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Succeeding as a Modern Candidate in 2018, with Richard Lau, Founder of resume.com

When it comes to new year’s resolutions, finding a new job is right up there with getting fit, staying hydrated, and reading more. According to Fast Company, looking for a new job in 2018 is an achievable resolution, but requires some different strategies than years past.    

Inc. tells us that, “Today, we live in a mass customization consumer market. No longer does the one-size-fits-all mentality work.” So how do you make yourself stand-out? Become a great storyteller.

A pragmatic storytelling tool that shouldn’t be overlooked is your resume—often, the only mechanism available for initially sharing who you are with a future employer. When reading the word “resume,” what’s comes to mind? A Word doc? A graphic? Your personal website? A content rich visual design? Regardless, there should be enough content to delineate your experience, with eye-popping details that leave readers wanting to reach out and learn more.

We chatted with Richard Lau, resume.com Founder, one of the largest resume builder and hosting services online (closing in on three million hosted resumes). We asked him for insights on new-wave resume trends, how he sees talent acquisition continuing to evolve, and where he sees AI fitting into the talent ecosystem. See what Richard had to say!

How have you seen resumes evolve in the last five years? 

Five or so years ago, resumes were typically quite traditional and formal. Basically, five years ago, resumes were just text summaries of professional skills and experience. However, in recent years, the evolution of resumes has been quite remarkable. The expectation that a resume is just a Word document is no longer in place. These days, candidates are more willing to be creative and offer up a unique resume that summarizes who they are as people, as well as professionals—recruiters and hiring mangers seem to be very open and interested in seeing them.

For example, infographics and the use of graphics and data in general has skyrocketed for resumes, as have atypical resumes that use more tech forward templates, such as the ones we offer on Resume.com's resume builder. 

We personally love the infographic approach! The more creative the better.

What's a tip you'd give today's modern applicant? 

I would recommend that modern applicants think outside the box when it comes to their resume and cover letter. While the traditional approach isn't wrong, per se, there's so much more opportunity for candidates to really wow employers. Employers tend to be a little tired of run-of-the-mill resumes and cover letters that candidates can send a dozen of the same to every business that's hiring. It's really important that candidates nowadays take advantage of all the career and job hunting resources out there that recommend a modern approach to job hunting. 

What are some of your suggestions for candidates just getting started in 2018? 

Take inspiration from more creative cover letters that use an elevator advertisement-style approach to their first paragraphs. Grab (typically bored) hiring managers' attention with great opening sentences. The great thing about resumes and cover letters are that they're just tools. Candidates can technically do whatever they want with them, as long as it's professional and reasonable to their circumstances. 

What do you think is the next big thing in HR tech?

I've seen a lot of recent changes to focus keywords in Google searches when it comes to candidates' awareness of recruiting and HR technology, primarily when it comes to SEO and ATS software. Candidates are much more aware of what HR actually does with their resumes and cover letters, and they're starting to take advantage of that knowledge.

This tech savvy awareness of job hunting has really changed the game when it comes to jobseekers doing their best to get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters with the world (and its candidates) online literally at their fingertips.

What role do you see AI playing in the future of Talent Acquisition?

I could foresee AI playing a significant role in HR and talent acquisition in the future. Algorithms are already incredibly complex and intelligent, as well as self-correcting, and in place for normal people's everyday interactions with technology, such as a simple Google search. With the early adoption of AI occurring in large organizations, as well as smaller startups, I could definitely predict that an increasing number of third party HR businesses will adopt simpler (growing in complexity over time) AI algorithms to sell to other businesses who don't have the capacity to develop their own AI software or smart search algorithms themselves. 

As someone who loves texting, how can candidates win an interview via text? 

Interviewing via text is similar to an in-person interview but with several clear advantages. You have a moment to clearly express yourself. Be sure to use complete sentences and correct grammar. Be aware that your answers are likely to be forwarded to others in the organization as you progress beyond the first interview. But of course, be yourself!

Talent Acquisition is quickly getting to work this 2018, thinking deeply about candidate experience, evolving the interview process, AI, and more! If your goal this year is to find a new professional opportunity, we support you! Make sure to follow Richard’s tips and take a visit to resume.com, boost your LinkedIn profile, and nail the new-wave interviews like a pro. 

Happy New Year! 

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