Home > 
Blog > 
Resume Advice

Resume Advice

A collection of 201 posts
Article image
Resume Advice
2024 Resume Statistics From Over 12 000 US-Based Job-Seekers

In the rapidly evolving job market, understanding the intricate details of what makes a resume stand out can be a game-changer for job seekers. This article delves into the fascinating resume composition trends based on an extensive analysis of over 12,000 US-based resumes crafted in 2024. Research Objective and an Overview of the Methodology The objective of this research is to dissect the anatomy of modern-day resumes to unearth the trends and norms governing resume composition. Our comprehensive study is grounded on an extensive dataset of 12 085 resumes created in 2023 by US-based users, encompassing various elements, ranging from basic demographic information to the intricate details of professional experience and skills showcased. The data for this research comprises a myriad of anonymized factors including but not limited to: The type of position applied for, Presence of social media profiles, Length of the resume in pages and words, Summary section analysis, Skills listed, And a thorough examination of the professional experience section, among others. In the following sections, we will go through the basic demographic information, delve into the composition of resumes, evaluate the professional experience detailed, analyze the skills and qualifications presented, and explore additional sections like side projects. How Long Was an Average US Resume in 2024? The length of resumes has always been a topic of debate among job seekers and employers. However, there's considerable ambiguity concerning the ideal length of a resume. To address this, we conducted a comprehensive study, analyzing the length of resumes across various job applications. The objective was to identify prevalent trends and deduce the impact of resume length on the application process. Data was collected from a sample size of over 12,000 resumes of US-based applicants created in 2024, revealing preferences and common practices among job applicants. The data reveals a clear preference among job applicants for shorter resumes, with the distribution of resume lengths in percentages as follows: This distribution highlights that nearly 89.53% of job applicants submit resumes that are one or two pages long, underscoring a significant tendency towards brevity. Conversely, resumes longer than two pages are decidedly less common, constituting approximately 10.47% of the total, with those extending beyond three pages being particularly rare. The propensity for shorter resumes may be attributed to several factors. Employers often prefer concise resumes due to the volume of applications received. Shorter resumes are easier to scan quickly, ensuring that key qualifications and experiences are readily apparent. Moreover, the trend toward one or two-page resumes indicates a broader understanding of this preference among job seekers. They are tailoring their applications accordingly to align with the expectations of HR professionals and recruiters. However, the presence of resumes with more than two pages, while comparatively low, suggests that there are circumstances or industries where longer resumes are either acceptable or required. These instances could be related to positions requiring extensive technical expertise, academic backgrounds, or long, diversified work experiences. The data reveals a direct (and obvious) correlation between the number of pages and the average number of words per resume. From concise one-page resumes averaging approximately 287 words to extensive seven-page documents containing an average of roughly 2300 words, it's evident that the industry, position, and individual's experience play critical roles in determining resume length. Among all resumes analyzed, they averaged 438 words. One-page resumes: The average word count for a single-page resume is approximately 287 words. This suggests a highly concise presentation of the candidate's information, typically encompassing essential educational qualifications, core competencies, and relevant experiences. This brevity aligns with the popular professional advice advocating for succinctness and directness in resume writing, especially for entry-level positions or roles requiring less professional experience. Two-page resumes: Two-page resumes show a substantial increase in content, with an average of approximately 506 words. This allows for a more detailed summary of the applicant's qualifications, skills, and professional experiences. It's suitable for professionals with more work experience, multiple job changes, or extensive skills and qualifications that cannot be adequately captured in a single page. Three-page resumes and more: As the resume length extends to three pages and beyond, the word count increases significantly, suggesting a comprehensive detailing of the applicant's career journey, including multiple roles, detailed project experiences, publications, certifications, and potentially academic accomplishments (like research, teaching experience, etc.). Particularly, resumes with six or seven pages feature an extensive amount of detail, potentially relevant for high-level positions, academia, or fields where a detailed professional history is crucial. The average word counts for these are approximately 1552 and 2300 words, respectively. Length of a Resume and Experience Length We also wanted to explore the relationship between the length of a professional resume and the average number of job positions listed. By analyzing resumes ranging from one to seven pages, a progressive increase was observed in the number of positions presented as the length of the resume increased. One-page resumes: Individuals with one-page resumes have held an average of approximately 3.72 positions. This suggests that these candidates are either early in their career stages or have maintained relatively stable roles within fewer companies. The emphasis for individuals in this group is likely on the quality of experience over quantity, highlighting key skills and contributions more than a diverse work history. Two-page resumes: With an average of approximately 5.33 positions, two-page resumes typically belong to mid-career professionals who have navigated through more roles and possibly have more diverse experiences. This length allows for a detailed presentation of their skills and contributions across various positions. Three-page resumes and beyond: Resumes exceeding two pages show a substantial increase in the number of positions held, with three-page resumes reflecting an average of approximately 6.88 positions, and this trend continues to rise with the length of the resume. These documents often belong to seasoned professionals, individuals who have held numerous roles or have extensive project-based experiences. Notably, resumes of six and seven pages, with an average of around 9.71 and 10.5 positions respectively, likely represent highly experienced professionals, possibly including those in academia, high-level executives, or consultants with project-intensive careers. Resume Length and Skills, Experience, and Positions Presented Resume length vs. average number of skills, experience length (years), and number of positions: 1 page: 5.46 skills, 10.94 years, 3.72 positions 2 pages: 7.38 skills, 15.11 years, 5.33 positions 3 pages: 9.38 skills, 18.12 years, 6.88 positions 4 pages: 11.88 skills, 19.93 years, 8.31 positions 5 pages: 10.62 skills, 19.49 years, 8.82 positions 6 pages: 19.29 skills, 22.31 years, 9.71 positions 7 pages: 12.67 skills, 19.28 years, 10.5 positions The increase in the number of skills and positions with longer resumes may be due to professionals accumulating more skills and changing roles more frequently throughout a longer career. The dip in skills at five pages and the subsequent rise could suggest varying strategies in resume preparation, such as a more selective approach to skill listing or a transition point in career complexity. The plateau in the years of experience beyond four pages may indicate a threshold in career duration after which individuals don't significantly change roles or gain new skills, or it might reflect a standard career span in certain industries. Resume Header Section of US Resumes in 2024 The resume header serves as the initial point of contact between a candidate and a prospective employer, encapsulating essential contact information and digital footprints. It's the doorway through which recruiters step into the world of a candidate, guided by the cues presented in the form of address, social links, email type, and photo. The inquiry stretched across various elements— the presence of location details, the inclusion of social media links, the choice between personal or professional email, and the decision to include a photo. Job-Seekers’ Home Address in Resume Out of the total resumes analyzed, 10,345 of them had a location or address present in the header, while 1,740 did not have an address included. This indicates that a significant majority (approximately 86%) of the individuals chose to include their address in the resume header. Now, deciding to put your address on a resume isn't a clear-cut choice. In the old days, it was pretty standard to have your address up there. So, some hiring folks, especially those from older generations, might still look for it. And if you're gunning for a job in your hometown, having your local address can be a good shout. It can tell a potential employer, "Hey, I'm around and ready to jump in!" But, there's the other side of the coin. Privacy is a big deal nowadays. I mean, who wants their personal information floating around, right? Plus, if an employer has some biases about where you live, not including your address can sidestep that issue. And if you're thinking of relocating for a job, having an out-of-town address might raise more questions. Will you move? How serious are you about the job? A neat trick some people use is to only mention the city and state. It's a good middle ground, giving a sense of where you are without handing out your full address. And if you're applying for jobs outside of your current city, just drop a line in your cover letter or resume about your plans to move. It can clear the air right from the start. At the end of the day, whether to include your address boils down to what feels right for you and the job you're applying for. The digital age has shifted the norms a bit, but like most things, it's all about finding a balance that works for you. Social Media Links in Resumes Out of the 12,085 resumes we took a peek at, a whopping 11,857 didn’t have any social network links. That's about 98% of folks keeping their socials separate from their professional personas. Now, there’s a small group who do blend the professional with the personal. About 157 people included just one social link. Maybe they have a killer Instagram or a Twitter feed that's all about their industry. Then there's an even smaller group of 60 people who have two social links on there. And hats off to the 11 brave souls who went all out with three social network links. They're probably confident that their entire online presence paints them in a good light. But why the variation? Well, adding social links to a resume can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can show you're tech-savvy, in touch with modern platforms, and have nothing to hide. But on the flip side, there's always the risk of a potential employer stumbling upon that one post you'd rather they didn't see. For many, it's a matter of playing it safe by leaving socials off their resume. But for others, especially those in industries where online presence matters, showcasing selected social platforms can give them an edge. In the end, like a lot of resume choices, it's all about understanding the job, the industry, and what story you want to tell about yourself. What Types of Emails Job-Seekers Use in Their Resumes From the 12,012 resumes with email addresses we analyzed, a vast majority of 10,443 people—that's about 87%—used their personal email addresses. Now, while there's a sizable chunk doing that, 1,148 folks have gone with their company emails, making up almost 10% of the lot. Then there's a smaller group of 421 individuals, roughly 3.5%, using their university emails as their primary point of contact. Email choice on a resume can be quite telling. Most people stick to personal emails because they're, well, personal. It's an address that's likely to stay consistent regardless of job changes, making it a reliable way for potential employers to reach out. Plus, it's always a good idea to keep job hunting separate from your current workplace, and using a personal email is a step in that direction. Now, using a company email? That's an interesting choice. It might signal confidence or maybe just an oversight. However, it can raise eyebrows. Some employers might wonder about the professionalism of a candidate using their current workplace's resources for job hunting. It's a bit like using the company's printer for your resume. It's not illegal, but it does raise questions. The university email users are probably recent graduates or those still linked to academia in some way. It's not uncommon for students or recent alumni to use their university emails, especially if they believe it might give them an edge, signaling their recent academic achievements or affiliations. In the grand scheme of things, it's always best to use an email address that looks professional, is unlikely to change, and doesn't mix current work with job hunting. Personal emails usually tick all those boxes, but like all things in life, it's about context and making sure the choice aligns with the story you're trying to tell on your resume. Correlation Between Type of Email Used and Job-Seekers’ Experience Length From the 12,012 resumes we looked into, we found some intriguing patterns when it comes to the type of email used and how it ties to experience. Starting off with the company email crowd, which is about 1,148 people, they seem to be the seasoned pros of the lot. On average, they're rocking a solid 16.18 years of experience. My guess? These folks have been around the block, probably settled into their roles, maybe even climbed a good chunk of the corporate ladder. Now, the personal email group, that's the biggie. With 10,443 people in this category, they've got an average experience of 13.37 years. So, they're kind of in the middle ground. Given the large number, this group likely has a mix of folks—some just starting out, others in their prime professional years, and a few who've seen it all but prefer to keep things personal when job hunting. Then we have the university email users. A group of 421, and they're averaging about 8.56 years of experience. These are probably the young guns—recent grads, early-career enthusiasts, or maybe even folks diving back into academia for further studies. So, if we're connecting the dots, it seems like as people progress in their careers, their choice of email on resumes shifts—from university to personal and, for some, to company. But, as with all patterns, there are always individual stories and reasons behind each choice. And while these trends are cool to spot, it's always good to remember everyone's journey is unique. Photos in US Resumes in 2024 Of the 12,085 resumes we delved into, 6,447 decided to skip including a photo—that's a little over half. On the other hand, 5,638 folks opted to put their faces front and center, making up almost 47% of the sample. So, it's almost a split decision, with a slight lean towards not having a photo. Now, the decision to add a photo to a resume is a nuanced one, especially when we're talking about job hunting in the US. Here's the thing: in the States, many employers and hiring experts advise against it. Why, you ask? Well, the primary reason is to avoid any potential bias or discrimination. The US has pretty strong employment discrimination laws, and companies are super wary of any potential biases based on appearance, age, race, or gender. By not having a photo, it ensures that the hiring decision is based purely on skills and qualifications. Another reason is the cultural norm. Unlike some other countries where a photo might be standard, in the US, the focus is more on the content of the resume than the aesthetics. Now, there are exceptions. If you're in a field like acting or modeling, where appearance is a significant factor, then a photo is not just accepted—it's expected. But for most job seekers, the general advice would be to keep the resume photo-free. It's all about letting your experience and skills do the talking. However, as with everything, there are always exceptions to the rule. Just be sure you're aware of the potential implications and make an informed choice! Resume Summary And Objective Section in 2024 The resume summary and objective serve as the introductory notes to a candidate's professional narrative, offering a glimpse into their career path and aspirations. In the evolving arena of job hunting, these segments have adopted nuanced changes, aligning with the preferences of recruiters and the overarching job market trends. Our research ventured into exploring the dynamics of resume summaries and objectives in 2024. The inquiry aimed to uncover the prevailing trends—whether candidates include a resume summary in their resumes. Additionally, the analysis extended to the word count, assessing if brevity or detailed narratives are gaining favor. As we delve into this section, we will unveil the findings on how modern-day job seekers are navigating the delicate balance between summarizing their professional journey and stating their career objectives. Through a careful examination, this section aims to provide insights into the current trends governing these crucial resume segments, shedding light on their impact and relevance in the 2024 job market. Is the Summary Section Present in US Resumes The first question is - how many candidates included a resume summary & objective section on their resumes? Out of the 12,085 resumes we looked into, 4,901 individuals, which is about 40%, made the strategic choice to include a summary or objective. These folks understand the importance of a strong introduction. A well-crafted summary can act as a spotlight, focusing the employer's attention on key strengths, ambitions, and what one brings to the table. On the other hand, while a majority of 7,184 people chose not to include a summary, they might be missing out on a prime opportunity. Starting a resume with a summary can give potential employers a clear picture right off the bat. It's like having a movie trailer before the main event—it sets the tone and builds interest. Especially in today's fast-paced job market, where hiring managers are swamped with applications, a compelling summary can make a resume stand out from the crowd. It can be particularly crucial for those switching careers, emphasizing transferable skills, or highlighting a unique value proposition. In a nutshell, while the data shows a split in preference, there's undeniable power in a well-penned summary. It's more than just an introduction; it's a chance to make a memorable first impression! In a nutshell - a well-written summary or objective is a resume must-have! How Long Is an Average Resume Summary in 2024 From the data on 12,085 resumes, there's a fascinating link between the number of job positions listed and the average length of the resume summary. Starting off with those who've held just one position, their summaries average around 45 words. It's concise, probably giving a snapshot of their unique value or the core skills they've honed in that role. As we look at folks with two or three positions, the word count slightly increases, hovering around 47 to 52 words. They might be weaving in more skills and experiences from diverse roles they've tackled. Moving up the ladder, those with four to seven roles have summaries that range from 51 to 57 words. With a broader range of experiences, they're likely showcasing a blend of skills and achievements across different positions. Now, here's where it gets interesting. Individuals with eight to ten roles have summaries reaching up to 74 words on average. This group, with a wealth of experience across various roles, probably has a lot to highlight and convey to potential employers. Beyond ten roles, the word count starts to vary more, but we see some peaks. For instance, those with 13 roles have summaries averaging around 80 words, and those with 14 roles go up to 87 words. The pattern suggests that as professionals gather more diverse experiences, they might feel the need to provide a richer context or narrative in their summaries. However, there are some exceptions. For example, those with 24 roles have a summary of around 103 words, while those with 34 roles have kept it to 65 words. It shows that while experience can influence summary length, individual choices and the nature of the roles can also play a part. In essence, the data paints a picture of progression. As individuals traverse their careers, collecting a medley of experiences, their summaries tend to expand, reflecting the richness of their journey. But, like any good story, the art is in balancing detail with brevity, ensuring the essence shines through without overwhelming the reader. Work Experience Section of US Resumes The work experience section is a key part of a resume, telling potential employers about a candidate’s job history. In this section, we’ll dig into the numbers to see what they reveal. We'll look at how many jobs people list, and see how this relates to the overall length of the resume and the amount of experience they have. We’ll also consider how long people stayed in their longest-held job, as this can show a person’s commitment and growth in a particular role. The locations of these jobs can tell us if a candidate prefers to stick around or move about, which is especially interesting in the modern shift towards remote work noted by the use of the keyword 'remote' in the location field. Lastly, we’ll check for quantifiable achievements listed under each job. These achievements can show a candidate’s impact in each role, making the resume more than just a list of jobs, but a story of their professional journey. Through this analysis, we aim to provide a clearer view of how people are presenting their work histories in today’s job market. Number of Positions Presented in US Resumes We can discern a relationship between the number of years of experience and the average number of positions listed on a resume. Starting with the fresher crowd, those with just a year (or even less) of experience, they've averaged around 1 to 2 positions on their resume. That makes sense, right? They're just dipping their toes in the professional world, trying out roles, and perhaps even exploring internships or short-term gigs. As we cruise into the 2 to 5-year range, the number of positions listed tends to hover around 2 to 3. This group is likely moving past their initial roles, maybe job-hopping a bit, or even taking on different roles within the same company. Progressing to the mid-career professionals, with experience ranging from 6 to 15 years, we see an average of 3 to 5 positions listed. This period often involves climbing the corporate ladder, diversifying skills, or even changing industries. The variety of roles reflects the dynamic nature of this phase. Now, when we reach the seasoned pros with 16 to 30 years under their belt, the average positions listed go from 5 to 7. With such a vast expanse of time, these folks have likely seen multiple industries, dabbled in various roles, or even taken sabbaticals. Beyond 30 years, the pattern becomes a bit more varied. While some, with 34 years of experience, have a high of almost 8 positions, others, like those with 40 years, have around 5. This could be due to various factors—some might have settled into long-term roles, while others might have taken on consultancy gigs or short-term projects. The real curveball comes with those with 41 years of experience—they average almost 10 positions! Perhaps they've had a vibrant mix of roles, or maybe they've been avid job-hoppers, eager to experience the full spectrum of their industry. In essence, the data paints a vivid picture of a professional's journey. As they rack up the years, the number of positions on their resume tends to increase, reflecting their evolving journey. Resume Length and Number of Positions Presented There's a clear correlation between the length of the resume (in pages) and the average number of positions listed. Starting with the one-pagers, which are the gold standard for many job seekers, the average number of positions is around 3.7. This group is likely composed of individuals who are either early in their careers or have chosen to keep things super concise, focusing on their most impactful roles. Now, when we turn the page to the two-pagers, the number of positions listed jumps up to an average of 5.3. This is probably the sweet spot for many mid-career professionals—enough space to showcase a diverse range of experiences without overwhelming the reader. The three-page resumes, with an average of 6.9 positions, might belong to those who've had a broader range of roles or those who've dabbled in various industries. It's a length that allows for depth without becoming a novella. Moving on to the four and five-page resumes, we see an average of 8.3 and 8.8 positions respectively. These are likely the seasoned pros, individuals who've accumulated a wealth of experiences and are keen on highlighting their diverse journey. The six to eight-page range has an average of 9.7 to 11 positions. This group is possibly made up of specialists or consultants who've taken on a plethora of roles or projects over their careers. Now, the nine-pagers, averaging 8 positions, seem to be an anomaly. They might be diving deeper into each role, offering extensive details, or maybe even listing publications, projects, or accolades. In a nutshell, as resumes lengthen, the number of positions tends to increase, painting a richer tapestry of one's professional journey. However, it's also a reminder that while quantity has its place, the quality of presentation and relevance to the job at hand remains paramount. After all, a resume, no matter its length, is all about telling your story in the most compelling way! Longest-Held Positions and Overall Experience Length Kicking things off with the newbies, those with less than a year of experience have their longest role averaging about 0.54 years. These are likely the newcomers, fresh out of school or training, who are just starting their professional journey. As we venture into the 1 to 5-year range, the longest-held position gradually increases, from 1.35 years to 3.66 years. This period often represents the early career phase, where individuals are settling into their first serious roles, gaining foundational experience, and perhaps exploring a few different positions or companies. Moving to the mid-career phase, around the 6 to 15-year mark, the longest-held position stretches from 3.98 years to 7.24 years. It paints a picture of stability and growth, suggesting that during this time, many professionals find roles where they can dig deep, develop expertise, and perhaps climb within the same organization. From 16 to 30 years of experience, the average of the longest-held position ranges from 7.34 to 12.80 years. These are the seasoned pros, individuals who've likely found roles or organizations where they've invested significant portions of their careers, possibly taking on leadership roles or specializing in niche areas. Beyond 30 years, the data varies more, but we see some high numbers. For instance, those with 35 years of experience have, on average, held a position for an impressive 16.95 years. And there's a standout at the 38-year mark, with an average longest-held role of 24.02 years! These numbers suggest deep commitment and perhaps roles of significant responsibility or expertise. In essence, as professionals accumulate experience over the years, they often find roles where they spend substantial chunks of time, reflecting commitment, growth, and deep expertise. The journey from hopping between early-career roles to settling into long-term positions is a testament to the evolving nature of one's career path. Do The Positions Presented in Resumes Have Location Present A significant majority, 10,078 individuals to be precise, have chosen to include locations for their job positions. That's a hefty 83% of the lot. These folks probably see the value in letting potential employers know where they've worked geographically. It can give context, showcase willingness to relocate, or even highlight international experience. On the other side, we've got 2,007 individuals, making up about 17%, who've decided to skip mentioning locations for their roles. They might be focusing purely on the roles and responsibilities, or perhaps they have privacy concerns. Incorporating location in a resume can provide a richer context to one's career journey. For instance, working in tech in Silicon Valley or finance in New York City carries a certain weight and connotation. However, the decision to include or exclude location is a personal one and might be influenced by the nature of the job, industry standards, or individual preferences. In a nutshell, while there's a clear trend towards including locations, there's still a portion who opt for a more location-agnostic approach. As with many resume choices, it boils down to what the individual believes best tells their professional story. Job-Seekers’ Mobility - Do The Locations Presented Differ Between Positions Diving into this data from 10,078 resumes that have location data included in the experience section: A significant portion, 8,725 individuals, have roles that span multiple cities. That's a striking 87% who've perhaps hopped between places during their career. This suggests a dynamic workforce, with many professionals gaining experience across different geographies, or maybe they're just bitten by the travel bug! Contrastingly, 1,353 individuals, or about 13%, have positions all located in the same city. These folks might have found a city they adore and decided to build their entire career there. Or perhaps, the opportunities in their field are concentrated in that particular city. The decision to stay in one city or explore opportunities in various places can depend on multiple factors. Industry hubs, personal preferences, family considerations, or even lifestyle choices can play a part. In essence, while many seem to have careers that have taken them to various cities, a significant number have chosen to root their professional journey in one place. How Many Resumes Underline the “Remote” Work Experience A majority of 7,358 individuals, which is about 73%, have not used the keyword "remote" in their job location. These folks are likely indicating traditional, physical work locations, possibly underscoring the importance or preference for on-site roles in their career narratives. On the other hand, 2,720 individuals, making up 27% of the sample, have highlighted "remote" in their job locations. This is a substantial number, suggesting a growing trend or acceptance of remote work. These individuals might be digital nomads, freelancers, or employees in companies with a strong remote work culture. Especially in recent years, with the rise of technology and changing work dynamics, the concept of remote work has become more prevalent. In conclusion, while a significant number of resumes still lean towards traditional job locations, there's a sizable chunk that embraces the remote work trend. It's an indicator of the evolving nature of work and how professionals are adapting to these changes in the job market. Using Quantifiable Achievements in 2024 US Resumes In the realm of job applications, quantifiable achievements on a resume are akin to gold. They offer concrete evidence of one's capabilities, turning abstract duties into tangible results. Employers often sift through countless resumes, and numbers can make accomplishments pop, providing a clear measure of success. Whether it's increasing revenue by a certain percentage, managing large teams, or executing projects under tight budgets, these figures tell a story of impact and effectiveness. In essence, quantifiable achievements transform a resume from a mere list of duties into a compelling narrative of value and contribution. A majority, 9,784 individuals or aboutBout 81%, have not used numbers or "%" in their position descriptions. This suggests that they've opted for more qualitative descriptions, focusing on duties, roles, and perhaps skills without necessarily quantifying their achievements. On the flip side, 2,301 individuals, which is roughly 19% of the sample, have incorporated numbers or "%" in their descriptions. This group understands the power of quantifiable achievements. Using numbers or percentages can provide a clearer picture of the impact they've made—whether it's boosting sales by a certain percentage, managing a team of a specific size, or completing projects under budget. Quantifiable achievements can be a strong selling point on a resume, as they provide concrete evidence of one's contributions and can make accomplishments more tangible to potential employers. In a nutshell, while most resumes in this sample lean towards qualitative descriptions, a significant number recognize the value of quantifying their achievements. It's a reminder that numbers can speak volumes, adding weight and clarity to one's professional story. Side Projects Presented in 2024 US Resumes From the 12,085 resumes we've delved into: The lion's share, 9,866 individuals or a whopping 82%, have no side projects listed. It seems for many, their primary roles or formal education have taken center stage on their resumes, leaving little room or relevance for side endeavors. However, not everyone has kept their extracurricular professional endeavors under wraps. There's a collective 18% that have dabbled in side projects. Here's a closer look: 527 individuals, around 4%, have taken on one side project. These folks might have a passion project or a single venture they've pursued alongside their main job. As for those with two or three side projects, they make up a combined 9%, with 622 and 521 individuals respectively. This group seems to have a knack for juggling multiple interests or spotting varied opportunities outside their primary roles. As the number of side projects increases, the count of individuals tends to decrease. From four to ten side projects, the numbers range from 252 individuals down to just 5. This suggests a smaller cohort of highly entrepreneurial or multifaceted professionals. In essence, while the majority of resumes spotlight primary roles and experiences, there's a significant minority that showcases side projects. These projects can offer a glimpse into an individual's passions, versatility, and initiative, painting a richer, more multi-dimensional picture of the candidate. Whether it's a tech hobby turned startup or a community initiative, side projects can add a unique flavor to a professional narrative. Single- Or Double-Column - The Most Popular Resume Format in 2024 A significant majority, 10,942 individuals or about 91%, have opted for a double column format for their resumes. This choice is quite popular, suggesting that many find it a useful way to present information concisely, making the most of the available space. It allows for a structured presentation, often enabling job seekers to fit more details on a page without it feeling cluttered. On the other side, we have 1,143 individuals, or approximately 9%, who've chosen a single column format. This more traditional layout is straightforward and can be particularly effective when the content is minimal or when individuals want a cleaner, more linear read for their prospective employers. In essence, while the double column format seems to be the go-to choice for most, there's still a group that leans towards the simplicity and clarity of a single column layout. The format of a resume, much like its content, often reflects personal preferences, the nature of the industry, and the specific role being applied for. Both formats have their merits, and the best choice often boils down to what aligns best with the individual's story and the job they're eyeing. Key takeaways The comprehensive analysis of over 12,000 US-based resumes has unveiled critical insights into the composition and trends of resumes in 2024. The findings reveal a notable preference for brevity, with the majority of job seekers opting for 1-2 page resumes. While traditional elements like educational background and work experience maintain their significance, the article highlights a gradual shift towards including remote work experiences and side projects, suggesting an adaptation to the evolving professional landscape. The data also reflects a strong inclination towards the double-column resume format, with a whopping 91% of job seekers favoring this structure for its space efficiency and readability. Despite the value of quantifiable achievements in showcasing one's impact in previous roles, 81% of candidates still choose not to include numbers or percentages in their resumes, potentially missing out on highlighting measurable success. Key Takeaways: Resume Length: The prevailing trend is towards 1-2 page resumes, accommodating the recruiter's preference for concise documentation. Remote Work: A significant 27% of resumes now list "remote" as a work location, underscoring the shift towards flexible working environments. Quantifiable Achievements: A vast majority are not utilizing numbers to detail accomplishments, potentially undervaluing the quantification of their impact. Format Preference: The double-column format is the overwhelming choice for job seekers, reflecting a trend towards more structured and space-efficient resumes. Side Projects: 18% of candidates list side projects, suggesting additional skills and experiences that extend beyond traditional employment history. Traditional Elements Persist: Despite evolving trends, many resumes still include traditional elements like home addresses, indicating a nod to conventional resume formats. This study provides invaluable insights for job seekers to refine their resumes and for employers to understand current trends in resume composition. It underscores the importance of evolving with the job market while also appreciating the enduring value of traditional resume elements.

Nov 27, 2023 30 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
How to Organize Your Resume in 2023? [+ Resume Examples]

Although you have freedom and flexibility when crafting your resume, there are some key sections which you should include. Putting the right sections into your resume can help to present the information in an easy-to-understand format. In addition, you can highlight the most important things, drawing the attention of a hiring manager to those things of which you are most proud. In this article, we will cover: What sections should you include on your resume? A detailed description of each section Plus examples If you’re looking to create an aesthetically pleasing, professional resume, use Enhancv’s resume builder. With built-in grammar checker and distinct customization options, you can create a resume to be proud of. What Sections Should You Include On Your Resume? In any great recipe, you need to follow the steps, include the right ingredients, and combine all the ingredients in order to create a culinary masterpiece. You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right? Well, for your resume, you will need to include five key sections, with a couple of additional ones thrown into the pot to create an eye-catching resume. Below you can find the main sections to include on your resume: Contact information Resume summary Work experience Education Skills and qualifications Additional sections If you’re interested in learning more about how to craft a stellar resume, jump over to the How to Write a Great Resume for a Job in 2023 article on our site How to organize a resume Before we dive into each individual section of a resume, support and understand the different resume formats and decide which one you will use for your resume. There are many types of formats which you can use to create your resume, but the important thing is to find the one that suits your needs. Below, you can find the most common resume formats: Reverse chronological order The most common format available, the reverse chronological resume format places an emphasis on your most recent experience by placing your most recent roles at the top of the resume. Working from your most recent experience to your oldest experience allows you to show a full career trajectory to a potential hiring manager. They can see where you started, how you’ve progressed, and even see where you are going in your career. This type of resume is easy to skim and can provide you with an overall career summary. But one of the major drawbacks is that you can easily identify gaps in your resume. It’s also not a great format to use if you are in a creative field or if you are switching between different careers. Functional resume format A functional resume format highlights your skills and abilities over and above your experience. This type of resume may be ideal for those entering the workforce or recent graduates, as you don’t need to have as much experience under your belt to show that you are capable and competent to fill the role. In fact, your technical skills can help to give you an edge when applying for certain positions. One of the major issues with a functional resume format is that it provides your skills in a static manner. If you just list all of your skills at the top of your resume, you are not able to portray your skills using real examples from your career. It’s especially important to quantify all of your skills, using real-world examples from your career to qualify your claims. Hybrid resume format Hybrid resume format allows you to place your skills and experience on equal footing. Using a hybrid format, you could lay out your resume with two equal columns, one with your skills and abilities and the other column with your experience. This format is especially helpful when you are in a creative field or are looking to make a career change. If, for example, you’re moving out of a sales position into a management position, you can place your knowledge of software and leadership skills right next to your most recent sales experience. A hybrid resume format may not be ideal if you are in a senior management position. In a management role, you will probably be assessed mainly by your experience. Contact Information What’s the purpose of the personal information section on a resume? A personal information section can help to provide a hiring manager with all the information they need to contact you. It’s the first section that you would include on your resume. But it’s also an opportunity for you to share important details about yourself. For example, by sharing where you live, you can show how close you lived to the job that you’re applying for. What should you include in your personal information section? Your full name Your email: Include a professional email, not the silly one that you might’ve picked up in your college days. If you don’t already have one, try to apply for an email address that looks something like this: firstname_lastname@gmail.com. You can’t go wrong with a simple email address of just your first and last name. Phone number: Include a personal phone number, either a landline or a cell phone. This would be the best number for a hiring manager to call you back. Location: You might’ve noticed that it doesn’t say “address”. The reason for that is you don’t need to necessarily include your address anymore on your resume. Instead, just include the city that you live and the state or region that you live in. Professional social media accounts: You may choose to include your LinkedIn or Twitter profiles in your resume. Make sure that you include only important social media handles, and those that are appropriate for a potential boss to see. Titles, prefixes, or suffixes: if you’ve earned a title, include that in your name. For example, if you are a doctor, you can include the “Dr.” title before your name. Your portfolio or website: If you work in a creative field, one in which showcasing past projects is key, you can include a link to your portfolio or website on your resume. Resume summary section What’s the purpose of the resume summary or objective section on a resume? Your resume summary is an elevator pitch, a short, succinct description of your career aspirations and the skills that you possess. Your resume summary is the best place to put your career trajectory, where you are now and where you see yourself going. It’s also a good place to include skills and abilities which fit your background. If you are experienced, you can lean on your achievements and skills to better position yourself in your resume objective. But if you’re a recent graduate, you can also list your career aspirations and your college academic performance. Keep in mind that your resume summary should be between 3 to 4 sentences. Always tailor your resume summary to the job that you’re applying for. Example 1: For an experienced applicantExample 2: For recent college graduatesExample 3: For career changersWork experience section The work experience section that you provide in your resume is the key section that recruiters look for. As a result, your work experience section should be arranged in such a way that it’s easy to scan and read. The best way to do this is using a reverse chronological format, which lists your most recent experience first. What’s the purpose of the work experience section on a resume? Your work experience will help to show that you can handle the job that you’re applying for. By listing your most recent experience and the skills and abilities that you’ve cultivated through that job, you can prove that you deserve an interview for the role. What should you include in the work experience section? In your work experience section, you should list the places that you’ve worked, the titles that you’ve occupied at those roles, the years that you’ve worked there, and your main duties. Here are some of the things you should include in your work experience section: Use a reverse chronological order: Start with your most recent experience first. Job title Company name, location, and description Date of employment: It’s important to include both the month and year on your resume because ATS software tracks for it. Achievements and responsibilities: Here's where you can showcase your abilities to a potential hiring manager. Tailor your responsibilities in your previous roles to the expectations for the role in the job description. These can be major keywords used by ATS software. Action words: Use action words to showcase your experience. For example, ‘managed’ falls flat when compared to words like ‘spearheaded’ and ‘initiated’. Tailor your experience at the job description: Use key phrases gathered from the job description in your resume. Quantify your experience: Don’t just say that you helped the sales department, but share that you “raise the quarterly earnings by 33%”. Example of a work experience sectionEducation section Potential hiring managers can be just as interested in your education section as your work experience section. The purpose of an education section is to show your academic background. In addition, if you possess a degree from a prestigious university, this can actually help you land your dream job. Example education section:Resume skills section Your resume skills section can help to highlight unique skills which would otherwise be hidden on your resume. These skills that you list should be quantifiable, with tangible examples from your experience to showcase your abilities. When listing your skills, be sure to list both soft skills, also referred to as people skills, and hard skills, which are technical skills specific to a certain career. In addition, if you’re making a career change, there may be several transferable skills you can list which will apply to the role that you’re applying for. The goal is to list relevant skills which can apply to the role, and exclude anything which may not apply. Examples of quantifiable achievements: Spearheaded a cost-saving initiative: This initiative reduced departmental expense by 25%. Discovered inefficient practices in the budgeting process, and implemented processes to create tighter controls. Improved cash flow: Through a capital management strategy, I helped increase cash flow by 50%. Led a financial restructuring process: This was for one of our largest clients and helped to strengthen our relationship with them. Optional resume sections There are several optional resume sections you can include on your resume. For example, you may wish to include a “day in my life” section, in which you list what a typical day looks like in your role. Some other typical optional resume sections include: Certifications and licenses Hobbies Volunteer experience Awards Peer-reviewed journal articles Freelance work Speaking engagements and conferences Key Takeaways Crafting an eye-catching resume isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Job seekers benefit by crafting a well-organized resume which is geared towards a specific role. In order to do that, you may wish to format your resume using a reverse chronological format, listing your most recent experience first. In addition, whether you’re listing your employment history or relevant coursework, always try to quantify your achievements by including facts, figures, and real-world money. If you’re interested in taking your resume to the next level, check out Enhancv’s resume builder. Our resume builder is perfect for creating an aesthetically pleasing, ATS oriented resume which can catch the attention of any recruiter or hiring manager.

Oct 24, 2023 9 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
How to Show Recruiters You're Willing to Relocate on Your Resume

Pack your suitcases for an emotional rollercoaster. It's time to relocate! Moving to a new city (or even country) can be especially daunting for the next stages of your career. How do you convince employers that in spite of your Virginia “base”, you're quite serious about moving for that New York role? Here's how - with a clear and concise resume that addresses any potential location concerns, while aligning your experience to the job. Ultimately, your resume should play to your advantage, amongst the top picks of local candidates, with the unique value you’d bring to the company. As professionals, who are willing to relocate, bring about a variety of soft skills, like: flexibility and adaptability; organization and planning; forward-thinking and systematic approach. Improve your chances to land your next job away from home (even from abroad) with our guide on writing your relocation resume (and cover letter). What you’ll learn: Honesty is the best card you can play when addressing your relocation plans; Resume sections that could best describe your intentions to move; What address should you include in your relocation resume? How to let recruiters know about your relocation plans? Adding further value to your application with a relocation cover letter. How-to advice on writing your relocation resume and cover letter Relocation is a serious factor that recruiters consider when conducting any search. While their top choices (especially for non-senior roles) are local candidates - it's up to you to convince them otherwise. Your resume and cover letter should thus address: any potential concerns about your relocation; highlight your commitment to the role; and emphasize that you're actively seeking opportunities in the area. Here are four tips on how to include relocation on your resume. Optimize your resume for the job This one goes without saying but study the job advert in detail. Your resume should align role requirements with your expertise and achievements. Map out how you’d meet the company’s and team’s needs with your resume summary, achievements, and experience. Be honest The recruitment process is all about first impressions. Don't kick it off on the wrong foot with a fake address, claims that you're local, or other deceptions. You need to mention your location and intentions to relocate. This needs to be done clearly and specifically for the role you're applying to. Relocation in the top one-third of your resume It's common for your application to be assessed by the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) or the software that assigns points based on job advert criteria. Most ATS may actually disqualify your application if you're not at the role location (if it's specified in the advert). How do you go about mentioning your location in your resume header? We'll get into the specifics in the next part, but, for now, let’s say that it depends entirely on your moving plans. Note your interview availability Use your cover letter to let interviewers know when you'll be in town. Plan at least a week to attend any potential interviews. Otherwise, you could suggest your availability for an initial, over-the-phone interview. Noting your relocation plans in the resume header There are two sections of your header that are ideal for mentioning your relocation plans: the address and headline. Within the next part of this guide, we’ll show you how to mention your moving plans in the top one-third of your resume. Take these three situations into account. 1. If you've already made concrete plans to move Include your current address, followed by the specifics. 2. If your relocation depends on landing the job It’s important to include the location keyword from the job advert in your resume top one-third. 3. If you leave off the relocation specifics from your resume address Include your relocation details in the resume headline - a single sentence, filled with job-specific keywords. The headline could also state your unique value as a professional, alongside your relocation plans, like so: Relocation details in the resume summary Do you want to avoid mentioning your plans within your resume header? The next best section to include your willingness to relocate is your summary - those three to five sentences that showcase your unique value via achievements and skills. You could include your relocation plans either at the beginning of your summary: or, towards the end of it: The relocation cover letter: building your application further Cover letters are the perfect space to explain the nits and bits of your relocation plans. Especially if you've noted on your resume that you'll be moving, recruiters want an explanation why. Be genuine and honest about your relocation reason(s). Perhaps, you're moving to: be closer to your elderly parents; return to your hometown; look for more growth opportunities; due to your spouse's work; enjoy living in a new, specific location. Relevant relocation information includes the time frames of your plans and their permanence. Also, if you have any emotional or more solid ties to the area (e.g. you did your masters there, or you've brought a new home). Here's a basic outline of a relocation cover letter. Introduction - briefly convey your professional interest. Relocation - explain why you're moving and your estimated timeframes. Ties - mention if you've previously worked or studied in the area, or have family there. Relevant experience - showcasing you can adapt to new environments. Key skills and qualifications - revealing why you're the best candidate for the role. Summary - why your expertise aligns with the role and your commitment to relocating. Call to Action (CTA) - "Looking forward to meeting with you" and "Kind regards" Resume experience: from relocation to your unique professional value When describing your experience section, highlight your relocation skills, as they are valued by organizations. Select experience items that hint at your excellence in working abroad. You could have managed international teams, located in different locations, or traveled internationally for work assignments. This experience demonstrates your ability to quickly adapt to new environments. Within the one-line description of the company you worked for, highlight common factors between your past and potential employers. Like, if you've worked for companies: of the same size; in the same industry; offering similar types of services; with identical customer databases.Transferable relocation resume skills Another resume section to shift the focus from your location is the skills one. Create a resume skills section that highlights both relevant and transferrable skills, like your: hard skills - industry-specific, niche technical proficiencies; soft skills - people skills.Other sections for a relocation resume Education - perhaps you completed your higher education within the area you're planning to relocate to. Include all relevant higher education degrees, alongside ones that are "local" - showing you are familiar with the area. Projects - select the ones that are most relevant to the job and highlight your alignment with the job requirements. Also, consider curating projects that have been completed in the location you’re planning to move to or are local to the job you’re applying for. Volunteer - if you've supported communities that are similar to the one you’re planning to relocate to, dedicate a separate resume section to detail your volunteer work. Key takeaways Be honest with recruiters about your relocation plans: remember that the hiring process is all about first impressions. Include your current address, followed by the job location (which you’d be moving to). The resume summary is an excellent place to dive a little deeper into your relocation plans, but make sure the focus stays on your experience and achievements. Get into the details of your relocation plans within the cover letter - use it to provide information that is relevant to your application. Curate other resume sections to share with recruiters if you’ve lived, studied, or have had professional experience in the same location. This would hint that you won’t be starting from square zero when you move for the job.

Oct 24, 2023 6 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
The Stay-At-Home Parent Resume: Transferable Skills & Getting Your Career Back on Track

Over the past year-and-a-half, you've gone from a professional superstar to stay-at-home parent. And, in spite of what anyone may think, your new role is quite demanding, requiring: time management and commitment; patience and resilience; multitasking and delegation. It's not a 9-to-5 that you can quit. After a few years have gone by, there comes a time when you want to get back on track with your career. Yet, stay-at-home parents have many obstacles to face. But this is nothing a well-curated stay-at-home parent resume can't handle, as your experience gap has taught you many valuable skills. Our guide will help you to do so by translating your experience for hiring managers. We know you have a great story to tell, and your resume is the perfect opportunity to do so! What you’ll learn: Ensuring your stay-at-home parent experience is bold and enticing to recruiters How to showcase your unique value through your stay-at-home parent resume Best practices to put the spotlight on the skills you’ve learned while managing your household Where on your resume could you mention that you’re a stay-at-home parent The employment gap - how could you explain it with various resume sections How to write your stay-at-home parent resume? Align your resume to the role The resume is your quick summary, tailored to the organization or role. When applying for a job, pay attention to advert keywords and analyze the requirements. Consider how your previous roles (and stay-at-home parent) responsibilities could be relevant. Highlight your unique value What skills have the past few years of managing your home taught you? They are one of the unique values you'd bring about as a candidate. Select an appropriate resume format Your resume format should be based on whether you’d want to highlight your experience, skills, or both. Reverse chronological format - a timeline of your roles, starting with the latest. Select if your experience gap isn't for a very long time, and you want to highlight previous roles. Functional /Skills-based format - shifts recruiters' focus towards your skills and achievements. It's a very good format for professionals with less experience. Hybrid format - a combination of both formats. Highlights the skills you've gained, while showcasing traditional roles. Use active language Describe your skills and experience, achievements, and the overall lasting impact you made with action verbs. If possible, include numbers to quantify your results. Stay-at-home-parent resume summary Don't sell yourself short - your stay-at-home parent resume experience can be both bold and enticing. And it all starts with your resume summary - one of the most important instruments to ensure recruiters are interested. The resume summary is two-to-three sentences long and aligns your previous experience to the role with: notable career achievements that are industry-specific; relevant skills that'd contribute further to the organization; additional specializations or courses that help you stand out. You could also add a career objective to your summary. Think about what kind of job you hope to find and how it'd match your overall professional goals. Mentioning that you’re a stay-at-home parent in your resume summary isn't obligatory. Instead of kicking off with the whole, "I'm a stay-at-home dad looking for a role in operational management", leave this information for other resume sections. Or, you could hint at it as part of your experience and achievements: Stay-at-home-parent resume experience Is the experience section of your resume the place to talk about your stay-at-home "job"? This completely depends on the role, company, and industry you're applying for. Some recruiters and employers will appreciate your honesty. While employment gaps are never ideal, building a family is a perfectly valid reason. Your resume will most likely be scanned by the Applicant Tracker System (ATS): the software that assigns points based on job criteria. If you have employment gaps, the ATS could give you a lower score. On the other hand, there are recruiters out there, who'd see listing your stay-at-home experience as "unprofessional" and "childish". Still, confused about what you should do? It's your professional narrative - own up to your experience. If including your stay-at-home work makes sense to you (and the job) - include it as part of your history. Start off by selecting a catchy, like "House CEO/ COO", "Chief Home Officer", or "Career Sabbatical to Take Care of Children". Within your experience bullets, don't just copy-paste your chores list. Instead, focus on relevant transferrable skills and results. Emphasize just how productive you were with key skills and experience: What software helped you to stay on track with at-home tasks? If there were conflicts at home, how did you resolve them? Did you get to practice your Excel formulas with your household budget? A recruiter looking over your experience section should understand how this has helped you grow as a professional. What else should be a part of your stay-at-home parent experience section? While managing your household, did you complete any temp, contract, or freelance work? Or, perhaps, you volunteered? If it's relevant to the role and shows how you've put your skills into practice, definitely include these types of experiences in this resume section. Don't forget to list the jobs you had, before you became a parent. Use them to highlight your achievements, advert keywords, and just how valuable you were to past employers. Supplement your stay-at-home-parent experience with a cover letter Your stay-at-home parent resume may need a couple more details and explanations. The cover letter is precisely that instrument to complete your experience and fill in the blanks. By aiming to make a more personalized connection with the recruiter, the cover letter should ultimately answer why you're the perfect candidate and highlight: your skillset; the reason you’re applying; your career objectives. Your cover letter should be clear and concise, tailored to the job and company you’re applying for. Stay-at-home-parent resume skills It may come as a shock, but a lot of the skills you use in your day-to-day (to take care of your family) are incredibly transferrable to the workplace. But how do you market that, over the past few years, 20:30 bedtime has become the sole creed at your house? Skills can make your experience gap seem less glaring and, ultimately, show why you are a great candidate. So, first, review the job description for three-to-seven must-have skills that align with your experience. From there, you could build a skills section to include soft skills (or people skills) and hard skills (or technology and software proficiencies). Demonstrate how you've mastered your skills in the past with the Accomplishments, Strengths, and/or Dedicated Technical Skills Sections. Stay-at-home-parent resume education and courses Use your academic background to show you have the relevant know-how for the role. The education section should include all higher education degrees you have, the institutions that awarded them, and your start-graduation dates. If you're in the process of getting your diploma, list it with the expected graduation date. Prioritize the education section, if you've pursued a degree during your work “sabbatical”. This way, you'd explain that during your stay-at-home parenting experience, you've been busy. The same goes for courses, workshops, and certifications. They show your commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest trends. Stay-at-home-parent resume other sections Fill in the gap of your stay-at-home parent experience with additional resume sections. Always select the most relevant ones to the job and to your professional narrative. Volunteer - showcase how you have supported the community (e.g. fundraisers, charity drives). When talking about your volunteer experience, always note the outcomes. Projects - include self-projects you've done to learn a new skill (e.g. graphic design or debugging). Also, make sure to paste a link to them in the resume header. Interests and hobbies - select ones that are impressive and tie back to the job you're applying for. You could curate those via the My Time section or, if you're an ardent book reader, include your top literary picks. Key takeaways Your stay-at-home parent experience has taught you plenty of valuable, transferable skills - pinpoint them with your accomplishments. It’s entirely up to you whether you should note that you’re a stay-at-home parent. The best sections to do so are the experience or the summary. You could ultimately address that you’ve managed your household in the cover letter. Doing side projects, volunteer work, or being on a contract at this time should definitely make it a part of your stay-at-home parent experience. Don’t be ashamed of your employment gap - instead use every opportunity your resume presents you with to explain how you’ve grown during this time.

Oct 24, 2023 7 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
Curating GitHub Links on Your Resume: Projects, Seniority, and How to Guide

GitHub isn't just the number one platform for software development and version control with Git. It's not only an open-source community for Computer Science (CS) professionals to manage, track, and make changes to their code. Describing it as "the leading online environment for developers" is the understatement of the century. GitHub is an almighty instrument - allowing for an entirely transparent (supposedly) showcase of your coding skills. That's what gets recruiters: if you've invested the time to structure and organize your GitHub portfolio, you've one foot in the interviewers' doors. Unlike your one- to two-page resume, GitHub offers 1 GB of free storage to include any code you've ever written. So, choose your projects wisely, and remember that your portfolio will be assessed by humans (recruiters). Those HR professionals without technical knowledge may just want to see the end product, rather than the source code. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves: here's some food for thought as to why having GitHub on your resume is important. Some companies use "have GitHub link" as a resume filter. They may even ask for a GitHub profile for professionals with over 10 years of experience. What is more, in startups and smaller companies your profile would most often be assessed by either the CEO or a technical lead, who will look at the work you've done before anything else. Including (or not) your GitHub link on your resume is entirely up to you, but we recommend it. With this guide, we'll obviously try to win you over why it's a good idea to curate your GitHub portfolio on your resume. So stick around to find out: +5 benefits of including your GitHub portfolio on your resume; Types of projects you could include: what recruiters expect to see; Checklist: how to include GitHub on your resume; 6 resume sections to showcase your GitHub; GitHub links and cover letters: a good idea or not?Why your GitHub portfolio and resume go together like coffee and cream When assessing your IT resume, there are two most common scenarios. Either, the recruiters would avoid clicking on any external links and skip your GitHub profile. Or, the hiring managers would glance over your GitHub. Without drilling too much into your source code, they'd expect to see your end products or projects. Also, if there's something interesting you've been working on. In that case, your GitHub portfolio can create numerous opportunities during the interview process to stand out. Here are six of the main reasons why. 1. Your GitHub provides an honest perspective, outside the interview process. Incorporating your side projects or portfolio adds depth to your application. Thus, hinting to recruiters at the programming languages you're apt at; how comfortable you are in using best-industry practices for a wide range of tools; the kinds of projects you'd like to work on. 2. Having a well-organized GitHub portfolio shows your competency and the projects you're most proud of. Think of it as an opportunity to highlight, something that makes you a good candidate, that recruiters need to check out. This can also sometimes even help you to skip the code sample request stage during the interview process. 3. GitHub is your alibi: to show that programming isn't just a job for you. Coding is something you look to excel in - you take every single free moment of your day to become better at it. 4. Speaking of, GitHub is your commitment to the CS industry. Using it, recruiters can easily understand just how engaged you're in the IT community and what your collaboration skills are like. 5. GitHub highlights skills you can't demonstrate otherwise during the application/ interview process. Do you have coding experience on real software projects? What was your role in them? What are all the programming languages you can use? How comfortable are you using each one? Are you able to use other revision control tools, apart from Git? 6. GitHub rockets your resume to the top of recruiters' "approved" checklists. Don't include your profile just for the sake of it. Make sure that you've updated your GitHub and have taken the time to organize it. The best filter you can use is: "What is the most impressive thing I've built in the past six months or so?" What types of projects could you include on your GitHub? Here are some of the most popular concerns about the types of projects to include on your GitHub portfolio. How recent should my portfolio of work be? To start off, recruiters feel that it's nice to see the most recent code you've written. That will ultimately be used to pinpoint your skills and technical capabilities. Include projects you've done in the past six months to best showcase your breadth of skills. What if I have just one big project complete on my GitHub? Even though it may be just one project, recruiters would much rather see something complete from beginning to end (hinting at an array of soft skills you have), instead of many incomplete, sloppy projects. What matters the most is the code quality and the role you've had in the whole project: how much have you written yourself? "What types of projects can I include with no experience?" Entry-level professionals (or those with no experience) could use their class projects as inspiration to build something new on their own. For example, unit testing and continuous integration (CI) into a pipeline can show recruiters how you're able to handle day-to-day work. The passion projects vs open-source projects' dilemma: which ones impress recruiters more? Small side projects show you've related interests outside your job or studies. They serve as excellent talking points during the interviews: with a focus on your ability to narrate your skills. On the other hand, contributions to open-source projects, widely used by companies, are sometimes better assessed than random, passion projects. For example, if you've fixed an open bug in a popular app - you'd definitely stand out. In some cases, your minor role in a widely used platform may score better than the elaborate work you've done on a niche project that nobody uses. What projects do other IT professionals tend to include on their GitHub?What your GitHub portfolio signifies about your proficiency level Entry-level roles Your GitHub is probably the most helpful instrument for landing your first job. Recruiters, previewing your GitHub, would look at your technical capabilities, but also your abilities to collaborate and communicate; accept feedback; and meet requirements. Intermediate professionals Your GitHub could be great to define how you deal with: complex problem-solving and decision-making; new languages and programming; adapting to the sounds of times. When you're trying to land a role amidst your career, it's important to remind recruiters that you have the wanted skill set, but at the same time - that you're adaptable to new schools of thought and ways of work. Experience professionals Your GitHub is your footprint on the whole IT community. Within your profile, you've curated expert-level knowledge; offered unique perspectives on problem-solving; supported the work of rising "stars" on the IT front. 7 Elements that really make a difference to your GitHub profile We’ve now come to the how-to section of our guide, where we’ll first discuss seven of the most important elements you need to think about while creating your GitHub. We’ve also included a bonus checklist to help you stay even more focused. Formatting Before we get into the other six elements, here's one thing you need to do asap - clean up your GitHub work area. That means you need to sort and rank your projects in the way you'd like to have them reviewed by recruiters. Pin to the top of your GitHub profile, your: favorite projects popular code folders best repositories (repos). Structure Your GitHub portfolio is your elevator pitch to your potential employers. That's why investing time to make sure it's professional is a definite must. Say goodbye to your "LoneR@nger*" username and hello to "github.io/Dick Murphy". An organized GitHub profile also includes codes that are well-commented easily readable clean and running. It's a good idea to include ReadMe notes for different sections of your GitHub portfolio, like your: Profile - write something that is similar to your resume summary and briefly outlines your projects. Don't forget to include links to both your LinkedIn profile and resume, if possible. Most impressive projects - within the note, describe the nature of the projects: why they exist and how they impact other users. Also, think about the type of testing the project has - whether it’s unit or integration. Open-source contributions - be honest about your role in the big picture of things. What did you actually do as part of the whole project? Code Quality As mentioned in the previous part of this guide, your code quality is what matters the most to recruiters. They don't care if you have an infinite amount of repos with half-finished coursework and random, off-script projects. Your one high-quality project (which took the desirable amount of time and is relatively completed) would help you catch hiring managers’ eyes. But what if you happen to have one high-quality app and many different projects you think would be impressive? Think about the role and company you're interviewing for. Recruiters are always looking for candidates with problem-solving and accountability soft skills. At the same time, organizations want to hire candidates with the same professional interests as the rest of the team. Community This one is pretty obvious, but to have a complete GitHub profile, you need to get stars. Ask developers you've worked with before to give you recommendations. This in fact would show your wider impact on the GitHub community and how you work within a team environment. Job alignment The information on your GitHub portfolio, professional resume, and the role you're applying for should all align. It's a good idea to include relevant projects at the top of your profile - so that recruiters could easily find them. As for other side projects, that may showcase extra technical and soft skills, you can create a sub-folder, specially curated for the hiring managers. Storytelling If recruiters are to dive deep into your GitHub portfolio, what story would they find? Use your profile as a storytelling instrument to win them over. Whether it's to show how far you've come as a professional to land this particular job. Or, perhaps, your diverse GitHub portfolio hints that you're a jack of all trades with a broad skill set in different types of projects. Consider the self-narrative you're trying to sell with your application. Questions When curating your GitHub portfolio, put yourself in the recruiters' shoes to take into account the types of questions they may have about your work. Start simple with: What was the project scope? Why did you build this project the way you did? If you could change something about the code right now, what would it be? What would you do to make it even better? If you can find a way to integrate the answers to all or some of these in your GitHub, you'd surely make interviewers' lives way easier. As a bonus, you'd be highlighting even further your presentation skills. Where on your resume can you include details about your GitHub profile? Header This one is the most obvious choice, but make sure you’ve included a link to your GitHub profile within your resume header. It’s often that recruiters print our resumes and if the formatting is as a hyperlink - it may be lost. Instead of including the long link, make it simple, yet professional with this format: “github.io/FirstName-LastName” Alternatively, you could also use a link shortener. Projects The projects section of your resume allows recruiters a more in-depth dive into how you define your professional success. That's why you should choose projects that: have taught you a new technology or skill; are cutting-edge or carry weight within the IT industry; you are able to explain thoroughly, during the interview stage. This would definitely save some time for the hiring managers, who are assessing your resume. Summary While including a hyperlink within your resume summary might not be the best idea (as some recruiters tend to assess printed resumes) and pasting the full link may hurt your Applicant Tracker Systems (ATS) Score, there is a subtle way of mentioning your GitHub portfolio. Select one (or two) of your most prominent projects and include a call to action, for those interested in finding out more. Experience For 99% of your work projects, you’ve probably signed some form of an NDA - meaning you can’t just copy-paste the code on your GitHub. What you should do instead is to use the knowledge you’ve attained to build and test something, entirely on your own. That particular repo could demonstrate even further your hunger for knowledge within the experience section of your resume. Education Entry-level professionals - this resume section may be the best shot you have to demonstrate the sort of side projects you’ve done, all thanks to your higher degree and education. Again, don’t just copy-paste the work you’ve done for your coursework or projects. Rather, use the knowledge you’ve gained as a base to experiment on your own. Technical skills Within your dedicated technical skills section, list all the job-specific technologies you’re apt at. Don’t forget to add your Git/ GitHub skills to it. GitHub and cover letters: a strategic decision Cover letters serve to support your application in why you're the best candidate for the role. So, if you happen to have some pretty impressive projects on your GitHub, why not mention them in your cover letter with a "find out more" call to action? It is a strategic decision, but incorporating in some form your GitHub work may make a memorable impression. What is more… …if you're either telling a succinct, structured narrative or focusing on your best technical qualities and soft skills (specifically for roles in IT) in your cover letter, this would certainly intrigue recruiters. Key takeaways Including your GitHub link on your resume shouldn't be just to complete some random recruiters' checklist, but rather to show the breadth of your skills and experience. You should include recent projects (within the past six months or so) that are the most impressive, complete, and well-structured. If you don't have much experience, use university projects as a base to develop your own code: the idea here would be to show your unique problem-solving approach. Recruiters care about seeing the end product above all; more technical hiring managers may dive into your source code, so always make sure that this is the highest quality of your work. Various resume sections allow opportunities to hint at your GitHub capabilities: use the limited space you have to always highlight why you're the best candidate for the role.

Oct 24, 2023 12 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
Busting ATS Myths: Comprehensive Testing of Popular Resume Builders in 2024

Even before a candidate’s resume lands on a hiring manager's desk, it has to pass through a lot of hoops, the digital gatekeeper known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) being the most dreaded one. There is a plethora of myths circulating about how those systems work—such as the notion that ATS systems are incapable of processing double-column resumes, reject PDF file formats outright, or are incompatible with resumes featuring infographics. Such misconceptions can lead to unnecessary anxiety and hinder the jobseekers’ strategic approach to job applications. To address the various concerns surrounding the effectiveness of different resume formats and templates in passing through Applicant Tracking Systems, we undertook a comprehensive research project aimed at separating the myths from the realities. Utilizing a variety of the most popular ATS systems available in the market, we tested several widely used resume-building platforms to provide an impartial evaluation of their performance. This included mainstream tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, general-purpose design-centric software Canva, as well as a specialized resume-building platform - our very own Enhancv. We included our own product, Enhancv, in this research for a couple of crucial reasons. First, we believe in the efficacy and quality of our own platform, and we thought it was essential to see how it stacks up against other well-regarded solutions. We are committed to transparency and continuous improvement, and including Enhancv in the test allows us to identify areas for enhancement based on empirical data. Second, by including Enhancv in an impartial research setting that also evaluates competitors, we are promoting a level playing field that enriches the integrity of our study. It's important to note that this research was executed using an external ATS system to maintain the objectivity of the results. Our belief in our product is grounded in its design, features, and the value it offers to job seekers, but we recognize the importance of substantiating these qualities through rigorous, independent testing. By examining ATS scores and parsing capabilities across these various platforms, we aim to provide concrete insights that can guide users in choosing the most effective tools for their job application processes.How do applicant tracking systems (ATS) work Imagine you have hundreds of resumes for just one job posting; it's a mess to sort through all of them manually. That's where an ATS comes in. It takes all those resumes, reads them, and puts the info in a database so it's easy to search and organize, all to find the best candidates. When sourcing for an open position, recruiters can use it to post job openings, go through resumes quickly, set up interviews, and even check some stats on how well your hiring process is doing. It makes the whole "finding the perfect employee" thing a lot less of a headache, which comes even more handy for large companies. Basically, it's a one-stop shop for all hiring needs for the recruiting teams, Many ATS systems also come with additional features such as automated resume screening, interview scheduling, and analytics to help companies understand their hiring processes better. Some systems integrate with other HR software for a more seamless employee onboarding experience once a candidate is hired. Typically, when a job seeker applies for a position, their resume and application materials are uploaded into the ATS. The system then parses the information and stores it in a database. Recruiters and hiring managers can then search the database using keywords, skills, educational background, experience, and other filters to find candidates who match the job requirements. Understanding how an ATS parses resumes is crucial for job hunters. It's looking for specific keywords, skills, or experience that match the job description. If the resume doesn't have what the ATS is programmed to find, it might get skipped over, no matter how qualified a person is. That’s the reason why many job applicants try to "game" Applicant Tracking Systems to increase their chances of landing an interview. As stated before, these systems automatically filter and rank resumes based on specific keywords, qualifications, and other criteria set by employers, so the people are basically trying to beat the computer at its own game. As a result, people might resort to tactics like sticking to specific resume templates, avoiding infographics, or keyword stuffing—inserting relevant keywords or phrases excessively or out of context—in their resumes to pass through the system's initial screening. Others may use creative formatting or designs that they believe will make their resume stand out, although this cansometimes backfire since some ATS software struggles to accurately read unconventional layouts. The attempt to outsmart applicant tracking systems reflects the often frustrating and opaque nature of automated hiring processes. Still, it also poses ethical questions and can result in a poor fit between the candidate and the job role. It's a risky strategy that may offer short-term gains, but often at the cost of long-term career success and credibility. And, more importantly, very often is based on urban myths that have little to do with reality. Researching the most common ATS myths There are many myths circulating about how these systems work and how to "beat" them. We decided to tackle some of the most common misconceptions about ATS systems, backed by research and evidence, to set the record straight. There's a lot of folklore about what Applicant Tracking Systems can and can't do, very often causing needless stress and missteps for job seekers. Among the most talked-about myths are the belief that ATS systems can't handle double-column resumes, that they reject PDF formats, and that infographics will doom your application straight to the reject pile. Myth 1: ATS Don’t Read Double-Column Resumes Well The Myth: Many job seekers have heard that using a double-column resume format will result in automatic disqualification by ATS systems, which supposedly can't read or understand the layout. The Reality: Modern ATS systems are increasingly sophisticated and capable of parsing a variety of layouts, including double-column formats. Our study showed that the most popular ATS systems are fine with scanning and interpreting double-column resumes. However, the key is to ensure that the important information—like your contact details, experience, and education—is easily accessible and not buried within the layout. Single-column templates fare overall a bit better than double-column, with average scores of 93% for single-column and 86% for double-column. When researched in detail, the findings seem far less obvious - while still true for resumes built with MS Office and Canva, the data is reverted for Google Docs and Enhancv, both having surprisingly scored higher with resumes with double-columns than with single-column designs. Ehnancv scored 95% with single-column designs and 98% with double-column, and Google Docs 95% and a staggering 99% with single and double-column designs respectively. Single-column layouts usually perform well, but they have some instances where the 'Location' and 'Linkedin' scores are 0%, affecting the overall ATS score. Double-column layouts also perform well overall, especially those from Enhancv and Google Docs. However, some from MS Office and Canva showed drastically lower scores, pulling down the average for double-column layouts. The ATS struggled the most in all researched cases with parsing the skills sections of the resumes. On average the parse rate for the skills section for single-column resumes was 65%, while with the double-column resumes was only 46%. Both layouts also had issues with having the ‘location’ part of the resume header parsed, but surprisingly double-column resumes scored better than single-column ones. However, where double-column templates fell short was the parsing rates of LinkedIn information and candidate summary/objective, with only 82% and 89% being correctly parsed, as opposed to 100% and 97% respectively when the single-column template was used. A similar situation occurred with parsing the ‘Education’ and ‘Certifications’ sections. Single-column templates scored almost 100%, while double-column ones only scored 88% and 86%. Overall, single-column templates perform slightly better than double-column layouts. However, we wanted to dig a bit deeper. So– After a closer inspection and limiting the outcomes to Google Docs and Enhancv, we noted that, in some cases, double-column layouts scored higher than single-column ones. The readability of single-column resumes was at 95%, while, surprisingly enough, the double-column layouts scored at almost 98%. The biggest challenge and what subsequently lowered the scores for the single-column templates was parsing the ‘Location’ section from the resume header, scoring as low as 75%, compared to 89% in double-column layouts. The skills put on the resumes were also not fully parsed, reaching 85% parse rate for single-column resumes and 81% for double-column layouts. Keep in mind that these are the results of limited research conducted on best-performing resume-building software selected from the previous outcomes, beings Google Docs and Enhancv. The conclusion is - if the software was built or optimized for resume building and ATS in mind, like Enhancv, there is little to no difference in parse rates between single- or double-column layouts. In other cases, it’s still best for the jobseekers to stick to using single-column templates. Myth 2: ATS Don’t Work Well With PDFs The Myth: Another common belief is that resumes submitted in PDF format are unreadable by ATS systems, causing them to be automatically rejected. The Reality: The majority of modern ATS systems are perfectly capable of reading PDFs. For this part of the research we included (and subsequently pitted against each other) only two resume-building solutions from the tested list - Google Docs and Microsoft Office, and the reason for that is fairly simple - only those two offer a native export option in Doc format. For resumes created with Google Docs, the ATS seems to really love them. Whether in Doc or PDF format, they both scored incredibly well, almost neck and neck, with average parsing scores of 95% and 96%, respectively. It captures essential information really well. For instance, names, phone numbers, LinkedIn details, and experience descriptions are spot-on with 100% accuracy. But, a slight hiccup is spotted in parsing the location in the Doc format which stands at 50% and slightly better at 60% for the PDF format. Switching gears to MS Office, it's a bit of a different story. The Doc format, native to Microsoft Office, with an average ATS score of 88% performed better than the PDF at 85%. The ATS does a flawless job recognizing location, with both formats at 70%, and experiences related to bullets, company positions, and descriptions are parsed excellently at around 90-100%. Yet, there are some nuances. Skills, for example, are a bit of a weak point, being parsed at only 55%. LinkedIn details also show a drop in the PDF format to 75%. However, what is most important, it's always best to read the specific job application instructions to see if a certain file type is preferred or required. If no guidelines are given, a PDF is generally a safe bet, especially when using Google Docs. Myth 3: Infographics Don't Work with Your Resume The Myth: The use of infographics and other visual elements in a resume is often said to confuse ATS systems, causing these resumes to be thrown out. The Reality: It's true that overly complicated or elaborate infographic resumes may pose challenges for older or less sophisticated ATS systems. However, according to our research, simpler infographics that use standard fonts and straightforward layouts are generally ATS-friendly. For this part of the research we analyzed the parse rate of resume templates with infographics and the ones without, and how it affected the overall parse rate of the whole resume and the specific data contained in the infographics. Starting with Canva - if you're looking to use infographics, be cautious. The Modern resumes containing infographics scored an average ATS rate of 73%. That's a notable drop from the Simple resumes without infographics which stood at 85%. One major hiccup? Skills weren't recognized at all in either type. On the brighter side, areas like names, phones, and certifications were pretty consistently parsed. But, if you’re after ATS-friendliness, maybe go with the simpler design here. Our own Enhancv scored really high in the matter. Regardless of whether you opt for a modern design with infographics or a plain one, the ATS parsing scores are through the roof. The Modern design even outshines the Simple by a smidge, boasting a whopping 98% average score compared to 95%. Almost all areas, from names to certifications, stood strong at 100% or close. Let's talk Google Docs. With an ATS score of 95%, it’s almost at par with Enhancv's designs. The only slight glitch? Location, parsed at 55%. Otherwise, it’s all a green signal. Last but not least, MS Office. The Modern design yields a respectable 84%, while the Simple version pushes that up to 91%. Both formats showcase robust parsing for names and phone numbers. The modern version lags a bit in areas like LinkedIn and skills but stands strong in experiences, especially bullets and descriptions. All in all? If you're a fan of infographics and visuals, we’re not humble enough to state that Enhancv is the golden ticket. But if you're looking for simplicity and reliability, you can't go wrong with either Google Docs or the Simple version of MS Office. Canva is a great platform, but perhaps best suited for roles or industries where ATS isn't a primary concern. The trick is to keep it simple and avoid using images to convey important information. If you decide to use infographics or other visual elements, make sure the crucial details are also listed in text form. When it comes to the nitty-gritty of ATS parsing, colors and fonts generally don't tip the scales. That's right! The systems primarily focus on text content, structure, and relevant keywords. So, whether you've opted for a vibrant shade of teal or a muted gray, or decided between a classic 'Times New Roman' and a chic 'Helvetica', it won't make a jot of difference to the ATS. However, that's not to downplay their importance. The choice of colors and fonts can significantly influence the overall aesthetics, readability, and vibe of the resume. They play a crucial role in making that first impression and ensuring that the document is appealing and legible when eventually viewed by human eyes. In industries where creativity and design sensibilities matter, these elements can even become central to standing out. So while you shouldn't fret about colors and fonts from an ATS standpoint, they remain pivotal for showcasing professionalism, attention to detail, and personal branding. Always remember, once the ATS has done its part, your resume should still shine in front of human recruiters! Takeaways Key takeaways from our research include: Modern ATS systems are more adaptable than the myths suggest. They can handle double-column resumes and readily process PDF formats. When using resume-building software designed with ATS in mind, like Enhancv and Google Docs, the distinction between single-column and double-column layouts becomes less significant. Simplicity is key. Whether you're using infographics or other visual elements, ensure crucial details are present in text form. Avoid overly complicated designs that might trip up older ATS systems. While ATS doesn't discriminate based on colors or fonts, the design aesthetics remain paramount for human reviewers. Balancing ATS-friendliness with a visually appealing resume is the ideal strategy. Lastly, don't just rely on tricks to 'game' the system. A genuine resume reflecting your skills and experience is always the best approach for long-term career success. Understanding and demystifying the workings of ATS can empower job seekers to navigate the job application process more confidently. Always remember that while technology plays a significant role, at the end of the day, it's the human connection, skills, and experience that seal the deal.

Oct 10, 2023 13 min read