Did you know that on average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes? Now, that’s a lot of competition.
Considering the number of resumes hiring managers have to browse through, the only way to get noticed and be considered for the next round is to craft an effective resume that does not just position you to be perfect for the role but also manages to grab the recruiter’s attention.
How do you achieve that? By submitting a professional, well-designed resume.
There has been a lot of talk about how to write a resume but not many pay attention to the resume design. So, here are six key design tips to submit a winning resume that stands out and gets you an interview call.
Choose a professional font
Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Serif, Comic Sans ..and the list goes on. There are umpteen fonts out there. For someone with no design background, choosing an appropriate font style (and size) for a resume can get overwhelming.
Fonts affect readability and say a lot about your personality. So, this is not something you can take lightly.
The idea is to keep it clean, simple and legible. Some of the safest font styles you can opt for are Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, and Cambria. Keep the font size between 10.5 to 12 so it is legible across devices.
Once you have narrowed down on a particular font, play with the font size to create a visual hierarchy and distinguish between the headings, sub-headings and body copy.
Use colors (wisely)
Using color in your resume adds life to it and directs attention to the aspects that matter. You can integrate colors to emphasize or highlight certain sections (eg. contact details, accomplishments, etc.) or power words in your resume.
At the same time, it’s important to use them sparingly – two to three complementary colors are good enough. Anything more than that tends to look chaotic and busy.
A messy resume with varying font styles, sizes, and colors all over the place just makes for a distracting read.
Whether it’s the layout, formatting, color schemes or fonts, it’s important to maintain a consistent look and feel. For instance, if you’re using a particular color or font size for the sub-headers, make sure it’s the same across the document.
Maintaining consistency makes your resume look more professional and lets the recruiter focus on what’s written.
One of the most effective ways to get your resume noticed is by incorporating infographics into it because this visual tool has the power to instantly hook the reader and reel them in.
You can use a combination of graphics, icons, and text to present yourself in a visually engaging manner. For example, use compact icons to highlight skills or mind maps to showcase your strengths.
Incorporating graphics and icons make your resume easy to scan and lends to your storytelling. So, go the visual route and use infographics to demonstrate your skills and experience instead of just writing about it.
Here’s an example of an infographic resume.
Cover important details above the fold
Believe it or not – the way you choose to arrange the various sections of your resume matters a great deal.
Recruiters are most likely to read the top half of your resume and very rarely do they get down to reading the entire document. So, ensure you include all the important details above the fold.
For instance, you can’t have your name and contact information take up most of the top section – that’s just a waste of space. Instead, look at writing a crisp profile summary and including it above the fold so that it gets maximum visibility.
Embrace white space
White space refers to the blank space between design elements. Anyone who knows a thing or two about designing will tell you how important it is.
In an attempt to cover a lot of points, candidates forget that poor use of white space makes the resume crowded, and overwhelms the reader.
So, make sure you achieve a fine balance and embrace white space by using proper spacing, margins, bullet points, and a column layout. Keeping these points in mind will help you deliver a neat and clean resume which is always preferred.
Whether you’re crafting a creative, commercial or technical resume, what’s important is tailoring it to the role and industry you’re applying for.
At a time when the competition is so high, it helps to have a more creative approach while designing resumes. Doing this lets you showcase your strengths effectively while injecting personality into the resume and keeping the recruiter engaged.