You might already think your resume is a work of art. You've spent hours toiling away at it; choosing the perfect word to describe your undergraduate experience, the most eloquent sentence to represent your leadership skills. But it might be time to take a step back; below are some commonly ignored tips and tricks that can make all the difference to a potential employer.
Use sections and separate them with clear headers that are either bolded, larger in size, underlined or sectioned with a single line. Keep it very simple – more than you want it to be. Simple means clear.
Always include education, work experience, qualifications and interests as headings – employers will expect to see this. A personal statement (or objective) is optional; it can have varying effects on the reader. If clearly focused on experience and future goals it can be compelling, but avoid vague descriptions and clichés. Stating you're a 'hard worker' is hardly going to turn heads. Describe something particularly interesting about you; maybe you were in the military or are a qualified sommelier, for example.
Formatting should melt seamlessly into the document – pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Stick with a classic serif font such as Times New Roman or Georgia if you're in a professional sector. Feel free to go for something sans serif, such as Geneva or Calibri, for more creative industries. That being said, do not stray far from the classics. Any font that distracts the reader away from the actual content is doing the opposite of its purpose. Of course, stick with a single font for the entirety of the document.
White space is also key. Properly space content by using bullet points that indent for each sub-point clearly. Avoid double-spacing, but a 1.25 spacing option is particularly appealing to the eye, especially when writing lists of experience or projects worked on.
Simple Tricks & Tips
Alignment - Align dates, job titles and locations consistently on the page (i.e. dates always on the far left).
Ordering - Always put the most recent (of each section) first. For example, the reader should start with your current employment and move backward in time. Order your sections on the page by putting your most impressive heading first (ie: education or experience).
Omit Non-Relevant Experience - It's completely acceptable to omit experience that just doesn't apply unless there's a compelling reason to not do so. There's not much use in describing your time as a fast food employee when applying for a corporate lawyer role.
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