Guest Blog: Design 101- Is Your Resume Professional Enough?

A resume can be the single most important deciding factor for an employer to consider you for the post. However, can you honestly tell yourself that your resume alone can land you to your dream job? It doesn’t take an expert to determine if your resume is professional enough to grab the attention of the HR manager. Here’s what you need to know about designing your resume that will let your skills shine.

Resume fonts, sizes, and styles

The choice of font can make or break the resume and thus how employable you seem. Serif fonts, which have tails, are the best fonts to use. The perfect example of a serif font is Times New Roman, black and 12pt. Other equally appropriate fonts include Georgia, Bell MT, Goudy Old Style and Garamond. These fonts are highly readable.

Sans serif fonts have no tails hence they look like blocks. Lucida Sans, Arial, Tahoma and Century Gothic are some examples of sans serif fonts. These fonts can be reasonably used in a resume. However, you need to use a single font type only. The use of two or more fonts is deemed unprofessional especially if you combine a serif with a sans serif font.

Did you know that Comic Sans is the least appropriate font for a resume? Three words: forget elaborate fonts! Even if they give your resume more personality, they also strain the eyes.

For the text, 12pt. will suffice. However, you must emphasize headings and names. You may capitalize, italicize or bold them. You may also underline them. Apart from this, the headings’ sizes should be increased to 14 or 16pt.

Never shrink down the sizes of the texts just so it fits the given space. Edit the content thoroughly and discard the unnecessary wording. Smaller font sizes mean lesser legibility. Also, there is no need to italicize for effect. Never write an entire sentence in capital letters, which is basically deemed as shouting to the reader.

As such, font readability is an absolute must especially since you have no idea if humans will be reading it first or it will be run through an applicant tracking software. Your responsibility is to make the written texts easy to interpret.

Resume formats

Formats vary, but the rule of thumb is putting the most important information first. The first part should be your personal and contact information. Put your full name including the prefix or suffix and your complete address. The name must be capitalized and bold. Alignment should be centered.

Include an objective or value statement although you can use both. An objective statement tells what you want to accomplish while a value statement tells why you must be hired over other applicants.

Immediately after the statement, list your core strengths. Use skill sets appropriate for the job that you are applying for. Include industry keywords. This signals your knowledge of the industry. The list also provides a clear overview of your qualifications. A bullet list will do, but choose the simplest bullet character.  Don’t use any of the fancy bullet symbols,keep it simple.

Next, put your past relevant experiences. When we say relevant, it means all the previous jobs that directly correlate with the job that you are vying for. Don’t include past jobs that lasted for only 6 months or less otherwise the HR manager will have an impression that you are hopping from one job to another. Start with the most current job. List all your responsibilities.

For the recent grads and entry levels, experience may not be the strongest component of the resume. With this, list the education first from the most recent academic institution that you attended. Include all the locations and dates. Include your on-the-job and practical experiences. Finally, you must put all the relevant certifications, honors and awards that you received as well.

A one-page resume will be more appropriate for entry levels. For mid-career or senior, a two-page resume is enough. Consistency is key, more so in terms of margins, spacing, and type style.

Make sure that your resume doesn’t look cramped by leaving enough white spaces. White spaces serve as a breather.

There is no such thing as over-editing. Double check your resume specifically for typos and grammar errors. Show it to someone who is an expert if possible. He or she can give expert advice on how you can improve your resume.

As an attachment, you may send it in .doc or PDF format. Take note of the format preference of the HR manager. This is usually stated in the job placement advertisement, so make sure that you read and understand the ad first before applying.  PDF is usually preferred because no one can make changes to your resume this way.

When planning to penetrate the workforce, arm yourself with the right knowledge first especially about what makes for an effective resume design. Your goal should be submitting a professional resume from top to bottom and not a visually challenging one.

It is rather easy for an HR manager to drop your resume to the bottom than to capture the information that he or she is looking for. Don’t be a victim of your own sluggishness regarding learning what works and what doesn’t in creating a professional and functional resume. Let the above tips be your guide.

About Author : Jeric is a Filipino guest blogger and a digital marketing enthusiast. He currently blogs and writes for Optimind Technology Solutions, a digital marketing agency in the Philippines that provides different services including SEO, web design, mobile app development and much more.

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