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Our Top Resume Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Job in 2020

The Betts Team
November 13, 2019

The new year isn’t so far away. And as you work on your “new year, new me” social media posts, know that every year also brings a new job market. What kind of resume do you need to land your dream job in 2020? For starters – and as always – a great resume is skimmable, succinct, and clearly conveys why you’re a great fit for that particular job. It’s a teaser to help hiring managers decide whether or not to reach out to schedule an interview. In this post, we’re sharing strategies and resume tips to help you improve.

Highlight soft skills in your resume

Soft skills are the traits you use to successfully navigate the workplace rather than technical skills that explicitly help you to “do your job.”  Some examples of soft skills in your resume are adaptability, creativity, empathy, leadership, problem solving, work ethic, etc.   Heading into 2020, at a time when job candidates have to compete more than ever with automation, soft skills are crucial. These skills are way harder to teach than technical skills. For example, if you put in the time, you can teach yourself how to code through Udemy courses and YouTube. It’s much harder to teach someone skills like hard work and empathy.   The best candidates find ways to highlight their soft skills through the examples they highlight in their resume. For example, someone looking for a sales manager job could include an example like this:

To keep my current sales team of five SDRs aligned on new company initiatives, I used Loom to record a quick video of the top 3 wins and top 3 opportunities that I see for our team next week. Other departments found these videos so helpful that it was quickly adopted by every manager in the company.

Tips to recession-proof your resume

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While the job market is growing at a solid rate right now, that doesn’t mean it will stay this way forever. A recession is by no means assured in 2020 – but it’s not a bad idea to build your resume on the assumption that you might have a lot of competition if the job market does, in fact, weaken. 


Keep your resume concise 

The average recruiter spends less than 6 seconds reviewing a resume. You need to catch their attention within that window if you want to land an interview.  The best way to do that is to keep your resume to 1-2 pages max and make it easy to skim. 


Lead with your most relevant experience and accomplishments 

One great way to catch a recruiter’s attention is to lead with your top accomplishments. For example, if you have 5 years of experience marketing SaaS products and you’re applying for a senior-level marketing role, you should put that front and center. But even without much experience, this approach is helpful. We worked with an aspiring marketing copywriter whose only concrete experience was a 3-month unpaid gig at a music blog. But he listed that first on his resume, his work spoke for itself, and he got the job.


Build your personal brand
Your resume is a tiny piece of your larger, personal brand. This is what can separate you from the pack and keep you top-of-mind for hiring managers.   Pro Tip: Check out our post with three strategies for building your personal brand.

Highlight accomplishments, not tasks

Many people write their resumes like a job description. They list out all of the tasks and responsibilities in their roles. A more effective way is to focus on your accomplishments and outcomes. This is the one time that it’s okay to brag a little. 


For example, if you’re a social media marketer at a SaaS company, you might write how you increased traffic from social media channels by 35% in the last year, or how one social media campaign you lead helped boost sales.

Avoid these resume pitfalls

The reality is you can use all of the resume tips in the book. But if you’re making any of these mistakes, your resume will likely end up in the “no” pile.


Use a professional email address

When applying to jobs, make sure to use a professional-looking email address.  An applicant with an email address like [email protected] might get a novelty phone screen, but she’s likely not getting the offer.


Pro Tip: If you don’t have a professional email address, it takes about 2 minutes (and is free) to create a new one on Gmail. We recommend it. 


Avoid “embellishing” your experience and skills  

When you’re trying to stand out from hundreds of other talented candidates, it can be tempting to stretch the truth. Our advice here: tread lightly. If you lie about your experience and skills, the best-case scenario is you being out of your depth and having to frantically learn a new skill in a hurry on the job. And the worst case, you realize you can’t fake it until you make it, and it costs you the job and hurts your professional reputation. 


Don’t sacrifice substance for style 

Using a fancy resume template or getting creative with the design can help you stand out. However, many candidates use design skills as a crutch. The substance should always come first. If the design makes it hard for people to see your experience and skills, the fancy template will end up hurting your chances of landing the job. 


Proofread your resume 

Nothing looks more unprofessional than a resume riddled with typos, spelling mistakes, and bad grammar. This tells a recruiter that you aren’t detailed oriented.

We recommend having at least one other person review your resume before you send it, and putting your resume through a tool like Grammarly.


Pro Tip: If you use a template, make sure to remove all of the placeholder text. Again, this may seem obvious, but we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve seen a stray line or two of “lorem ipsum text” in candidates’ resumes. 


Whether you’re looking for your first job out of college or a senior-level position, these resume tips can help you stand out. When you think of your resume as a teaser to get to know you better, this will help you highlight your top accomplishments and soft skills on your resume, and minimize some of the most common mistakes.