Did you know that recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds looking over a resume? Formatting a resume can sound stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some dos and don’ts for your resume that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Everyone knows the basics of a resume: Contact information, a professional summary, work experience, education, and skills. But how can you stand out from the rest of the candidates?
Your resume is the first thing that your employer sees, so you want to make sure that you make a good first impression. You can differentiate yourself from the other candidates by including unique design and formatting in your resume and cutting out irrelevant information and buzzwords that make you sound like a robot.
How to Design Your Resume
The design of your resume is just as important as the information on your resume. The way your resume is designed can make it stand out from the rest. Universal fonts are your friend. Stick with Times New Roman to ensure that your resume is easy to read. When it comes to a resume, less design is more! Stick with columns, lines, and shading to keep it looking professional and clean. Sure, you can add a pop of color, but don’t overdo it. Think grayscale and blues and greens. Don’t forget to leave plenty of whitespaces!
Your resume should include several elements that are essential for impressing employers. It is highly recommended that you include any volunteer work that you have done. It looks good to show off your good deeds! You should also include any degrees, certifications, or relevant courses. There are plenty of certifications that you can get on HubSpot and Google that can help you improve your skills or learn a new skill. Employers want to see that you are always learning. Lastly, you want to make sure that you are quantifying your accomplishments. For example, you could say something like “increased sales by 30%”.
There are also a few things that you should leave out of your resume. First, you shouldn’t just copy and paste your job description into your work experience. Employers don’t care about what the job entails, they care about what you accomplished at that job. Second, there’s no need to include your personal address or marital status. Keep your personal life private! Lastly, you shouldn’t have any more than 2 pages. Nobody has time to sort through a 10-page resume.
Getting Through the Applicant Tracking System
One of the most important things that you need to consider is formatting your resume to get through the Applicant Tracking System. The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is software that employers use to find the most qualified candidates for the role. Avoid putting your contact information in your header– the ATS doesn’t understand it. Keywords are key! You should use them, but not so much to the point that you sound like a robot. Keep it simple with simple fonts and a chronological format. There’s no need to include fancy tables!
Before you submit your resume, take a few extra steps to ensure that your resume lands in the “yes” pile. Proofread, proofread, proofread. No harm can come from proofreading your work. Even something like a small typo can ruin your chances. You also need to make sure that your skills are relevant to the job. There’s no need to include that you are good at knitting if you are applying for a management job. Finally, remove any buzzwords or negative phrases that make you sound like every other candidate.
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of designing and formatting a resume, it is time to show off your skills. You’ve got this! Your next step is to review your current resume and make the necessary changes. By following these resume tips, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job. Subscribe to the OFJS blog for more job search tips like these!