What is a resume and why is it a critical document? A resume is a personal marketing tool with one purpose—to get you an interview. Statistically, a potential employer will take less than 20 seconds to scan your resume and determine if they will continue reading, place it on top of the pile for immediate consideration, or toss it. How can you make sure that yours doesn’t end up in the trash?
Appearances Are Everything
Is your resume tired looking and showing your age with an outdated format from 20 years ago? It may be time for a resume makeover to revitalize your information, give it a fresh appearance, and get you noticed!
Answer the following questions:
- Does your resume look outdated?
- Are you using a large left-side margin format from 20 years ago?
- Does it look bland with an overly used, common font?
- Is it difficult to read?
- Is the font too small?
- Do you have too much content in a small amount of space?
- Is it difficult to navigate, follow, and see what you have accomplished?
- Is your resume completely bulleted, or completely in paragraph form?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your resume needs a face lift or a complete makeover.
Yes, the content is important and every resume should be compelling and rich with unique achievements. If this content is presented in an unattractive, prehistoric, and difficult to read manner, it simply won’t be read.
Here are some suggested design rules:
- Remember again that your resume is a marketing piece and you are the product. As with any product, name recognition is important. Make sure your name pops!
- Avoid over-use of common fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial.
- Vary/contrast your fonts and consider using a different headline font to make your branding statement / header stand out.
- Use formatting enhancements (bold, italics, shading, color, charts, borders)
- Ensure the font sizes are not too big and not too small.
- Create a style that is easy to navigate and use borders to distinguish sections.
There are many interesting ways to make sure that your resume lands on top of the pile. With appropriate enhancements, formatting, and design you can get yours noticed!