Learning what your resume should look like in 2023 isn’t just a matter of aesthetics.
Hiring data shows there’s an average of 200 applicants per job opening. Some researchers say that figure may be closer to 500 candidates, depending on the position.
I share these figures not to scare you, but to highlight your stiff competition.
Your resume is your best chance to make a powerful first impression on hiring teams and recruiters. These decision-makers are inundated with well-qualified applicants as soon as they post a job.
And to make matters worse, eye-tracking studies reveal they only spend 7.4 seconds scanning a resume before deciding whether to read it in its entirety or move on to the next one.
That’s not a lot of time to capture and excite readers about your value.
So in this post, I’ll highlight exactly what your resume should look like in 2023 to stand out, engage readers, and boost your chances of landing an interview.
What Your Resume Should Look Like In 2023: 5 Must-Haves + Examples
An attractive, high-performing resume immediately piques a reader’s interest. It subtly draws them down the page to learn why you’re the candidate they’re looking for.
So every resume in 2023 should incorporate these five elements to achieve that goal:
1. An Updated, Modern Design
A traditional resume format (think: chronological order, bullet points, etc.) won’t give you a leg-up on your competition in 2023. Using one may even hold you back.
See, hiring managers tune out when one of those stale resume templates lands on their desks for the umpteenth time. These boring resumes don’t excite or connect with readers. So your resume could be passed over in that brief 7.4-second scan before it’s even read.
That’s why it’s so important to freshen up the look of your resume with an updated, modern resume template like this one:
Want to use this resume template? Click this link purchase it and start customizing this template (or any others in this article) now.
Unlike a traditional resume template, the one above builds a personal connection with readers by introducing and showcasing your value first. A quick scan of the top half provides them with a snapshot of your areas of expertise and core competencies, two very attractive “hooks” to hiring teams.
Readers will then feel compelled to learn where you honed those skills. So the bottom half of this resume template helps organize your career achievements in an engaging, eye-appealing way.
Rather than reading like a bland job description, each point should back up your skill set while proving your track record of success.
Anyone reading your resume formatted with a modern template like this will know precisely who you are and the value you’ll deliver, which is the ultimate goal.
2. Clear Sections To Highlight Your Best Features
Resumes that look like one giant block of text are intimidating. They tell hiring teams they’ll need to spend time and effort to mine for the intel they’re looking for. And with hundreds of other resumes vying for their attention, they’ll probably just pass on doing so.
That’s why most modern resume templates are divided into sections with clear, distinct headers. This makes your resume easier to scan and read, not to mention far more enjoyable for busy hiring managers.
The resume template above does a fantastic job of breaking up a resume into bite-sized chunks of information. The example below takes this concept a step further:
The highlights and expertise section in this resume template sits in a blue box to draw the reader’s eyes and attention. This is like telling hiring teams, “Hey! Come check this out!”
So think of your resume as a cheat sheet for hiring managers and recruiters rather than a dossier.
Your resume headings and sections will create an organized outline of your qualifications. Then these call-out boxes can be used to show off your best features, as they’re likely one of the first things hiring managers will notice during their initial scan.
3. Strategically-Placed White Space and Tight Copy
Often times, candidates are so focused on adding every little detail to their resume that it becomes too crammed to read. Headings and call-out boxes can help with this problem. But nothing works quite as well as more white space.
White space, or the places in your resume without words or formatting, adds breathing room to your resume. It prevents a resume from appearing jam-packed and hard to read.
A resume with well-defined sections naturally creates more white space, like this resume template:
Aim for short copy to add more white space to your resume. Break up any big chunks of text to make reading less overwhelming and easier for the eyes.
Your resume is like a garden. You don’t want wordy sentences hiding your highlights and achievements like weeds overrunning a beautiful flower bed.
Prune your copy, and you’ll easily add more white space to your resume and draw attention to your best selling points simultaneously.
4. A Bold Pop of Color
If you really want to stand out and catch someone’s attention, a pop of bold color on your resume is a must. But this doesn’t mean you should haphazardly throw a rainbow of color wherever you want.
When done strategically, as this example does, color can be used to add emphasis, contrast, and personality. It can also help break up the sea of black text on your resume.
Want to use this resume template? Click this link to customize this template or any others in this article now.
Though a pop of color can help your resume stand out and make a memorable first impression, colors that are too bright or off-putting will do so for the wrong reasons. Opt for deeper, saturated shades, so your resume will be legible in person and on-screen.
5. A Clear, Easy-to-Read Font and Formatting
It’s essential to think about the font you choose for your resume.
Anything “cutesy” will likely be regarded as unprofessional. Likewise, a font that’s too light or too bold may also be difficult to read.
The best fonts to use on a resume include Serif and Sans Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana, and Arial.
As for the font size, stick to 10-14 points (10-12 for regular text and 12-14 for headings and subheadings).
This template offers a great example of resume text formatting:
On a similar note, be sure to emphasize the right areas, not everything. Only use bold or italics to draw attention to your top achievements, companies you’ve worked for, and other notable points according to the role.
Ready To Update Your Resume for 2023?
Now that you know the must-have ingredients for a high-performing resume, it’s time to put these tips to good use.
Incorporating today’s must-have elements will give your resume a fresh upgrade for 2023 and help you connect with hiring teams and recruiters.
Even better news?
If you use one of the resume templates shared in this guide, you’ll ace this task in half the time. Just purchase and download the one that fits your needs best, plug in your information where prompted, and voila!
You’ll have a modern, professional resume ready to send out in a matter of minutes instead of spending all day reformatting your current one.
Click this link to learn more about the resume templates featured in this article.
Psst! You’ll also find a free executive resume template download on our resources page.
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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!
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This is very well-detailed content. I highly appreciate your work. Thank you for sharing your ideas!
As I was looking to give my resume a fresh, new style for 2023, I came across your article. I kid you not, I have been styling my resume like this for the last 3 years! I am an independent career coach–would you be interested in hiring a partner?
I’m not kidding.
I found these resume formats to be reader friendly and they target what potential employers want to see quickly. It allows the reader to focus on the accomplishments beyond the day to day duties.