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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  • Catherine B.
    Catherine B.

    Great information!


    Could you please provide examples of resume using visual information such as charts and graphs? Thanks


    Good article!

  • George A.
    George A.

    Great advice. I would add that if you have the capability, I think a resume in HTML with links to previous employers, your LinkedIn Profile and the more obscure tools you might have used can be helpful. Sadly, most systems import the data and they miss out on the form, but for those that do get the electronic copy, the will get a living document. As far as graphs, I wonder what the parsers would do with that.....


    I would not want to work with any recruiter that can't read or is too lazy to try.

  • Judith G.
    Judith G.

    I am surprised to see advice to use visuals. I haven't found it to be acceptable to many. As a graphic designer and blogger, I naturally use infographics and visuals. The scanning software can't handle them. I read the results and don't recognize myself and am frequently asked for just a Word document, which might work for some who are banking on career trajectory with long-listing of upwardly mobile positions. Less so for someone whose done a great job in the same place for long periods.

  • Rachel C.
    Rachel C.



    Imagine saying, "they are used to reading tweets, so keep it short." The next thing that you will read, is that text language is the way to go now, forget how to spell, because that's no longer important. I work in HR and I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to scan a resume and actually have people mispell or even use "text" language. And guess what? You're not allowed to choose solely on that basis.

  • mazen m.
    mazen m.

    Thank you

  • Racheal F.
    Racheal F.

    Thanks for these tips; solid. Just remember to implement them, too- Tip #2 applies here: There are two #8's listed where a 9 was intended for the second #8... 😉

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thank you for all of the great comments. @Faith if you look at your resume on our site, you can click on Infographic on your Career Portfolio page and see how it would work. As for the ATS, most companies do use it but, as the article indicated, are realizing that it's not giving them the quality applicants that they need. Job Seekers like yourselves are just stuffing what they consider to be keywords into their resumes and cover letters without regards to how their resume reads or even if they don't have the experience indicated by the keywords in the job description. It is true that we have all gotten so used to writing our resumes for keywords that we forget that some companies are still using humans to review our applications. @James stick with your keywords. Even if the ATS has reached its peak and is now declining, it is still definitely being used. That is the truth. Best of luck everyone.

  • Faith B.
    Faith B.

    Thank you Stella B.! How the heck do you turn your work history into an infographic? I am feeling so old right now!

  • Arthur H.
    Arthur H.

    Great tips....thanks

  • Vivien C.
    Vivien C.

    Thank you.

  • Bancy L.
    Bancy L.

    Useful. .thank you.

  • Mary Ann C.
    Mary Ann C.

    Great tips as I mentor many folks on their resumes for career advancement, and while using many of these tips, I learned some new ones. Thanks!

  • Yegnan T.
    Yegnan T.

    Good , thank you.


    Will take full advantage, Thanks

  • Caren B.
    Caren B.

    Good Stuff!! thanks.

  • M M.
    M M.

    Your approach is quite professional.so i need to try it.

  • Dale H.
    Dale H.

    Been doing this for clients for years. Now they are catching on.

  • Shafi J.
    Shafi J.

    It was very useful information. I would start trying it now. If it worked for me, I will share my experience.

  • Shafi J.
    Shafi J.

    It was very useful information. I would start trying it now. If it worked for me, I will share my experience.

  • Stella B.
    Stella B.

    This whole resume thing is getting more ridiculous by the minute. Infographics? Seriously?

  • Willena E.
    Willena E.

    Thank you for these tips. :))

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