Resume Tips For Job Seekers: Here’s Why 90% Of Resumes Get Thrown Out

Avoid the rubbish bin.

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Most resumes follow a familiar format, which has been with us since the 1990s. Does being widely adopted, however, translate to being effective?

Here’s one of the best resume writing tips you’ll ever find: Don’t be stuck in the 1990’s. What do I mean by this? Well, if you do a quick web search for the word “resume”, you’ll find yourself faced with examples of a ubiquitous resume format which has not seen much evolution since the 1990s.

You know what I’m talking about. It looks something like this:

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The most obvious problems here are:

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  • excess of text on the page
  • insufficient white space, and
  • no sense of priority and logic

Some resume writers justify the need for this archaic design by correlating it to ATS performance – which is a myth that I debunk in this article.


Resume Writing Tip: Design For Modern Day.

The ‘classic’ style of resume design harks back to an era when an abundance of text on a page was considered to be a feature, not a flaw.

In the 1990’s, people weren’t drowning in information as they are now. Consequently, they had patience for cumbersome, intimidating, overloaded-with-text resumes.

The Internet looked somewhat similar back then, too. You do remember those days, don’t you?

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Times Have Changed.

We live in a digital age.

Odds are, the first person who casts their eyes on your resume will be a recruiter who is in their late 20’s or mid 30’s.

(Related Reading: How To Write A Resume That Seduces Recruiters).

It means that they’ll be a time-pressed Millennial who probably isn’t used to reading books, but has spent the last 10 years of their life skimming through web content at warp speed.

It’s also likely that the first time they’ll see your resume will be on their mobile device, while they’re driving to/from work, waiting for a client, etc.

If your resume looks dated, clunky or simply like “hard work”, this recruiter will struggle to give it their attention (even if the content is great).


Design For The Web.

It’s important to realise that your resume will probably never make it to paper. It will be consumed on digital devices amidst a sea of other digital content that the recruiter is trying to juggle that day.

This means your resume needs to conform to contemporary Web design rules. It has to flow.

Much like a well-optimised web page, it has to clearly communicate the priority of detail through design.

(Related Article: Here’s A Resume Which Will Pass Any ATS Test).

Most importantly, it has to pull a reader in – one bit of information at a time. Here’s one example of a professional & contemporary resume style we use here at Arielle:

resume tips

This is one of my most obvious, but often overlooked resume tips – it’s no longer the 1990s.

Don’t jeopardise your chances of getting noticed by making your resume look like it belongs to someone who is out of touch with the times.


Great Design Is Just The Beginning.

An effective design simply gets you in the door; it takes away some of the reasons a recruiter has to stop reading.

Your next challenge is to articulate your unique selling proposition (USP), thus positioning yourself head and shoulders above your competition.

Don’t have the time to do it yourself?

Take a closer look at my professional resume services so that we can transform your old, neglected and broken resume into an extraordinary marketing document.

Until next time, thanks for reading my resume writing tips – I am honoured that you see me as a source of best-in-class information on this topic.

– Irene


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