You want your resume to stand out. It needs to be eye-catching, professional, and -- most importantly -- personalized to who you are.
The aesthetics to your resume are paramount to having your resume read, so let's tackle what every resume needs.
1. White Space
You might be thinking, "I've got a million things I need to cram on my resume that every inch of the paper needs to be covered with accomplishments."
Big, fat NO.
It doesn't matter that you have decades of experience, a myriad of skills, and multiple board positions at non-profits. If there isn't white space contrasting and segmenting your experience, your deliverables will be lost in the overwhelming jumble of words. Make sure there is enough white space separating each major section.
"Make your resume extremely easy to read
in six seconds or less."
2. Bullet points
There are hundreds of resume templates floating around the internet; some of them encourage you to write baby paragraphs under each position you've held. Do not be tempted to do this!
When an HR specialist or recruiter wants to get a glimpse into your work experience, they don't want chunks of heavy reading on your resume.
Make your resume extremely easy to read in six seconds or less. Keep it simple and sleek. Bullet points draw your eye to digestible bits of information for the reader and allow you to easily distinguish between tasks. (I always advise to keep your bullet to one line, if possible.)
3. Bold, italics, and regular font style
Playing with the font styles on your resume draws a reader's eye to certain areas of information. Just like how this post bolds the three important takeaways, your resume must do the same.
My preferred styles are as follows:
- Company: bold
- Position: italics
- Section titles: same font but slightly larger point size
Be sure that you maintain consistency throughout your resume when it comes to these details. Do not put one company in bold and then another company in italics.
Your resume can play with fonts as well, but choose wisely. Keep it simple without frill so that it's an easy font to read. I would not suggest more than two fonts on your resume with the bulk of your content in one clear font.
Designing your resume well -- regardless of whether you are in a creative industry or not -- allows a reader to focus on the content of your resume rather than be distracted by the chaotic disarray of information.
Sarah Sax is the Founder of Write For The Job.