Learn helpful resume tips and resume strategies in this free lesson to ensure your resume stands out from the pack.
Tips for designing a great resume
You now have some strategies for how to write and phrase your text, but the way you design and format your resume for clarity and readability can be just as important.
Consider using the following techniques as you approach design and edit the text of your resume.
- Use white space and bullet points to help emphasize what you want the hiring manager to know about you.
If the hiring manager is scanning to see if you meet the requirements but can't easily spot the information, you may get overlooked.
- Make it easy to read. Some ways to make sure your resume is easy to read include:
- Using verb tense consistently. For your present job, you can use the present tense, such as "design and oversee production of building additions". For previous employment, use the past tense (designed and oversaw).
- Varying your word choice. Even though you are trying to include key words, don't overdo it. If the key phrase you are trying to include is strategic planning, use a thesaurus to find alternative words, like defined program goals and measures.
- Using bold and italics to emphasize key words or skills. Be careful to not overuse this technique, though. If there are too many things in bold or italics, the emphasis is lost.
- Using a larger point font for the headings and subheadings. This can help direct attention to certain areas of your resume and also demonstrates a strong level of organization.
- Using a conservative font, like Times New Roman, Arial, or Tahoma. If the font is difficult to read, your resume may not get past the first look.
- Including adequate white space. This can be done around your headings, blocks of text, and with margins. Hiring managers can use this area to take notes before, during, or after an interview.
- Spell check, spell check, spell check! Almost every recruiter and hiring manager has a story about the resume they threw out because of a misspelled word. Typos and misspelled words show that you are not detail oriented or conscientious about your work.
Do not rely on your spell-checking software alone. Look at the following example to see how easy it is for your spell-checker to miss mistakes (as seen in bold).
You should knot rely on spell-checking software…it can vary often miss a error in you’re spelling or grammar.