Welcome to 2024! Here’s our annual forecast of the current job market and resume best practices.
Be sure to read to the end: We have a special discount code to ring in the new year!
The Job Search Landscape
The job search landscape is always a function of the larger economy. So it’s no surprise that there have been some major ups and downs over the past few years. Covid. The Great Resignation. Inflation. Layoffs.
Looking forward, expect to see hiring remain robust. The Fed is forecasting three interest rate cuts in 2024, which usually correlates with hiring.
At the same time, many companies drastically increased their employee headcount over the past few years. So expect layoffs as companies rebalance hiring.
It may feel counterintuitive for strong hiring and layoffs to exist side-by-side. But both are the ongoing fallout from corporate restructuring and hiring surges and contractions over the past few years.
What this means for you as a job seeker is the importance of staying resume-ready. You never know when a layoff notice will land on your desk or when an amazing opportunity will come your way.
Having your resume up-to-date and send-ready puts you in a position of power and confidence, no matter what 2024 brings.
What will stay the same in 2024
Bullet points, career accomplishments, reverse chronological order, action verbs…yep, those standbys remain important in 2024. Resumes aren’t exactly a trend-driven genre, so many of the foundational best practices will remain the same.
Go here for a list of 10 important resume principles from Upword Resume’s founder.
Another resume best practice that will continue in 2024 is to avoid using graphical resume templates. You may be tempted to download a creative resume template, but both HR keyword filters AND human readers can end up confused by an overly fancy design.
A resume should be a workhorse document, not a graphic design showcase. Graphs, text boxes, and even columns can garble your resume. The traditional format makes it easy for a hiring manager to quickly locate the information they’re looking for.
To see some resumes that are visually appealing AND ATS-compliant, check out Upword Resume’s Sample Gallery.
To learn more about how HR keyword filters–known as ATS–really work and how to customize your resume to pass ATS every time, check out our course, Get Your Resume Past ATS.
Use AI the RIGHT Way
A big headline for 2023 was the emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT. Expect this to continue in 2024.
ChatGPT and other AI tools can be valuable for job search and resume writing. But understand what they can and can’t do.
Any AI tool is limited by its input, whether from scrubbing the internet or from your queries. So be sure to refine your prompts.
Check out our friend Heather Austin for some helpful prompts to use ChatGPT to generate your resume content, here.
But keep in mind, even if you’re using ChatGPT or other AI tools, writing your own resume takes some work and your personal touch. Don’t expect to type in “Create a strong resume for this position” and land the job with the resume ChatGPT spits out.
For a resume to put you in the running, it needs to use the Magic Yardstick and answer the question, “How do I create value for the employer?”
An effective resume is accomplishments-driven, results-focused, and aligned with your target job. It addresses qualifications from the job description and states a clear value proposition.
ChatGPT isn’t always effective at identifying the value an employer is seeking for a specific role beyond the minimal requirements. That’s the human element of insight and persuasion that AI might miss.
We ran ChatGPT through some resume-writing tasks. These were the results.
To land the interview, you have to stand out in comparison to other applicants with similar backgrounds and qualifications. That means your resume needs to go beyond the basics to show the value you can deliver.
We find that most of our clients at Upword Resume struggle to identify the end results of their work and to determine which details from their work history should be included in their resume.
If you want to up-level from an AI generic resume to a value-driven resume that really wows a recruiter–or if you’re tired of wrestling with a DIY resume–put down the ChatGPT prompts and visit us at Upword Resume.
Don’t let your resume hold you back in 2024
Many professionals feel their resume is holding them back. They worry that their resume doesn’t showcase them in a positive light and that sending out their current resume might not be a strong presentation. Or their resume is just out of date–sometimes by several years!
None of this needs to be the case! You probably don’t do your own plumbing or dental work, so don’t expect to write your own resume. This is something you can outsource, and the results will be better than if you did it on your own.
To help you start off 2024 with some career momentum, we’re offering a limited-time promotion.
Use code FRESH24 for $24 off any resume service at Upword Resume.