,,Especially in the Philippines where there are so many professionals and cannot land a job as to availability of work related to Their OJT experiences..

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Keith thanks for your great comment. So very true - most companies use ATS and only want a one-page chronological resume. Yes it certainly can highlight the employment gaps, quickly which is why the cover letter becomes all that more important. Networking and who you know, not what you know is and probably always will be the standard way of getting your foot in the door. We stress networking all of the time because it's just that important. And honestly, it has always been that way. When I was in my late teens and early 20's, I got my positions because of someone I knew or because the hiring manager knew my family. Networking at its finest. The only difference now is that we do our "networking" online most of the time.

  • Keith Enste
    Keith Enste

    If your resume is only getting at least initially at most a ten second scan; I don't see much value in "reinventing the wheel" so to speak when it comes to resumes: from my experience most recruiters and prospective employers are still beholden to the straight-forward; standard; "plain-vanilla one-page chronologically formatted resume: which for far too many job-seekers mostly highlights the gaps in their employment: automatically disqualifying them from further consideration. In this job-market the whom you know is far superior to the what you may know. Isn't that truly; in a "nut-shell"all that networking is all about?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Alex thanks for your comment. Beyond has a resume writing service should you be interested. Or you could just do a search on the Internet for sample truck driver's resumes. That will give you an idea what others are using on theirs so that it will help you write your own. Good luck.

  • Alex postel
    Alex postel

    I need a truck drivers resume

  • Mario M.
    Mario M.

    Just be truthful, don't exaggerate and don't accept a job where you are paid to do the work of an entire team all by yourself.

  • DINDO D.
    DINDO D.

    All Comments are good, So very true, But as a Christian, Trusting GOD IN ALL OUR WAYS is my proven awesome experience. From a 'simple Supervisor' drags me in an Outstanding 'Operation Managerial''Position" which provide more interesting work record, more provision and stable career. Our LOVING CREATOR always knows the BEST for HIS Created people. "GLORY TO THE LORD"

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Kristen thanks for your comment. So very true. You might be amazed at some of the resumes that we see on a daily basis. Edit ruthlessly is extremely important especially today. Everyone wants things done instantaneously. They don't want to weed through a long resume but want to just see the highlights and accomplishments in short, to the point, bullet points. And it truly is great to have someone review your resume each time you make a change. I went through my resume with a fine-toothed comb, or so I thought. A month or so later I pulled it out to look at it again and I found several things to change as well as a typo and a word used in the wrong context. One last look is worth the time and effort.

  • Kristen Jedrosko
    Kristen Jedrosko

    "Edit ruthlessly" might be one of the most important points in this article. When you think you have looked it over to point of perfection, look it over 5 more times and then have someone else look it over for you. When I was working with college professors to get my resume ready to submit to prospective employers, they tore it apart every time, even when I thought it was perfect. They found ways that I did not think of to make my sentences shorter and to highlight key achievements, skills, and abilities. I definitely think it is a great idea if you have professors or professionals available to you as a resource for resume editing you should use them,

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Abbey thanks for your comment. And the answer is - it depends. There is conflicting information out there which is why we always say that there is no right or wrong. Most companies want the resume limited to one page - short, sweet and to the point. You could create graphics or charts and still keep your resume to one page. But please note that most places still want just a simple, straightforward resume and that is the route I would take if in doubt.

  • Abbey Boyd
    Abbey Boyd

    After doing a lot of research on resumes lately, I have gathered a lot of practical, useful information. However, I have also noticed a lot of conflicting information. Some sources say to keep the resume simple, whereas this article suggests graphs, charts, and infographics. How do you decide which approach is the correct way to go? Does it depend on the company, the position, or something else? I understand that there is sometimes an obvious answer to this question, but not always. When in doubt, which route do you take?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. An infographic can be a risky way to go unless you are really applying for a creative position. But then the world is evolving when it comes to your job search and it's possible that in the future companies will ask for you to submit an infographic mainly to see if you can do it. Personally, although I like the infographics, I am old fashioned enough to appreciate a nice clean resume with a nice font, plenty of white space and bulleted quantifiable points because that is what the hiring manager is looking for. @Catharine - edit ruthlessly is certainly correct. And check and recheck for misspelled words or words that are not being used in the correct context. Can you say thesaurus?! You can always tell when someone uses a thesaurus to complete their resume!

  • Mia Greenwood
    Mia Greenwood

    This is fascinating, especially the idea of an infographic resume. I think I'd be too nervous to use one though, unless I was certain the company was ok with it. I have not seen a resume like this before, so I think I would worry it would hurt me rather than help me.


    I've never heard about the CAR formula before, but it seems like a very effective technique. I think the results portion should include a measurable result, such as a statement like "I increased revenue by 20%" instead of vague claims that recruiters see on every other resume. I also agree with your suggestion to edit ruthlessly. One good way to do this is to give your resume to several friends or family members and ask them to go through it with a fine tooth comb. They will be able to find mistakes that you never would .

  • Jay Bowyer
    Jay Bowyer

    While I believe that graphics incorporation works, I'm not so sure about a resume entirely based on an infographic. It seems risky to dispense with the tried-and-true written resume in favor of a trend some people might consider a temporary fad. Goodness knows it takes a while to write a resume in the first place: why would I want to convert my resume into an infographic only to convert it back to a written resume later on? Also, how would I know which companies to submit an infographic resume to?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @William I am guessing that you won't find very many large or medium sized companies who are trying to hire without using some form of applicant tracking software. Without it, they would have to manually go through each resume and can you imagine the backlog? It would take them months to weed through them all and find the best qualified candidates. I do think that, in spite of what I have read, ATS is probably not going to do anywhere any time soon. Companies still need a way to get through the stack of applications and what better way than ATS? It goes without saying that you must proofread any correspondence that you are sending to a company. @Katharine the format of your resume is a personal decision. Some people swear by bullets and others don't use any. Some job seekers create an infographic or some other form of resume such as a storyboard. There they can use short sentences to show what they can bring to the table. I think it depends upon your industry and the type of job for which you are applying. There is no right or wrong.

  • William Browning
    William Browning

    How can large and medium-sized companies do without applicant tracking software? Does anyone know what the alternatives might be in the future? When I started working 20 years ago, there were no computer programs to digest keywords. Now, they are all the rage. Do you think ATS programs will simply become more sophisticated?

  • Jacob T.
    Jacob T.

    These are some great tips on making your resume stand out. I think the core of a strong resume remains clearly articulating who you are, the value you bring an employer and taking time to make sure spelling and punctuation are correct. I have seen more than a few resumes with great qualifications and dreadful spelling and grammar that the sales managers and I dismissed immediately.

  • Katharine M.
    Katharine M.

    Regarding number 8, "Use Short Sentences," should there be a lot of complete sentences in a resume? I've always used bullet points with phrases and no ending punctuation. Is this incorrect? Or are brief bullet points just as valuable as short sentences for making a point concisely? I'm glad to hear ATS is on its way out- software just can't process information the way a person can.

  • Lorri Cotton
    Lorri Cotton

    There are so many new rules regarding resumes now. I had no idea of any of these. That may explain why I haven't gotten any responses. I am going to go through this article and add it to my resume resources, because I do find it helpful. The CAR method is something that I will definitely employ.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the4 comments. @Tara it probably is best to err on the side of caution and treat every resume and cover letter submitted as if it will go through the ATS. That way you are covered either way. @Shannon maybe an infographic is not a valid option for everyone. Personally I would rather see a nice, clean resume with the requisite white space around the text and the tasks listed as short, quantifiable bullet points than try to create an infographic. Just personal preference. @Hema if you can create the tables and save it as a .pdf, it will probably hold its formatting. Otherwise it probably will end up being nothing but a black blob when it gets to the hiring company. Remember, though, you don't want to get too carried away. Straight forward and to the point is usually the best way to go.

  • Tara Avery
    Tara Avery

    While I agree with a number of these points, I find I have to disagree with forgetting about ATS. Especially for the time being, I think it's better to err on the side of caution by using keywords, since we have no real idea if any given employer has abandoned the ATS model or not. It seems better to cover one's bases, and keywords are still helpful as a structuring device.

  • Shannon Philpott
    Shannon Philpott

    While I agree with many of these tips, I don't think that an infographic resume is appropriate for every industry. A professional applying for a position in accounting or finance could be distracting employers from the opportunity to list skills and experience in a clear-cut format. An infographic resume may be too busy unless you are applying for a position in a creative field, such as graphic design.

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