Aida Maëlys January 30, 2021 Resume
You may be tempted to throw in tons of industry jargon so you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but ultimately you want your resume to be understandable to the average person. Remember that the first person who sees your resume might be a recruiter, an assistant, or even a high-level executive—and you want to be sure that it is readable, relevant, and interesting to all of them.
Hardworking, self-motivated, self-sufficient, proactive and detail-oriented are all words you’ll find on most people’s resumes. But most job seekers are motivated and hardworking, so these traits don’t really set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool. Instead, focus on the specific skills and accomplishments that make you different from everyone else applying to the position.
What’s going to give the reader a lasting impression of your personality without you being physically present? After all, you won’t even get to the interview stage if your resume is instantly forgettable. To make it unforgettable, think of ways to inject personality into your resume. This can partly be content-based. Try sharing your hobbies and interests outside of work, or presenting a short bio in a punchy, informal way. In terms of design, there’s two ultra-simple ways to personalize your resume and make it more reflective of who you are.
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.
If you have plenty of professional experience and it’s your best selling point, place that above your education. On the other hand, if you’re a recent graduate with only an internship as experience, put your education at the top. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to arrange all your information on the page, try using a resume outline to help you organize the sections of your resume. Additionally, using a resume template with two columns can help you arrange your skills and education sections to best catch the hiring manager’s eye.
If you’re applying for a job in a creative industry, consider using a horizontal layout instead of a vertical one. This isn’t common practice. So, it’s a great way to stand out and immediately catch the attention of the recruiters.
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