Times New Roman in a word doc isn’t going to cut it when you’re designing a resume. You want to get hired and you need to stand out. Creating solid content with a beautiful presentation is the way to go. Having a well-crafted resume will help you get a job interview (it’s up to you after that, though).
From personal experience, the quickest return call after applying was 37 minutes after submitting my resume. The recruiter mentioned how impressed she was with my resume and wanted me to come in as soon as I could. Enough about me though, let’s get to business.
Creating Resume Content
Here are a few things to consider when writing your content:
Ask yourself if what you’re putting on your resume is important. Is it going to help your job prospects? Unless your GPA is a 4.0, it doesn’t need to be included. You’re working with limited space, so you think about what really is going to help you stand out. Talk about notable achievements at your job or any volunteer work you’ve done.
Honestly, this is one of the most important things when designing a resume.
Is what you’re writing relevant to the job you’re applying for?
Applying for a graphic design job? Talk about Adobe and coding all you want, but don’t include any odd jobs (restaurant or retail work) that don’t fit the bill (exceptions include any sort of managerial experience, that always looks good). Save hobbies and other personal interests for the interview, that’s when they get to know you.
Unnecessary labels can go as well, we all know what an email address and a phone number look like. No need to label them as such.
This one doesn’t really apply to younger job seekers, but good information nonetheless. Include recent work experience and education. No need to include birth date, and if older, don’t include graduation years with your college or university. 10-15 years of recent work experience is a good rule of thumb, depending on the application requirements.
Don’t lie on your resume. End of story. Your employer will find out, so just don’t lie. You’re just making yourself look bad.
Designing a Resume
Design can vary depending on your software proficiency and career field. If you’re in a creative field, your resume should reflect so. Adobe InDesign is an amazing program to layout publications. Microsoft Word will do if you’re not proficient with or don’t have access to InDesign.
Adding color to will help highlit important sections like skills or your position at a company and will create a nice contrast with the body text. Chose one or two colors and stay consistent with them. Use modestly.
Be sure to include white space to let your content breathe and organize in a logical way. Using a two-column layout can help with line length making it easier to read. From personal experience, recruiters are most interested in what you can do, and who you’ve worked for. Put your skillset and work experience at the top. These sections are your selling points.
Don’t put a skill chart in your resume, however. It is purely subjective and doesn’t help you. How can you tell if your HTML skills are a “3/5” or “4/5”? There’s no standard to these charts (plus they’re tacky).