As a resume writer, I see A LOT of resumes.
I often find that while people understand the importance of a well-worded resume, they place less emphasis around the stylistic choices. Now while content is king, an attractive and well-designed resume will increase your chances of drawing the reader in. Recruiters and hiring staff often receive hundreds of applications for any one job. And a resume that stands out and is easy to read is the first step to getting noticed!
So, here are my tops tips to ensure your resume design is perfect:
1. White space
When writing a resume, the tendency can be to try and cram as much into the page as you possibly can. This leads to an over-packed, 5-page resume (an extra tip, your resume should never be over 3 pages long!). Including every single detail of your career history is not necessary for a resume. That’s what the interview is for! No employer wants to or has the time to read through it all. And in most cases, this type of resume will end up in the ‘no’ pile.
By creating white space however, the document is easy on the eye of the reader. It invites them to read through all of the incredible value you offer. White space can be created by tweaking the line height of your text, choosing a different font or creating columns within the resume. Most importantly though, don’t be afraid to condense and rewrite content in order to achieve a cleaner looking resume.
A great way to break up the text within your resume is to make your headers stand out. Adding a touch of colour, using a larger font or writing in bold text can make all the difference to the readers eye.
3. Slabs of text
A resume filled with long blocky content is difficult to read. In fact, it’s a sure way to get the reader to skip over all of your valuable qualities! Avoid using paragraphs within your resume and instead, break up your text with bullet points. Just make sure each point is no more than 2 – 3 sentences in length.
While it may be tempting to use fancy fonts, it’s best to stick to the traditional typefaces to ensure your resume is easy to read. You can never go wrong with fonts such as Calibri, Arial, Garamond and Helvetica. Ensure the font size is 11 or 12 point otherwise readability may be compromised.
Implementing these simple tips can make all the difference in the result of your job application. Just remember, keep it simple and clear!