Joia Anissa January 30, 2021 Resume
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.
Before they’ve even met you in person an employer will make judgments about your personality and professional capabilities based on the look of your resume alone. So, make sure those first impressions are as positive as possible, which will improve your chances of getting to the interview stage (where you’ll, of course, wow the interviewer with your sparkling personality). Choosing an elegant, legible typeface and setting it nicely on the page will have more positive impact than a layout weighed down with gradients, eyesore colors and novelty fonts. Show off your creative side in a subtle way, by proving that you know when there’s a time and a place for being ultra-experimental…and for some jobs you may apply for a professional resume isn’t the place to do it.
Have you been actively volunteering with a non-profit organization? Skills-based volunteering (SBV) is a great way to fill an employment gap or supplement your work history when you’re trying to change careers. Please list any volunteer work you’ve done that’s relevant to your current job goals in chronological order, beginning with your most recent work. If you’re new to the workforce, include any campus activities or clubs in which you were active.
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.
The best place to start when preparing to write a resume is to carefully read the job postings that interest you. As you apply for different jobs, you should study each job description for keywords that show what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. Include those keywords in your resume where relevant. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a medical billing coder, an employer might list keywords like “coding,” “claims submission,” “compliance” or “AR management” in the job description. Pay particular attention to anything listed in the sections labeled “Requirements” or “Qualifications.” If you have the skills that employers are looking for, you can add these same terms to your resume in the experience or skills sections.
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.
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