If you know anything about an effective resume writing then you should have heard a million times about the importance of quality content. You know, the accomplishments and achievements and stuff like that. We don't want to reiterate the things we have said multiple times on this blog... This time we want to help our readers make sure that not only the content on their resume is good, but also the format of their application documents attract the attention of hiring authorities. So optimizing your resume by utilizing some of the formatting tips is as important as taking care of having good content on it. Remember that when it comes to the job search there are details which are not important.
Resume Formatting Tips
Most job seekers ignore the header and footer space on their documents. Very often when candidates want to squeeze in all information on one page forgetting that Microsoft Word has blank margins by default in every document. Why not take advantage of this space and place relevant information there. Not necessarily you should put your contact information there. You can be more creative and depending on what kind of position you are applying for you can choose what kind of information would be attractive for hiring authorities. Choose the type of header consistent with the style of your resume and put on the information you think will be good for this section. Next two formatting tips would be for the longest section on a resume - professional experience.
When listing your accomplishments or responsibilities it is much better to use a bulleted list. This way it will be much easier for employers to go through your experience as this easy-to-follow format helps to scan the sections of information more quickly. And if you know anything about hiring managers it is that they don't have time to read lengthy descriptions. So when listing your accomplishments in a bulleted format keep the sentences short. Keep it simple and professional, don't choose "artistic" bullets for that; black-and-white would work just fine.
Also, we recommend highlighting the companies you have worked for and the titles held with a bolded font. It will contribute to a better organization and categorization of the content, thus again helping a hiring manager to quickly find the information he/she is looking for. You could use this principle for the education section too. We recommend using professional-looking fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman. These are already tested and known by everyone. You could use other fonts too, but make sure it is not very different from what people used to see on a document. Why take the risk of getting rejected because an HR doesn't like your experiments with fonts? Remember, the simpler your resume looks, the better it is. Make sure there is enough of white space on the document and you can easily see different sections - contact information, work experience, education, etc. A clear structure is very important for HRs.
Resume in PDF Format
After you are done with polishing up your resume it may be a good idea to save it in a Portable Document Format (PDF). The thing is that if you send it in an MS Word format the some of the elements of the document may appear distorted in case it will opening using a different word processing software. Since you don't know what kind of a word processing program the employer will be using it is recommended to send it in PDF. This way you can be 100% sure it will look the same on all computers.