You wouldn’t wear outdated clothing, so why leave your resume behind the times?

So what is the modern resume? Or more importantly, how does the modern resume compare to the traditional resume. The differences are certainly tangible and focus primarily on content development, brevity, and SEO optimization.


Traditional resumes or CVs can vary in range or length. Many have deciphered that the typical length of a traditional resume can hover around 2 to 3 pages. However, in the modern day, resumes are aimed to be about 1 page in length for entry-level to mid-level roles and 2 pages for executive-style templates.

With respect to Functional and Federal Resumes, the parameters of these formats remain the same. Typically a functional resume is constructed differently and never surpasses one page. A federal resume can often accumulate information and content in excess of four pages.

Format and style

The modern industry standard calls for more comprehensive formats. With this being established, it is essential to “trim the fat” off of resumes to optimize content. This begins with the removal of objectives and references which have been all but deemed outdated. These two portions have been removed to insert more comprehensive content, including a career summary and areas of expertise.

First, it is imperative to insert a career summary. Career summaries are 2-4 lines typically, building and expanding on basic objectives that can add up to 2 lines. Next, authors can elect to insert 6 to 9 “Areas of Expertise” utilizing SEO hot words to improve visibility on major resume hosting sites.

After these two portions, a professional experience section listing 5 to 15 years of relevant and previous experience is optimal. The idea is to get the document to one page, so entry-level and mid-level applicants should be able to achieve this. If not, it is the best practice to utilize the most pertinent details to drive the content development of the resume. It is also important to leave room for an Education and Credentials section to wrap up the resume. This is the area where education, training, certifications, and awards are compiled and listed. This is essential as these components become the focus, as they serve to be rudimentary qualifications in many instances.

Modern resume


Believe it or not, this marketing principle has been adapted to the modern resume. As mentioned, many recruiters search for specific keywords or terms in finding their ideal candidates. To complement this, many applicants strategically implement SEO terms or hot keywords to increase visibility in highly competitive markets and heavily populated resume hosting sites. These terms are a must add to any resume and are ideal for the innovative “Areas of Expertise” section on any resume.

In the modern era, resumes have evolved to reflect the times. The modern resume is more sophisticated but less extensive. It is more comprehensive but broad in focus and application. How does the modern resume compare to the traditional resume? The differences are certainly significant. From content development to SEO optimization, the modern resume has distinct features that aid job seekers in competing in a globally competitive market.

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