Great Resumes Fast » Job Search » 2020 Hiring Trends You May Not Realize Exist

If the new year has you considering a new role, you have to get ahead of the biggest 2020 hiring trends you may not even realize exist.

After all, resume formats, application processing, and interviewing may be completely different than what you remember, depending on the last time you entered the job market.

No, we’re not at the point of sending text message resumes with emojis (thankfully).

But advances in technology have made the hiring process a bit trickier to navigate.

And today’s steep competition for high-level roles means you’ll need to prove you’re not only a catch but the best catch in the applicant sea.

So now’s the best time to get in front of these hiring trends for 2020:

Artificial Intelligence Becomes Even More Prevalent During the Hiring Process

Most people interact with artificial intelligence (AI) every day, whether they realize it or not.

A quick, “Hey, Siri!” or “Alexa!” can help you change a song, add a new event to your calendar, set a timer, and more. The software behind your Uber or Lyft ride depends on AI too.

So where does AI fit in the hiring process?

Think about how AI works with your email spam filter.

AI’s responsible for blocking spam so those emails don’t crowd up your inbox (again, thankfully!).

Artificial intelligence in the hiring process works similarly.

Applicant tracking software, or ATS for short, separates qualified candidates from those who may not be eligible for the role.

Anytime you’re asked to fill out an online profile to apply for a job, you’re entering into applicant tracking software.

And even if you just submit your resume to a job posting, it may still go straight through ATS without your even knowing.

The ATS scans hundreds of resumes at a time to quickly identify candidates that meet a company’s minimum job qualifications.

Once ATS finds these qualifying applicants, it sends this smaller stack through to the next phase of the interview: a hiring manager or recruiter.

So using our earlier example, ATS is like sending legit emails (in this case, job candidates) to a hiring manager’s inbox while it weeds out the spam emails (i.e., applicants or resumes that fall short).

Now that job ads garner an average of 250 resumes per post, it’s no wonder 98.2% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS (*)(*). And 75% of recruiters and hiring managers take advantage of ATS too (*).

So how do you work around ATS?

How to Tackle the Trend: Applicant Tracking Software

ATS saves recruiters and hiring managers countless hours, so it’s only going to improve as the technology does.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to cheat the system here and say, “Hey, Siri, can you push my resume to the top of the stack?”

Once all conditions are met, your application will either pass or fail the ATS gatekeepers.

So your first goal when it comes to landing your next big role in 2020 is to ensure your resume is set up for ATS scans.

You can find my favorite tips for outsmarting ATS in this guide: 8 Resume Writing Tips for 2020.

You’ll learn how to find the specific keywords ATS will be searching for, and work with the software to improve your chances of getting your resume and application pushed through.

Tackle this trend and you’ll still need to impress the non-robots reading your application.

Resumes Highlighting Value > Resumes Heavy on Work Experience or Skills

If you’re still using a traditional, chronological, bulleted resume format, it probably focuses more on where you’ve previously worked, what you did there, and for how long.

These barely show off your value, or the unique qualities you bring to the table, and focus more on your experience.

Now, as an executive, your resume experience does matter. But it’s just one piece of the puzzle, not the only one for employers or hiring managers to consider.

A modern resume, on the other hand, reflects what employers are really looking for: the value you may bring to their company.

Essentially, your value is defined by how you’ve solved problems for previous employers and made their companies better.

So your next resume goal in 2020 is to figure out how to show your value by using your previous experience to demonstrate how you’ll help this next company.

Easier said than done, right?

Not exactly.

How to Tackle the Trend: Showing Value Over Experience and Skill Set

In that same guide I mentioned earlier, I showed you how to prove your value to employers by creating an impactful branding statement.

Your branding statement is your unique value proposition, and it shows employers what you plan to bring to the company.

Head over to that guide when you’re done here and follow the steps to create a solid branding statement for your resume.

But don’t just add this statement to your old resume.

The last big 2020 hiring trend calls for a totally new-and-improved format.

Modern Resume Layouts Will Look More Like Ads From Your Marketing Department (and Quickly Get You Noticed!)

If you’re a regular reader, you know just how crucial it is to update the look of your resume.

Since hiring managers and recruiters see resumes in the triple digits, the last thing you want is for your resume to look like the other 200+ applicants.

Traditional resume layouts immediately date you and kick off a snoozefest for anyone who may be reading them.

How will anyone learn about all your amazing accomplishments if they feel like they’re rereading a history textbook in school?

Modern resume layouts, however, are exciting to look at and read.

They help to get you noticed immediately—and in the best possible way.

How to Tackle the Trend: Modern Resume Layouts for 2020

In this guide, What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2020, I explain why your resume should have:

  1. An eye-catching top half that captures interest
  2. Succinct callouts that highlight your best accomplishments
  3. Visual elements to strengthen your claims
  4. Pops of color for visual interest
  5. Tight copy with strategic breathing room, or white space

So take a look at your resume and use those five points as a checklist or guide.

Does your resume check all of those boxes?

If it doesn’t tick every one of them, be sure to check out that guide ASAP.

A modern layout does wonders for helping you to stand out from your competitors. The extra effort needed to update your current resume is undoubtedly worth it.

Start Mastering These 2020 Hiring Trends Today

So now you have at least three trends you can work on to upgrade your resume for the rigorous 2020 hiring standards.

If this sounds too overwhelming or daunting, or if you just don’t have time to give your resume the attention it deserves, leave this part up to our executive resume writers. Get in touch with one today!

Otherwise, start with the first two trends—optimizing your resume for ATS and showing your value—before picking out and working on your modern resume layout.

Following the steps in this order ensures that your visually appealing elements stand out, but your accomplishments keep the reader’s attention (and pique their interest!).

Tackle all three of these 2020 hiring trends, and you’ll put yourself ahead of your competition and into the next round of the hiring process.

Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response. I hate seeing qualified people never break through the screening process. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s why I created this guide and I encourage you to download the FREE PDF so you can start seeing better resume response rates!

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Andrew on February 12, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Very informative piece, learnt a lot from it. And it is so comprehensive for newbies.

    Obviously, a unique resume is an essential need for every job seeker. I was really upset and discouraged when I was not getting an interview invitation despite my degrees and my class of honor from the university.

    So I found an agent, Miss Lizzy,, she provided me with amazing resume and greatly optimized my LinkedIn

    Immediate she does that for me, I got several interviews call and became employed in a reputable organization and I also recommends her to my friend who has ended up working in a multinational companies in the united states of America and Europe.

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