Resume Design and Useful Tips when applying for Jobs

Resume Design Tips

Keep it clean and simple:

Refrain from using loud colors and funky fonts. Keep your resume clean and simple. Use a 10 or 12 point font throughout the resume. Do not highlight information unless you are asked to do so. Instead, reference how you qualify in your cover letter. And limit the use of bullets, underlining and deep indentations that break up your document and take up space.

DO NOT CAPTALIZE every word:

This equally applies to your email messages. Capitalizing every word of a document makes you look rude, Ignorant or lazy. In emails it is considered to be SHOUTING or YELLING, and it makes the document harder to read too. You only have one chance to put your best foot forward, so DON’T DO THIS!

Use a Reverse Chronological Format:

A functional resume that does not give dates, titles and duties is going to be viewed as a gimmick to hide your real experience and job progression. Most recruiters want to see what you have done, when you did it, and how you progressed in your career. And just stating your accomplishments is not good enough. Start with your current job and work backward and NEVER start with your first job and work forward.

Including your Picture:

Unless you look like Matt Bomer or Halle Berry, including your picture is “Risky Business”. You may not be as handsome or beautiful as you think and doing this is unlikely to serve a positive purpose. Most employers do not require one and it can bias the reader.

Myths about Resume Size:

“Conventional” wisdom by resume “experts” will tell you to limit your resume to one page, but actually there is no magic number for the amount of pages needed for a resume. The trick is to give the reader as much information as they will need to gauge your skills and experience. Try to limit it to about 2-3 pages to keep from overloading the reader, but don’t sell yourself short just for the sake of brevity. Try using a smaller font if you need to reduce the size of your document, but never use smaller than a 9 point font 10, 11 and 12 point font size is best. Try to be consistent throughout the document and limit the number of times you change font sizes.

File Formats – Best to Use MS Word:

Make sure you are saving them in a text readable format. Almost everyone can read M.S. Word files, so use that instead, or attach both formats when you apply for a job. Don’t use less popular formats like Word Perfect; fewer people use them and some may have trouble opening the file. Hesitate to save your resume in the latest version of any program, because readers may not have updated their software. Instead, try to keep it about one version old because MS Word and most mainstream programs are backward compatible.

Don’t abbreviate words:

This is a very common mistake so don’t make the reader guess what you mean. And if you don’t know how to spell it look it up!

Highlight your Stability:

Show the full length of your employment right from the start. Don’t break it up as shown in the “fictional” example below. And your job title, dates, company can stand alone. You don’t need to give them a label.