How To Give Your Boring Executive Resume Some Style
The first rule of executive 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 executive resume infused with color and 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 DIY resumes also don’t convey value. They don’t demonstrate the impact you’ve had on your employers. Poor formatting makes them worse.
There are tons of articles (here’s one by me) that can help you create compelling content.
Today, the subject is formatting. Here are 6 ways to ensure your executive resume is easy-to-read and infused with a bit of personality and style.
- 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.
- Choose easy to read Sans Serif fonts for the body of the resume. Ariel, Calibri, and Verdana are good choices. Never use Times New Roman.
- Select a font size of 10 or 11 to ensure readability and read a printed version to be sure. If the resume runs over 2 pages cut the content, never decrease the font to 9.
- Use color and shading as design elements. Dark colors work well for names and headings. Lighter colors work best for highlighting and shading.
- 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.
- 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 executive resume. Particularly, once you reach the senior executive level or are targeting those roles. At that point in your career, a resume that you show your friends with the caveat that you just threw it together won’t cut it. A modern, eye-catching executive resume that clearly demonstrates your value will help you outshine your toughest competition.