Technology has transformed the hiring process, and without a modern resume, you’ll risk being bypassed for interviews and jobs that are a perfect match for you. Follow this simple five-point design guide and you’ll be sure to make it to the top list of candidates.
Formatting is probably the most important factor in getting an interview. Once you get past the recruiting software or recruiter, the hiring team is going to be reviewing your resume. Keep these things in mind when formatting your resume:
- The purpose of a modern format is to make your resume easy to read on a screen. Now is not the time for funky colors or creativity if you’re not a graphic designer. Readers are going to skim it; don’t make it difficult with weird fonts, spacing, or borders.
- Formatting and consistency are important. On a screen, it needs to look as clean and professional as possible. Margins should align, bullets should be sharp, and headings should be equal.
- If you’re using a Word document, consider converting it to a pdf before you send it over. Everyone has a different version of Word and formatting may deteriorate from one version to the next.
- Look for templates within the software program you’re using. Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs are all going to have modern, clean format templates for you to use.
- If you have a less-than-perfect printer, get a professional copy printed on high-quality paper and take it to the interview with you.
Relevant Information for Exact Position
Now that everything is done electronically, it’s possible that a software program will be the first set of “eyes” to look at your resume. If you don’t specify any skill sets that are relevant to the job position, your resume will end up in the “unqualified” file.
Read through the job description and apply the adjectives and verbs in the cover letter and body of your resume. You don’t want a carbon-copy, but it should be relevant enough to be identified by a software program.
Awards, Activities, and Honors
Academic awards, scholarships, scholastic achievement can be included in an “Honors” or “Activities and Honors” section if there is room. It’s a competitive marketplace, make yourself stand out! .
Your accomplishments and extracurricular activities tell an employer about your motivations, dedication, and skills.
Tools & Talents
In today’s digital environment, every industry requires the use of technology and devices. If it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for, consider including a small Tools & Talents section to outline your Microsoft skills, accounting acumen, or whatever else is relevant and relates to today’s digital workplace.
If you can’t think of any industry-specific tools or talents, ask a friend who works in the industry. Many marketing professionals use tools like Basecamp or Google Docs.
Unless you’re a recent graduate with minimal job experience, eliminate all coursework from your resume. Instead, focus on your experience as it relates to the job you’re after.
For example: If you are applying for a paralegal position but you don’t have much on-the-job experience, focus on your internship duties instead of coursework. Instead of listing your courses under your certificate/degree info, list your experience as “drafting and interpreting legal documents,” under the intern summary.
An exception to the rule: If your degree or training is an exact match for the posted job and you don’t have much experience, put your degree information at the very top of your resume, before your work experience.
You are not required to list the year of graduation on a resume. Listing the name of the school and certificate or degree is enough information to give.