In many cases, a resume provides the first impression of a job candidate. It can mean the difference between landing your dream job and languishing in your job search. The presentation of a resume makes as much impact as the content, and little details matter. Follow the tips below to help create a more professional-looking resume.
Consistent and clean formatting is important, not just because it gives a more professional presentation but also because it makes your resume easier to read. Bullet points should be the same size and aligned uniformly, fonts should be consistent, and you should stick with the most commonly used fonts.
Summary vs. Objective
It’s fine to include an objective on a resume, but a summary is best for several reasons. Most importantly, it presents your skills in more detail than an objective, allowing an employer to quickly assess your eligibility for a given position. It also focuses on what the employer needs rather than on what you want.
Too Much Information
A resume with too much information can be just as detrimental as a resume with too much content. Leave off irrelevant hobbies and personal information (your kids, pets, marital status, etc.). Focus on the experience and skills that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you’re a college graduate, leave off anything from high school. Also, eliminate irrelevant jobs or responsibilities if possible. You don’t want to create gaps in your resume, but if a job was part-time or very early in your career, you can afford to leave it off. Ideally, your resume will be one page. For those with more experience, a two page resume is acceptable.
Small Details Matter
Think your cutesy email address won’t be noticed by hiring managers? Think again. Your contact information and other little details can affect the impression you make on others. Set up an email specifically for your job search, ideally one that includes your full name and nothing else. If you have a common name, use a middle initial or a number after your name.
Crafting a profession resume takes practice, but with enough effort, you can create a resume that wins over the most critical hiring manager.