Resume Writing Companies: Examining The Modern Resume

If you took a look at a resume from the 1950s, you’d notice some instance differences. Obviously, this resume would be typewritten and there wouldn’t be a great deal of design differences from one resume to another, but the content also would vary from what today’s hiring managers want to see. Resume writing companies need to evolve with the times, and create resumes that are current and modern. Let’s take a look at the past as well as the present state of the resume.

What’s Stayed The Same?

Not everything has changed, obviously, and there are some items that a resume from the 1950s, the 1980s or 2019 will all contain, including:

1. Contact Information – Obviously, a hiring manager needs to be able to contact you. In the past, the contact information would include a physical address and phone number, while today, it would be a phone number and email rather than your home address.

2. Education & Work Experience – Over the course of the last 75 years or so, your educational background and a listing of your work experiences have been must-have additions to any resume. Of course in the 1950s, the number of workers with college diplomas was far less than it is today. In 1950, for instance, only about 6 percent of the workforce completed college, compared with more than 25 percent today.

3. Length – Whether you are looking at a typewritten resume from 1959 or a sleek computer-generated resume from 2019, you’ll definitely notice that hiring managers have never wavered in their desire to keep resumes short and to the point. Your resume typically should never extend beyond a single page unless you are applying for a very high-level position.

What’s Changed

While work experience and education always has been important to employers, there are some items that hiring managers no longer need to see, and, in some cases, they aren’t even allowed to ask about.

1. Personal Information – We’ve seen a few resumes from the 1950s, the 1960s and 1970s that contained personal information, such as marital status, the number of children and even the person’s weight and overall health! These items absolutely don’t belong on a modern resume, and hiring managers typically are forbidden from asking about your family, marital status, health conditions, religion and other highly personal facts.

2. Depth of Information – Past resumes typically just listed contact information, education and work experience, but today’s hiring managers like to see a bit more. For instance, rather than just list that you worked at Company A, they want to see what your specific tasks were at Company A, and how your skills benefitted the company. In other words, today’s hiring managers want you to quantify your work experience and skills with real-life (albeit brief) examples.

3. Design

In general, resumes always have followed the format of contact information at the top, followed by education, followed by work experience and onto special skills or certifications. This hasn’t changed much, but the look of the resume definitely has seen an upgrade.

In the past, a typewriter was really your only option, so your resume typically would look the same as every other resume. Even resumes from the 1980s and 1990s, from the early days of home computers, looked pretty basic and plain. Now, of course, we have many more design options, so you can get a little bit creative, although we typically caution people not to get too creative unless they are professional designers, as sometimes too much design can detract from your content and content is still king, resume-wise.

4. Applicant Tracking

In the last five years, one of the biggest changes in the resume world has been the advent of applicant-tracking software and most big companies and many small firms use software to sift through hundreds of resumes and come up with a short list of potential job candidates.

Today’s resume must appeal to this software as well as hiring managers, and many resume writing companies aren’t quite up to speed with the applicant-tracking factor. At Resume Writing Group, our team of writers has experience writing for both.

5. Personal Interests

We’ve seen 50-year-old resumes that included hobbies and interests, but by the 1980s, adding this personal information went out of vogue. Now, employers once again may be interest in who you are outside of work, but you have to be careful when you craft this section.

Generally, you want to list interests or hobbies that show off your best self. For instance, your interests might include running marathons, hiking, kayaking, and gourmet cooking. These hobbies show that you probably are interest in staying health, that you aren’t afraid of challenges and that you work hard to achieve your goals. You can even add something quirky, like playing the banjo or engaging in Scrabble tournaments, but it’s best to limit the quirky stuff to just one mention.

Another change is the advent of resume writing companies, such as ourselves, and we believe this is a change for the better. Writing a resume today requires a much more thoughtful approach than in the past, and it can be tricky to state your qualifications in a way that appeals to hiring manager. If you are starting a job search, but need some help with your resume, the team at Resume Writing Group is can help, so get started now and in just a few days, we’ll provide you with a fantastic, job-winning resume.


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