How to create a 21st-century digital resume (Step by Step Guide)

Updated: August 24, 2022

By: Aziz Khan

It’s no secret that the job market has changed dramatically in recent years. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to update your resume and make sure it stands out from the rest. 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to create a modern resume that catches the attention of employers and helps you land your dream job. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Before you start building your digital resume

Before you start creating your digital resume, you need to take a step back and evaluate your skills and experience. What are your strengths? What do you have to offer employers? 

Make a list of your skills and accomplishments, then match them to the job prerequisites you’re applying for. It will help you determine what to include on your resume. If you are a student with no experience the principles will remain the same, but Here is what you will need at the end of the evaluation

a. A very summary of your professional ambition

b. List of your core skills (5-10)

c. List of 3-5 of your largest clients

d. List of 3 experiences that you can define in 3-4 lines

e. List your 2 reliable references

The best software for the 21st-century resume

For creating an eye-popping digital resume you will need Canva. Some of you will say but why not MS Word or illustrator? The reason is simple 

“You don’t need a cannon to kill a mosquito.” 


Canva is a very powerful freemium software that will save your ass on many occasions from here on out. So, sign up and follow these steps. 

Easy to read and visually pleasing template

Canva offers many easy-to-read and visually pleasing resume templates and even business cards. All you need is a little creativity and strategy to create a masterpiece.

After signing up, go straight to the top right corner and hit “Create a design”. This will then take you to the drop-down menu.

Type “resume” and select the first option. If you want to try out different types of resumes, go ahead. However, this blog post will give you the easiest way to get from point A to point Z.

Select a template

There are many to choose from, so take your pick but remember to apply the concepts you learn in the following steps. For this post, we will just pick the first option that shows up.

Your photo

We live in the world of social media. In almost all circumstances, the HR department of major companies will find your social media profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin. So, no need to hide your face. Make their life easy and show them how handsome or beautiful you are.

A pro tip here is that your picture should be recent and should be as professional as possible.

Professional summary

Tell the prospective employer why you are different from the rest and your specialty. Professional statements need to be direct and to the point. 

Write a compelling statement on your digital resume

Your professional statement needs to be attractive and tailored to the position you seek. Think about what your employer will want to see on your resume and adjust accordingly.

In this example, Juliana is applying for an interior design position, so it makes no sense to write about her passion for artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies.

List of core skills

Use keywords to target your employer wants to hear and are industry-relevant. For example, if you are applying for a translator position, then list your language skills. If you are applying for a job as an operations manager, list your management skills.

In the 21st century resume, it’s not just about information. Visual pleasantries are also expected. Canva offers a lot of graphics that relay your skills in a single graphic.  Utilize them to your advantage.

Your experience

Liar 2 or 3 experiences that you can define in 3-4 lines. I like the 2 most recent positions in the last 5-7 year period. The attention span of people is short, and many individuals don’t want to read an encyclopedia about your life.

If your potential employer feels you have the right skills and a relevant position in the last 5 years, they will want to interview you. A little mystery is good, and you don’t want to bore them like other applicants.

Your top customers

This is my best-kept secret until today. I have used this strategy for all my friends and family member, and they all got employed. I am not promising that you will too, but it will increase your chances.

You can many graphics in the Canvas elements section as demonstrated in the picture above.

Feel free to ethically exaggerate here. List all the logos of the companies you’ve had contact with in the B2B setting. If you met a prospect at Amazon and the deal didn’t go through, that still counts as experience dealing with Amazon.

Most employers might ask you to describe this interaction, you can tell them how you negotiated deals with them and the challenges you tried to overcome. Whether you won the deal or not is irrelevant, keep it to yourself.

Awards and recognition

This is your moment to shine and not to brag. You can list them under the client logos or you can list them under your education. It’s your choice.

The principle remains the same. List your top 3 achievements. If you have received recognition awards in 20 different disciplines, talk about them in the interview.

Your references

It’s always best to make the HR and Interviewer’s life easy. If you preemptively strike before the enemy, you are certain to have an advantage. It’s no different when moving up in the corporate world.

You will compete with many individuals and want all the advantages you can have. If HR is impressed with your resume, they are sure to put it first in line. If it lands in the hands of the hiring manager directly, then you want to be transparent about your experience and popularity in the professional world.

Proofread your resume

This is a no-brainer. Luckily it’s a lot easier to change your mistakes on a digital resume than on a paper resume. It’s about attention to detail. Take the following steps.

  1. Proofread the resume yourself.
  2. Get another person to scrutinize it.
  3. Get a third person to scrutinize it.

It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes examine your work. However, ensure that these individuals have a sharp eye and are detail-oriented.

Up-to-date information

Again a no-brainer. Your information needs to be up to date. You don’t want to have the wrong phone number or email address and miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Balance and symmetry

Finally, remember to keep balance and symmetry. Again, Canva has a lot of beautifully laid out templates. Pick one that you like and make these changes to it.

Balance and symmetry in a digital resume

The most compliated skill is to be simple.

Dejan Stojanović – Serbian Poet

Remember, you are not trying to reinvent the wheel. You are just trying to make it roll smoother. You are taking a regular road tire and turning it into a high-performance race tire. Your final product should look something like the picture above.

What’s next?

Your 21st-century resume is now complete! Whether you are a freelancer, remote worker, or a student, you certainly will benefit from this article.

Now that you have a modern, eye-catching resume, it’s time to put it to good use. Start applying for jobs, and don’t be afraid to tailor your resume to each position. With a little effort, you’re sure to land the job of your dreams.


Aziz Khan

Aziz Khan is a Solutions Architect in the Ai industry. When he is not writing information articles, he is in the gym working out, designing, and photographing landscapes around the world.