Nichol Aminata January 30, 2021 Resume
Taking the time to perfect your resume is normal if you want to get it right. But, don’t ignore the cover letter and make it an afterthought. It’s important to dedicate the same amount of time to the cover letter to make sure you’re tailoring it to the position and the company you’re applying to. Fonts and colors should be consistent with those used on your resume. The tone of voice should be professional. Although you’ll want to make sure not to sound like you’re copying and pasting the same information over and over.
We’ll talk about getting creative in order to stand out in a minute. But the most basic principle of good resume formatting and design? Keep it simple. Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Make your resume easy on hiring managers’ eyes by using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page. You can use a different font or typeface for your name, your resume headers, and the companies for which you’ve worked, but keep it simple and keep it consistent. No matter what resume format you choose, your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager.
The same principle applies when approaching how to design a CV/resume as well. The top half is the area your potential employer will see and focus on first. So, don’t waste space with huge headers for your name and contact details across the top of the page. This creative resume format uses a personalized header but consigned it to the left column, so that the summary and work experience fit above the fold.
Perhaps the role you’re applying for is more administrative, even if it’s within a creative company, or the company isn’t so much a youthful start-up but more an established, formal enterprise. Applying for a role at an architecture firm or marketing company? Perhaps a more stripped-back resume design would be more fitting. This means no photos (or at the very least, no colorful cropped images from Facebook…but I’m trusting you wouldn’t subject any future employer to those anyway), no graphics, and no colors that’ll give a CEO a headache. Choose a classic sans serif typeface and keep the structure of your minimal resume conventional. Flush type to align left, to keep your text traditional in style. Allow for white space to make the whole design appear serene and professional. Use simple, thin lines (look to the Stroke Tools in Adobe software) to divide sections of content into manageable chunks. Use color sparingly—as a little pop of blue to mark out subheadings catches the eye without being overbearing.
An easy way to keep your resume trim is to only include recent, relevant experience. While that yearlong first or second job might have taught you a lot about the field, it’s not always necessary to include every detail from your entire career history.
If you’ve been eyeing up a designer role at that ultra-creative start-up, you’re going to need to show your employer that you can think outside of the box. Most start-ups have a tech-forward ethos. This creates the perfect opportunity for you to show off your web design skills.
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