Applying for your first job or even just switching jobs can be quite an overwhelming process. You know there are dozens of other applicants, you feel nervous and shaky, and maybe even quite unsure of yourself.
However, when you are applying for a job, the first impression that you will make on your interviewer will be through your resume.
When you are competing against dozens of people for the same job, then you have to be very careful about the kind of the first impression you are making. The way you design your resume can either make or break your chances at making an excellent first impression.
Also Read: How Long Should a Resume Be?
When the interviewer is sifting through dozens of resumes every day, what are some of the things that can make your resume stand out from the rest and make a good impression?
Here are some tips on how to design your resume:
1. Create the Content First
Just having a fancy looking resume is not going to get you anywhere. The very first thought you need to put into your resume design is to lay out all of the content. Make all your appropriate bullet points, add the material, headings and subheadings, and complete the document. Then you can move on to the next step of layout and design.
2. Add Your Contact Information
Your contact information should be at the very top of your resume. Make sure that you fill in all of your information correctly and prominently at the top of the page. This makes it easier for the interviewer to find your information when they wish to contact you.
3. Pick the Right Font
The very first thing that is going to stand out in your resume visually is the font that you pick. While it might be tempting to go with a more unique and creative looking font, this is not recommended for an official document like a resume.
Even if you are applying for an original post in a company, it is best to stick to a professional resume, as it builds a solid foundation when it comes to first impressions.
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The best fonts that you can choose for your resume are Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, and Calibri. If you want to try something slightly different, you can also opt for Book Antiqua, Tahoma and Georgia.
As for the font size, you should stick to font sizes between 10 and 12, as this makes everything on your resume look clean, neat and professional.
4. Please Don’t Make it too Colourful!
Another essential thing to remember when designing your resume is that you should try and make it as interesting as possible, while still keeping the professional touch.
Your resume is not the place where you need to show off your creativity. Many people often try and add a lot of colourful font to their resume. However, this will make the document look very unofficial and unprofessional.
That being said, it is excellent to add a little bit of colour to your headings or subheadings. Of course, don’t opt for very bright and vivid colours. Stick to the darker tones, such as shades of tan blue, brown, grey, etc.
5. Space it Out Well
Your resume needs to be readable. Even if you have dozens of accomplishments and achievements, headings, and subheadings, you still have to make the document readable, and most importantly, skimmable.
When adding headings and subheadings, make sure that the font size is at least two sizes larger than the body of your resume. It would be best if you also made your headings and subheadings in bold so that it is easily identifiable by your interviewer, HR manager, or recruiter.
Most of the time, due to the number of resumes they have to go through per day, the recruiter will skim over most parts of the resume. However, they should be able to identify the most important points quickly. You can help them do this by using the Bold and Italics tool in your headings and subheadings.
Another point to remember is to make sure that you have spaced everything out well. You don’t need to cramp up your resume with lots of content. That can end up looking quite messy and difficult to read through. Make sure you leave enough white space to make your resume look neater.
6. Make it Crisp
Going through huge chunks of text in a resume can be boring and quite off-putting. The best way to design the body of your resume is to make them in short bullet points. You may elaborate on specific points if they are important enough, or you want to add more information, however, most of the time, short bullet points are good enough for your recruiter.
You should avoiding writing any of your text in all capital letters, as it might seem like you are trying to overemphasize a point or be aggressive. The tone of your resume is essential in how the reader will perceive you to be.
Avoid adding long paragraphs of information, as most of the time, and the recruiter will skim over it and find it unnecessary. And of course, again, remember to space everything out properly so that it looks neat and professional.
7. Please Don’t Make it too Long
Finally, the most important thing to remember when designing your resume is that you should not make it too long. A 4-page resume is most definitely not acceptable, and your recruiter might be put off just by the initial length of it!
Your resume can be a maximum of two pages long, but it is always safer to stick to a one-page long resume. It makes it an easy read and also shows the recruiter that you can identify essential information, space them out correctly and design your resume to make it easily readable.
Your resume will be the first impression that your recruiter will have of you, so it is essential to take your time and make it perfect. Of course, there is nothing like the ‘one perfect resume,’ but you can strive to make it as right as possible!