Did you know that the format and design of your resume can be enough to get your future employer’s attention? The smart professionalism and style presented by the best-designed resumes can be your proverbial foot in the door with some companies. On the flip side, a poorly designed resume can get your application sent straight to the recycling bin.
Here are four critical design tips to help make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.
1. Make Sure Your Resume Is Mobile Ready
Modern hiring managers are constantly on the go. And many of them are reviewing applications on the road. That means that your resume needs to be mobile friendly and easy to read even when seen from a smaller device screen. How do you do that? It’s simple. Keep your font choice clean and simple to ensure an easy reading experience. Put those critical career highlights and skills at the very top of your resume so a reader doesn’t have to dig to find the information they need. And lastly, use hyperlinks to send readers out to your (mobile-optimized) portfolio, LinkedIn page, and other supplementary content.
2. Think Through Your Font
To keep your resume clean and easy to read, you run the risk of looking like every other applicant who defaults to Ariel or Times New Roman. Feel free to branch out. There are many other options that are still perfectly respectable. A good rule of thumb is that Serif fonts work well for digital fields or roles that involve creative work. Sans serif fonts are a better fit for conservative or traditional roles or industries. Keep your font size between 11 and 13 points. You want to put as much high-quality content into your one-page resume while keeping the content legible. You’ll also want to keep your font sizes consistent to keep things easy to read throughout.
3. Break Free From Chronological Order
You are likely used to the common reverse-chronological resume format which presents your skills and experience in terms of jobs held from most recent to least. Skills-based resumes turn that format on its ear. The focus, instead, is on specific skills that you want to highlight and the experience and accomplishments within your work history that support your skills. This format allows you to focus on the most relevant pieces of your professional qualifications. You can still provide an employment history, usually at the bottom of the page, but the focus of the document is clearly the experiences and skills that you can bring to a new job.
4. Embrace the White Space
When writing your resume, it can be tempting to cram as much information into the page as possible, but it doesn’t serve you if your resume seems cluttered and disorganized. Make sure you are using white space thoughtfully to present your qualifications to a reader with their reading experience in mind.
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