Knowing that you need to future-proof your resume is one thing. Doing it is another. What is future-proofing? It refers to ensuring something is usable and valuable in the coming years.
Many people are on the fence about readying their resumes for the future, considering we don’t know how things pan out as we age. However, taking a few specific actions to boost your resume for the future can help you land a solid position doing meaningful work, no matter how the world evolves.
Get into these four techniques to help you future-proof your resume today.
Harness new skills
One of the easiest ways to future-proof your resume is to master new skills. Identify which skills are said to be most relevant for the future work world and learn them.
For example, we’re constantly moving toward technology in the work world. From artificial intelligence to social media, digital literacy is that much more important to a budding career in any industry.
Mastering digital literacy future-proofs your career and resume; so would developing strong critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, communication, and creativity.
Choose a few skills that will be in demand in the future. Study them until you excel. Then, implement them in your work and include them on your resume.
Determine whether you want to take a self-education route or a more traditional one. Following experts on their digital platforms is a good way to go if you choose self-education. Learn from their content and implement lessons in your real life to hone your skills.
A more traditional education route might be a university or college education, certification classes, night school, or online classes.
However, if you decide to harness new skills, be sure you can afford them. Additionally, be sure you aren’t putting too much on your plate. Balancing work, learning a new skill, and personal life is challenging. So, go at a reasonable pace and ensure you have a solid support system.
Play to your strengths
Future-proofing your resume requires you to play to your strengths. No matter the role you’re going for, you always want to highlight your strengths. Refrain from talking about what you don’t have or other negative aspects of your background on your resume.
For example, if you have a criminal background, don’t include it on your resume. Instead, simply answer any criminal background questions on the application truthfully. Then, if you land an interview, talk openly about your criminal background at that time. You’ll be able to give the situation context. You’ll also be able to talk about the strengths you’ve developed within the context of your past.
Future-proof your resume by playing to your strengths at all times. Even if your best work so far has been hobbies. Show skills you’ve developed through those hobbies that you can easily transfer to a future role.
Lean on your strong soft skills if your technical skills are lacking. Share links to supplemental materials like a portfolio. Or show off your personal brand by including a link to your LinkedIn profile. Whatever your strengths are, make them pop on your resume.
It’s good to highlight what makes you a quality candidate. However, matching what you brag about on your resume to the company’s needs and job responsibilities is even better. In other words, personalize your resume to the job you’re applying for.
Take a look at the job description. Pinpoint the top skills the company is looking for and the immediate needs they’re hoping to address with the position.
Then, refer back to your qualifications. Match your skills with the ones the company is looking for and your achievements to the company’s immediate needs. Make them the key focus of your resume.
Also, use some of the same terminologies in the job description in your resume to make your compatibility with them even more apparent. Repeat this personalization process for every job you apply for now and in the future.
Try new things
When you learn about new trends in resume writing, don’t be afraid to try them out. Implement anything you learn from recruiters about how to help your resume stand out. Absorb anything companies share about what they’re looking for in candidates to help their business excel in the future.
You won’t use the same resume for the rest of your life. So, lean into experimenting. Try trends like video resumes. Send out different variations of your resume to companies. Try new things with the way you write your resume.
Then, see what sticks in your job search and how things pan out with different openings. If you want to keep up in an ever-changing job market, continually update your resume with current trends and expectations.
Future-proofing your resume is an ongoing project. What works this year may not work two years from now. Next year, what’s attractive to recruiters and companies may not be all the jazz in five. It’s all about continuously updating your resume and trying new things. You’ll have the best chance at standing out amongst the competition and landing your next dream role if you do.
About the Author:
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.