As you might have noticed we have started a new series of blog posts related to most common resume writing mistakes. Last time we have touched the subject of generic resumes, making the conclusion that developing one-size-fits-all resume will not help you much in your job search endeavor. Today we would like to focus on another popular mistake - poor formatting and design. This might not very important for job seekers but as a matter of fact, many CVs are discarded just because they are not formatted well enough for hiring authorities to pay attention to it. Although the content is more important you still have to make everything you can to underline and highlight the content with proper formatting and design.
How to Attract Employers' Attention?
In order to make sure your resume gets read you have to ensure hiring authorities don't put it away after the first look at it. There are some job seekers who believe that how their resume looks is not important at all because they are hired not for the design and formatting skills, but for actual experience and qualifications. While that is true (companies are looking for professionals) you have to keep in mind that hiring managers are quite busy people who don't want to waste their time on things that don't matter to them. A resume that is poorly formatted for them often means that a candidate didn't care much to spend more time and develop a CV that would make the work of an HR manager easier. It is just so much easier to look for specific information in a well-structured and properly formatted document as opposed to a chaotic and messy one.
The first thing you have to remember when you sit down to write your own resume is that you will be writing it for the hiring authorities, not for yourself. So if you like essays or something similar exclude this option. You need to give information in portions and structured so that it would be clear to employers where to look for education, employment history or set of skills. It is better if you divide your resume into sections (those should be separated by headers and white space). After you do that make sure the text within each section is properly organized. It is better if you list your accomplishments or responsibilities in bullets (don't go over 5-6 bullet points for one employment) - this way it is more convenient for the reader's eye. Now about the design of your resume. We are persuaded that you have to keep it simple; we tend to believe that candidates with conservative black and white resumes have more chances of getting interview invitations. So unless you applying for a professional designer position you better stick to simple black and white style. Experimenting on your resume isn't a good idea as most of the experiments don't end up very well in this sphere.