If you’ve applied for a job recently, or even just had to update your resume, you will know that the job-hunting game has changed.  Gone are the days when you could submit a glossy, fancy looking resume and that would help you get a leg up on your competition.  How do you get an edge on your competition now?  Well, your resume needs to be “web friendly”.  Which maybe isn’t that straightforward to understand.  That being said, we are going to help you with that understanding.


Use the Right Keywords

Applicant Tracking Systems of the past used to use semantic search technology.  Which made it easy for someone to stuff their resume with a bunch of keywords, and they would register with the system in order to at least get you through to the next stage.  But that’s not happening anymore.  Instead, they are using contextualization technology, which is a better way for both the job seeker and the employer.  This technology is smarter, and it actively evaluates your document not only for particular words but for the context in which they are being used.  Which means, you can’t act like a robot to fool the robot.

Here’s a structure that will help you:

  • Identify the three to five keyword skills you want to use as the theme of your resume.
  • Create a few powerful opening bullet points at the start of the resume that talks about the results you can deliver through using your keyword skills.
  • Highlight successes within the “Professional Experience” section that showcase these keyword skills.
  • Include any advanced training you’ve received that relates to the keyword skills.

resume template

Minimal Design

There’s a reason why brands like Apple go for a minimal design aesthetic: it looks better on the screen.  Stick with easy to read fonts like – Arial, Georgia, or any sans serif font, really.  Don’t use graphical elements like 3D boxes.  Black text on a white background is your best bet.


Make Structure Your Friend

Getting creative with the structure of your resume might backfire a bit.  Some of the people you need to impress will make a snap decision within the first few seconds.  If they can’t find simple information quickly, there’s a chance that your resume will get passed over.

Here’s a structure that works:

  • Name and contact info
  • Boldfaced title (ex. Senior Director of Marketing and Branding, or Leader in Biotech/Pharma Drug Development)
  • Opening bullet points
  • Keyword section
  • Professional experience
  • Education and other closing sections


Use the Right Format

PDF is the best way to send your resume unless the job posting specifies otherwise.  It’s secure and it looks great in both print and digital.  Some Applicant Tracking Systems will require you to copy and paste your information into their system, which is kind of annoying.  Just remember to make sure that you remove any formatting from the copying and pasting process as it might not strip some of that detail out.


Be Yourself

Sure, it might be easier to write like a robot, for a robot, but the resume needs to reflect who you are because you might actually be asked for an interview.  And what will you do then?  Communicate your positive traits in a way that is genuine and that shows passion.  This is for sure going to get you into the interview room, and from there you can demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.  Happy job-hunting!