It’s January, and that means it’s time for the annual retrospective, along with a look forward. Each year, I like to reflect upon the past year’s trends and what we can expect in the coming year.
2021 was, for many, the first entirely virtual year. You’ve had nearly 2 years to get used to this new world order that shows no sign of going away. Virtual teamwork and meetings will continue into 2022, even for employees who return to a physical office. So, up your on-camera game with a neutral background/green screen and appropriate lighting.
Also in 2021, we continued to move away from the objective section of the resume and a trend toward a summary section that highlights core competencies. An objective on a resume has transformed from merely being passé to being a huge red flag that the applicant is not abreast of current trends. Not being on top of what is happening right now, at the moment, can be a death knell. Although an objective was requisite for inclusion in years past, we’ve reached the point where it’s obsolete. Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t interested in candidates’ career goals; they want to know that candidates can solve problems and that they can do so quickly, so make sure you are clear in your summary.
This past year, we’ve also completely abolished the inclusion of a physical or mailing address. No one is going to send you a response to your application via the postal service. Besides, in the current market and the ongoing pandemic, employers are not particular on geographic location; instead, they tend to focus on experience and skill set. Also, you don’t want to list your address on your resume because that is a piece of information that can be used to confirm your identity. With identity theft running rampant, guard your personal information and dispense it on a strictly “need to know” basis.
Furthermore, adaptability, and evidence of that, will be critical to success in 2022. The very idea of the workplace has been turned on its head. Those who refuse to adapt to the new way of working will be left behind and have no credibility. This means that micromanagers are in for a rude awakening. More than any other corporate persona, the micromanager is the most rigid and inflexible of them all. Being unable to observe employees physically will instill fear and uncertainty in these people, which will expose their weaknesses.
What to Expect in 2022
As we move into the new year, and as unemployment continues to dwindle, employers will find themselves on the opposite side of the desk. For years, they’ve held all the cards and have been able to have their pick of candidates. In 2022, the competition to recruit top talent will become even more fierce. With that in mind, what kinds of trends can we expect when it comes to resumes? I predict a few things:
Despite myriad technological advances, digital resumes, and LinkedIn, hiring managers and recruiters will still want a traditional Word formatted resume. Yes, a resume will still be relevant, even critical.
We can anticipate that we will see continued importance placed upon results. “What gets measured gets done,” the adage goes, and what gets measured can sell you to an employer. A recruiter or hiring manager needs to quickly scan your resume and discern what value you’ve brought in previous roles. Quantify whenever possible.
The average recruiter spends 7 seconds scanning a resume. That means that you have limited time to make an impact and compel someone to continue reading. In the coming year, crafting a succinct, pithy, attention-grabbing headline will be imperative.
There will be a continued effort among job seekers to maximize their resumes with keywords. Savvy job seekers know that their resume will not be read, but rather it will be scanned. With that reality in mind, the way to efficiently craft a resume is to ensure that you include the relevant keywords. Copy and paste the job description into a word cloud like wordclouds.com to identify the keywords you should use to draw attention to yourself.
I look forward to a successful 2022. I expect that the job market will continue to improve and that the demand for experienced knowledgeable workers will increase. What won’t change is that people hire people in whom they have the confidence to make quick contributions to the bottom line and solve burning problems. Structure your resume around that, and always remember that your resume is not written for you. It’s written for your audience: the recruiters and hiring managers who are reviewing it. Focus on what matters to them. Here’s to hoping that 2022 is productive, happy, and positive for you all!