How to Format Your Resume So It Earns You an Interview
While your resume doesn’t have to look like it was designed by a professional, formatting still counts. A resume that is well formatted is easier to read, and exudes a sense of professionalism. These traits are important when you’re trying to catch the eye of a busy hiring manager. As you’re creating your resume, keep these tips in mind:
Don’t forget all pertinent contact information
You’d be amazed at how many people get so caught up in the meat of their resume that they forget to include their contact information. Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address should sit directly at the top of the document. Some people also choose to put their LinkedIn information and their Twitter handle on the resume. This will vary depending on how updated you keep these platforms, as well as the kind of job you are hoping to land.
Include a summary
A hiring manager should be able to quickly glance at your resume and understand what you’re all about. Instead of having to read through the whole thing to understand your strengths and experience, make it easy for them. Include a concise summary at the top of the page. In this summary, you should highlight some of your major skills and successes in a way that’s easy to understand.
Make it keyword-based
Ultimately, your resume needs to contain many of the keywords that appeared in the job listing. Many large corporations rely on keyword scanners or parsers, which directly focus on the descriptors of the open position. Even if your resume showcases skills that they are looking for, if you don’t use the exact keywords, you may not make the cut.
Customize it for each job listing
Even if you’re applying to similar jobs within the same field, each time you send out a resume, you should tweak it to make it perfect for that particular listing. You may be applying to two marketing coordinator positions, but perhaps one is more writing-focused while the other one requires strong social media skills. Just altering a few sentences on your resume is often enough to make it the perfect fit for that specific opening.
Learn about different formatting options
Not everyone benefits from the standard chronological resume. While this may be the most popular option, it does not necessarily mean that you have to opt for this format with yours. If you’re thinking about changing fields or have been out of work for a while, you may consider using a skills-based resume instead. Both kinds of resumes showcase your abilities, but a skills-based document focuses more on your knowledge base rather than your past job experience. Prior to getting to work on your resume, take some time to learn about the different ways to approach the document. If you are unsure how to proceed, it is wise to seek professional help from someone who can advise you on what would work best for you.
Go easy on the funky fonts and designs
Far too many qualified professionals have had their resumes disqualified from the hiring process because they were littered with clipart, funky fonts, or other unprofessional touches. Ultimately, your resume is about showing off your skills and accomplishments. It’s not about using every font option and image that your computer has to offer. Unless you’re in a field that relies on creativity (such as graphic design or illustration) steer clear of unusual fonts and other graphic additions to your document. Instead, stick to a font that is easy on the eyes and traditional. Even if you are applying for a creative position, be careful about going overboard on formatting. You don’t want the look of your resume to detract from its content.
Chic Resumes by Grammar Chic, Inc. provides professional resume writing services and other career support writing options to entry-level, advanced and C-suite job seekers worldwide. For more information about our services visit www.professionalresumewriters.net or call 803-831-7444.
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