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Strong resumes aren’t what they used to be: Here are five ways they are changing

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: May 12, 2022

The world of work is evolving, and so are resumes. Life experience is just as valuable as work experience, and an online internship can be just as powerful as an in-person one.

Where once only academic degrees and permanent work history were acceptable, now a broader range of experiences are embraced – and even expected. Having a unique set of life experiences and passions complements professional expertise and shows the full breadth of your abilities. 

For the first time, you’re able to paint a more complete picture of yourself in your resume. Here are how strong resumes are evolving. 



1) Resumes are changing to match the future of work 

A changing workforce means soft skills are in demand. 

Remote or hybrid workforces are becoming more common – which requires excellent communication, strong organisational, and confident self-management skills. The ability to adapt to change is also an asset.

However, even in physically distanced workplaces, an interest in team culture is also desirable, so empathy and the ability to engage with diverse team members will help your resume stand out.

Highlighting these capabilities is essential which can mean including a wider range of experiences than just work history. 

Experience such as an online internship can show that you can take control over your own time and be responsible for delivering work remotely – and that you can establish relationships and communicate in modes other than in person.



2) Resumes are more skill led, rather than chronological

For decades, the classic CV was focused on academic qualifications and specific career experience – these were the main factors in getting hired. Reverse chronological order of a resume detailed how you had spent your time up until that moment, and any discussion of skills was closely related to each of the roles you had held. 

However, as employees are now better equipped to articulate the skills they have and the skills they want to learn, recruiters are switching focus. People are seeking work that is more rewarding and doesn’t compromise on factors such as flexibility and work-life balance, which means hirers need to work harder to attract talent in a historically tight market. The most important thing for recruiters now is not whether you have experience in a specific role, but whether you have the skills to get the job done. 

LinkedIn has been closely monitoring the evolution of the skills-first mindset; according to LinkedIn data, 40% of hirers now use skills data when hiring on LinkedIn, up 20% from the year before, demonstrating that skills-first hiring is gaining traction. And it’s working – these skills-first hirers are 60% more likely to find a candidate and hire successfully. 

What does a skills-first approach look like? The skill-led approach allows for more versatility and is an effective way of showing international experience, a career break, or any other less typical career path. 

For example, business internships abroad with GVI offer a way of learning outside of the office. You’ll gain exposure to project management and workshop design and delivery, which are skills that can translate into almost any job.

As another example, an internship in Cambodia engaging with the local community and facilitating English classes will set you up with strong communications and collaborative skills, as well as business knowledge. You could apply these skills to roles in marketing, business management or administration.

GVI’s  online internship offering foundations in social entrepreneurship sets you up with important skills around monitoring and evaluation – including benchmarking, understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) and analysing metrics. These are crucial skills that apply to any business, and being able to show that you understand how to measure and manage performance is a powerful addition to a skills-based resume. 



3) Potential is becoming as important as experience

It’s simply impossible to have years of experience for a skill that has only become relevant in the past year. Think about social media marketing for TikTok, for example – not so long ago, businesses didn’t even have to think about this platform, now there is a rush to produce content and be visible on it. That’s a whole new platform for social media managers to take care of. 

In fact, LinkedIn numbers show that skill sets for some jobs have changed by up to 25% since 2015, a number expected to double by 2027. 

Hiring for what you’ll be able to learn in the future is just as important as the skills you have now. 

Current and future potential is a compelling factor for recruiters. If you can show in your resume that you are curious, innovative, and passionate about learning and growth, these factors can be more desirable than direct experience. 

Expressing this on a resume means including experiences such as travel abroad, a willingness to challenge yourself and enthusiasm to take on new learning opportunities. Including experiences such as business internships in locations such as Ghana or Peru will bolster your CV and show your willingness to embrace opportunities.  



4) Gaps in your resume are no longer a red flag

Career breaks are no longer seen as red flags by recruiters. Finding purpose and higher satisfaction in work is now a trend, and taking time out to figure out exactly what you want is viewed positively. 

Instead of trying to hide gaps on your CV, now you can highlight the value of travelling internationally and show how you used your time overseas for personal development. That might include business internships abroad, conducting language lessons, or listing volunteer programs abroad.

Business internships, for example, can be an opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience another culture, but also develop professional skills and a strong understanding of international business – a valuable asset for global companies. 

Business internships abroad with GVI equip you with a range of skills such as communications and social media, meaning they add strong support to your CV – they are more than a holiday and reinforce that travelling in a gap year is about personal development. 

By giving you the opportunity to explore different cultures and perspectives, business internships show you have independence, initiative and a sense of curiosity. Workplaces are more diverse than ever before, and proving you have an open mind indicates you’ll be able to work harmoniously alongside people from vastly different backgrounds.



5) Employers care more about who you are 

More and more workplaces are interested in hiring for a culture fit as much as for capability, so being able to show more of your personality now forms part of a strong CV.

If you fit into a company’s culture, you’re more likely to thrive personally and professionally – and contribute to building a strong culture where others will want to work and grow. 

As such, resumes now include more detail about interests, passions and goals as well as extra skills like languages spoken. There is more space to let your personality shine through and give recruiters a real sense of who you are. 

Add colour by including a passion for cooking you might have discovered on business internships abroad, for example. Or mention you are dedicated to women’s empowerment or reducing climate emissions, to show there is more to your application than just ambition. These additional details can help hirers see if your goals align with a company’s purpose. 

On top of this, recruiters are likely to look beyond your resume and visit your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or curated social media accounts to understand your personality and interests. So when building your personal brand, this can flow over into your resume and present a consistent impression of you – whether that’s adventurous, curious, open-minded or ready to take on the world. 

Business internships are an excellent way to boost your resume and land you in a dream job. Read more about how GVI’s internships can give you a global perspective on business and sustainability. 

We understand that you may have questions about how COVID-19 will affect your travel plans. Visit our FAQs page which explains our latest safety protocols in response to COVID-19. 

Disclaimer: Some images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.

Header original photo: By Van Tay Media is licensed under Unsplash

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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