5 Ways To Improve Your Executive Resume
While it’s true that in resumes “content is king” most of us are very visual. Because of this tendency a boring, poorly formatted resume isn’t likely to attract the attention of recruiters or hiring managers. Let alone the new HR associate who may be the first person to see your documents at all.
You don’t need to be a professional to make your resume easy-to-read and add a little punch. Here are five easy ways to transform your resume from muddled to refined.
Resume content should be presented in sections that are delineated in some way. For example Professional Experience, Education, Skills, etc. separated by lines. This can be done easily by using the Borders & Shading function in Microsoft Word.
Adding some formatting to your resume will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to read.
Use Bullets Judiciously
Not every, single, thing listed under professional experience should be bulleted. A better approach is to have a brief summary of each position followed by a few accomplishments that are bulleted for emphasis. This is not only easier on the eye but allows you to draw attention to what’s most important.
Remember that running reports or managing day-to-day operations are not achievements unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Incorporate White Space
A resume that is “filled to capacity” is neither attractive nor easy to read. There are many ways to make your resume easier on the eyes. Set your margins at least .5 all around. Leave white space between graphic lines and text and resume sections.
Also include some additional space between bullets by using the paragraph spacing. Just be sure to uncheck the box that says “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.
Choose Fonts Carefully
Never use a font smaller than 10 or 11 points. San Serif fonts, like Ariel and Calibri, are easier to read and should be used for resume text. Serif fonts, like Times New Roman and Georgia, can be used for your name and headings to add interest.
That said, it’s not a good idea to use more than two different fonts in your resume.
Add Design Elements
There are several ways to add design elements to your resume. You can choose a plain graphic line or something a bit different. There are many different bullet formats available too.
Just remember to consider your target industry when adding design elements. What might work great for someone in public relations may not be the best choice for a career in finance.
As I’m fond of saying, your resume should be a marketing tool, not an employment record. While achievement-based resumes generate the best results, your resume also needs to be attractive and easy to read. By making a few simple formatting changes, you can improve your resume’s appearance dramatically.