How To Give Your Boring Executive Resume Some Style

34014067_sThe first rule of resumes is that Content is KING! No matter how snazzy your resume looks, if your content doesn’t convey value it’s unlikely to generate job interviews.

That said, having a well formatted resume infused with some style can help set you apart from your competition.

When it comes to formatting, the biggest problem with DIY resumes is sloppiness.

This is often seen in inconsistent bullets, employment dates that have migrated across the page, and teeny, tiny or weird fonts that no one can read.

Generally these resumes also don’t convey value. They don’t demonstrate what you have to offer potential employers.

There are tons of articles (here’s one by me) that can help you with that.

Today, the subject is formatting. Here are 5 ways to ensure your resume is easy-to-read and infused with a bit of personality and style.

  1. Avoid large blocks of text and long lists of bullets. Instead provide a brief summary of each position followed by 3 to 5 bulleted achievements.
  1. Choose easy to read Sans Serif fonts for the body of the resume. Ariel, Calibri, and Verdana are good choices.
  1. Use color and shading as design elements. Dark colors work well for names and headings. Lighter colors work best for highlighting and shading.
  1. Go to the Borders and Shading section to add lines differentiating the sections of your resume. Add some shading to lines for a more formal effect.
  1. Tailor color use to your industry. For example, grey and black for a senior executive in the financial industry, brighter colors for more creative fields.

When it comes to your resume, content that immediately conveys value is the most important component. An eye-catching design is icing on the cake. Think of it in terms of a job interview.

Your goal during a job interview is to sell yourself, show what you have to offer, well enough to be invited back for the next interview. While wearing a 10-year old suit may not prevent you from moving forward, it certainly won’t help you either.

This also is true for your resume. Particularly, if you are in the running for a senior-level position where certain things are expected.  An easy-to-ready, eye-catching resume will help set you apart from your competition.