Writing a resume is like writing a story about yourself. But, the hard thing is, you know the story like the back of your hand.
The idea of a resume is to tell someone else your story. To make sure your resume is as readable as possible, you want to share a narrative and give the reader a clear understanding of who you are and what you have to offer.
After viewing our fair share of resumes, we’ve noticed that there are two types of people in the World:
1) The Overly Creative (But Not Overly Impressive)
It can take as little as 6 seconds for recruiters to decide whether or not to put you in the bin or in the ‘keep’ folder. So yes, making your resume stand out visually is super important. But there’s a fine line between standing out with creativity and making the story in your resume hard to follow. Stand out in the right way.
If you would like to add colours, graphics and an interesting layout to your resume, no problem! In certain professions, this creative approach works but keep your writing clean, your job descriptions organised and remove unnecessary information. Getting creative doesn’t mean you have to remove all of the precious whitespace and it is important to structure the layout of your resume to enable a quick read. Check out this blog to get some tips on what information you can leave out.
But don’t fall into the trap of removing information just so that you can add more into other sections! Let the extra space give the recruiter processing time between points, enabling them to read your story from the beginning to the end, without confusion. Remember: If your resume lacks readability, it is not benefiting you.
2) The Painfully Plain
One job advertisement can have literally hundreds of applicants. If you were the person sifting through resume’s all day, you would definitely get bored of looking at plain, boring text too. There’s room for some creativity, even if you want to keep it looking serious and professional. Remember: Your resume is your personal branding tool. Unless the look you’re going for is bland, change the layout of your resume to improve its readability!
Making your resume stand out can be as easy as using different font sizes or bolding your headings or putting your dot pointed lists into two or three columns. Whatever elements you choose to put on your resume, remember to be consistent.
Finding a balance between these two common mistakes will make sure you stand out for the right reasons. Not sure if you’re an “Overly Creative” or a “Painfully Plain”, send us a copy of your resume and we’ll let you know!
At May Day Writing, we spend just as much time on the language in clients resumes as we do focusing on the layout, making creative yet professional personal brands for our clients. If you’d like us to take the hard work out of updating your resume, please send your current resume to maydaywriting@ and we’ll get back to you with a quote on the best service for you. Alternatively, send us a message on Facebook.
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