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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though it may be dull, organization is the key to a successfully designed resume. You want the design of your creative resume format to be well planned and organized. Once you’ve edited down your content to one-page’s worth, visually separate that information into digestible chunks. Imagine you’ve been sitting at your desk looking at resumes all day. You sure aren’t going to linger long over someone’s essay-long summary of the internship they did last summer. Don’t lump all your information together. Use a grid structure for your layout, with columns and rows, visual dividers and white space to section out all the data you’re presenting to the reader. This will also make it much easier for them to refer to individual items of information in conversation with a colleague or during an interview.
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