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What are the best resume trends for 2014? (Part 1 of 2)

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Gearing up for your 2014 executive job search?

One of your first tasks is probably polishing your resume... and things have changed!

The new reality in executive job hunting demands not only a powerful marketing package for your skills, but also a keen awareness of social media, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), recruiter preferences, and cutting-edge personal branding.

Take stock of these resume trends destined to affect how your executive resume is perceived in 2014 – BEFORE starting to network or reach out to executive recruiters:

Resume Trend #1 – Cutting-Edge Resume Design.

If you’re still using a Microsoft Word template or just typing your information freeform into a resume document, it’s time to play catch-up.

Today, executive resumes have evolved from black-and-white, single-page chronologies into personally branded marketing documents, complete with accents of color, infographics, and other eye-catching design elements.

Move your resume into the new millennium by noting the presentation styles most likely to catch the eye (some of which are detailed below).

Resume Trend #2 – Shorter, More Potent Documents.

While most executive resumes require at least 2-3 pages, the trend for 2014 and beyond is to provide a snapshot page that can stand on its own – with subsequent pages that include career details.

As shown in this Healthcare Executive Resume sample, your background and career highlights can be encapsulated in a first-page summary, allowing you to use the short version as a door-opening networking tool.

Resume Trend #3 – Vivid Storytelling.

The executive resumes of the future have arrived... and they make the traditional list of bullet points seem stale by comparison.

Your leadership resume must tell your story in context, with specifics on the obstacles you’ve overcome and the results you’ve orchestrated. Listing metrics without the salient details will no longer make you a contender.

Rather than simply touching on end results (“Opened 30% more business opportunities, including APAC markets”), a storytelling approach lets you explain how you made this happen:

“Rebuilt trust with client executives, adding quality controls and ensuring adherence stringent audit procedures, leading to 30% additional business deals in U.S. and APAC markets - with no competitive bidding.”

Resume Trend #4 – Color.

While not a new concept, color on resumes is a trend that started several years ago and is gaining ground.

Even a small splash of blue for headings and descriptions of clinical trials on this Biotechnology Program Manager resume helps set off key terms, while still maintaining a conservative look.

If you decide to apply color on your executive resume, start small with a change in a single header or line of text. Be sure the color you choose aligns with your profession, such as a navy blue for an IT leader or a gray-beige for a medical officer.

Resume Trend #5 – LinkedIn-Specific Content.

Not that LinkedIn is ready to replace the executive resume (just yet – if at all), but you WILL need to craft your digital persona just as carefully.

To be competitive on LinkedIn, you’ll need an executive presence and fully populated Profile that rivals the content of other leaders (and you may want to visit their Profiles to see what you’re up against!).

Your LinkedIn Profile will also require an intensive search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to pull in traffic from recruiters. Some of the fields on your Profile (such as your Headline) are highly indexed, meaning that you’ll need to place powerful keywords there to attract more views.

Unlike a U.S.-style executive resume, you’ll also be expected to provide a professional headshot to cap off your LinkedIn presence.

Next Up: Anticipated 2014 resume trends including changes in content, executive summaries, and more.

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