So, on top of everything else, your resume needs to be attractive and easy to read. Â An aesthetically pleasing resume may catch the eye of an overburdened hiring manager and win your resume an extra glance. When I review resumes, I donâ€™t even bother to read the ones that look disorganized or unprofessional on a first pass.Â A few tips to consider for a resume that pleases the eye:
Since you are likely to e-mail your resume as an attachment at some point in your job search, choose a font that is easy to read and readily available to all computer users. If you downloaded or purchased optional fonts, it isnâ€™t likely that your reader will be able to view your resume as you designed it. Stick to fonts such as: Arial, Book Antiqua, Georgia, Garaomond, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Verdona. Avoid Courier (looks like you used your grandmotherâ€™s typewriter) and all script or decorative fonts. Fancy fonts are difficult to read quickly.
Keppie Careers suggests 10-pont font because it is large enough to read, but small enough to fit a lot of material on your document.
Use bullet points instead of dense paragraphs of information to help the reader zero in on what you have to offer. Â Keep the bullet points to the point – you donâ€™t want paragraph-style bullets!
This is a tricky oneâ€¦Be sure to use white space, but donâ€™t include so much white space that it looks like you donâ€™t have anything to offer! When your resume is awash in white space, the reader may assume (maybe correctly!) you donâ€™t have much experience. Â Donâ€™t fill every nook and cranny with text, but fill your page. If you have more than one page (this is a Â topic for another article) be sure that you have enough to fill at least 3/4 of the second page. Otherwise (again), you risk looking like you donâ€™t have much experience.
Consider your audience when you format your resume. Â If you are sending it to an artistic crowd, feel free to be more creative with your format. Â If you are hoping for a job in an investment bank, stick to conservative formatting. Â Your research and conversations with professionals in your field will help inform you.
Name and Contact Information
Okay – I know that you want to stand out and be different, but do everyone a favor and donâ€™t put your name and contact information on the bottomâ€¦Everyone who reads it will automatically assume youâ€™ve left off your name!
Iâ€™ve alluded to this in another article – donâ€™t mis-use or overuse bold! Â Bold can help guide the eye from description to description, or it can confuse the eye. Â When you read your resume, do the bold words stand out for a good reason? If not, reformat!
Your major headings (for example: Â Highlights, Accomplishments, Experience, Education) should be well defined and consistently labeled. (If they are centered, all should be centeredâ€¦ALL CAPS?Â Bolded?Â Choose a format that works. Focus on the reader -what will make it easiest to read?
If you keep these ideas in mind when designing your resume, youâ€™ll be on your way to a â€œNew Career for a New Year!â€