What Are Employers Looking For on Resumes?

John Krautzel
Posted by

Your resume gives an employer a snapshot of your professional life, but a trend in 2018 shows that companies are relying less and less on the traditional, one-page document. Macy Andrews, senior director of human resources at software behemoth Cisco, says a resume used to be around 40 percent of the hiring process, but its weight diminished to around 10 percent as of 2018. Here are three alternatives to resumes that employers want to see.

1. Networking

Find someone who already works within the company to vouch for your skills rather than simply rely on your resume. Companies often say that an insider referral increases your chances of getting an interview, so take the time to reach out and get to know someone who can make a connection to the hiring manager. Stay active in alumni networks, attend networking events and find people on LinkedIn who have shared interests.

Networking involves some effort, but it pays off in the end. You cannot just say to someone, "Can you put me in touch with the hiring manager?" Develop a relationship by starting with common ground to make the initial contact, offering to help the person with a problem they need to solve, and then ask for a return favor at a later time. That return favor could land you a job, as long as your resume backs up what your referral says about your skills.

2. Personal Branding

Your personal brand magnifies your resume by helping you develop an online voice over time. This means maintaining involvement in your area of expertise by posting regular blogs, commenting on other people's blogs, talking about your achievements and demonstrating how you solved a problem or overcame a failure. Companies and recruiters may search your online body of work to find your voice or personal brand to see if fits with the employer's values.

For example, you could talk about a recent news article that discusses a problem in your industry. Offer your insights based on your experiences, and even say how you would solve the problem. Perhaps you ran across this issue in your previous place of employment and you have unique insights as to how you and your team overcame a particular obstacle. This is one way to elevate your voice and show your expertise in your field, which may capture the attention of a potential employer.

3. Take Advantage of LinkedIn and Social Media

You LinkedIn profile is important as it serves as your resume that you can update on a regular basis. Seek out recommendations from colleagues and former supervisors as a way to build up credibility. Join groups on LinkedIn to discuss the latest issues in your field with your peers. One of these colleagues may put you in touch with a hiring manager.

Other forms of social media come in handy as you build your brand. Link to videos, news articles, blogs from industry experts and social media from HR departments to expand your online presence beyond LinkedIn.

Your resume is still an important tool, but it has expanded and taken on different forms. These three alternatives show how you can elevate your vital document to give employers a better idea of who you are beyond just a one-page piece of paper.

Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch