Claire Maé January 30, 2021 Resume
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.
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.
Tied to the tip above, make sure the content of your resume is easy to scan. This is where brevity and proper formatting come into play. Use short sentences and bullet points to make the information easy to skim through. That way, recruiters can easily tell if you’ve got the necessary skills and education for the job you’re applying for. Using lines or section dividers as well as creative resume headings and icons are also great ways to make your resume more scannable. Consider this template that not only uses headings, lines, and bullet points but also plenty of white space to make the content easy to scan and digest.
Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords, fast. But being a “strong leader” or an “effective communicator” are important characteristics you want to get across. Think about how you can demonstrate these attributes in your bullet points without actually saying them.
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.
Don’t panic if you don’t have any experience that fits the bill. Instead, Zhang explains, focus your resume on your relevant and transferrable skills along with any related side or academic projects, and then make sure to pair it with a strong cover letter telling the narrative of why you’re ideal for the job.
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