Start your job search on the right foot with a clean, easy-to-read resume. Here’s how to make it.
Everyone knows that a strong resume can propel you ahead of the competition. However, even if you have the proper qualifications, arranging your information in a neat, organized format is still important. The clearer and more concise your resume, the better. Optimizing your resume to ensure cohesiveness is a necessary step if you want employers to actually read it and consider you for the position.
The hiring manager, recruiter or employer reading your resume is probably very busy, and these people don’t have time to leaf through long sentences about your experiences. The best way to approach a resume is to use it to convey your top strengths.
This article will review key formatting tips to keep in mind while constructing your resume. Though the tips are geared towards Microsoft Word, they can be applied to any word processor.
Use the header and footer to save space in your resume
You can take advantages of blank margins by putting relevant information in there that would otherwise take up precious space (which would be best-utilized to expound upon your expertise). It’s common practice to list contact information in the header, but you can be creative and try something original.
To access the header and foot settings, click on the “Insert” tab. You will see a drop-down menu for header and footers in the top menu bar. Once you choose a layout you like, you can type and arrange your text in the header or footer.
Your layout should complement what you use your header for. The three-column layout is a foolproof option for a resume. You can put your phone number on the left side, name and address in the middle and email address to the right. But again – you can get creative!
Use bold font to convey job titles
Each time you divide your resume into a new section, you should use a heading to signify the separation. Headings are great for organizing and categorizing your resume, alerting employers to the most important sections. A bolded font as a header will catch attention, but it won’t distract – in fact, it’ll make the resume easier to follow.
Use headings to your advantage and guide people to your most impressive sections. Use bold and Italic formatting where appropriate. If you want to draw attention to any special achievements, use bolded or italicized text surrounded by normal text. As a rule of thumb, when you begin a new section and list a new job, school or position, you should bold the words.
Use bullet points to list crucial skills
Using a bulleted list is a great way to organize your resume. The easy-to-follow format allows readers to scan quickly, which is important for busy managers reviewing your resume. When referencing or explaining your experiences, keep the sentences on your bullets short. You should start with the most important points and move down.
If you’re going to experiment with the types of bullet points, choose a simple design. You should steer clear of colored bullets if you have a black-and-white resume, for example. Try and keep it sleek and professional by using simple bullet shapes that won’t distract from the content of your resume.
Prioritize your expertise
Make sure to prioritize your expertise that is most relevant to the potential position. For example, if your practical work experience is more impressive than your educational achievements, put your work section first. You should reveal your major skills immediately. Start your resume off with a bang and let recruiters know what your biggest strengths are.
The same thing applies if your volunteer experience is more impressive than your education: You would list the volunteer section first. By prioritizing and playing up your skillset, you can create a resume that clearly directs people to where your strengths are on the page. People reading your resume shouldn’t have to hunt to learn what you excel at.
Use a PDF format to ensure security
You should also always save your resume as a PDF file, so no one can alter your work without your consent. If you send out a Word document, you put yourself at risk of someone copying or falsifying your resume.
When it comes to selecting fonts, the motto remains the same: Keep it simple and select a professional-looking font. Try a classic like Arial, or another tried-and-true option. Stay away from elaborate fonts: when it comes to your resume layout, the simpler the better.
Microsoft offers free resume templates you can use as inspiration to get started. Just erase the arbitrary text and replace with your relevant information. This is an easy way to ensure your resume is organized properly. You can view the templates by clicking here.
Overall, your resume should be easy to scan and clearly show your strengths. Start with your most impressive accolades and work your way down. You can view the links below if you’re having trouble converting your resume to PDF format.
Try and look at your resume from the point of view of the person who will be reading it. Don’t leave out any key skills or achievements, but keep your explanations brief and concise! And finally, make sure you don’t sell yourself short by not properly organizing your resume for clarity.