Giving Visual Appeal to a Drab Resume

20 May
I-CareerSearch

Candidates must tune-up their resume to ensure they move to the next step in the hiring process.

While it may be disheartening to submit resumes all over your area and never receive as much as an email, the time has come to give hiring managers what they’re looking for.  The truth of the matter is most resumes are screened out by an office support person.  A job seeker may have great credentials, but if the individual reviewing the document cannot find the candidate’s positive attributes because of a poor design and lack of visual appeal, the resume will never get in to the hands of the decision maker.

Here are some tips to help candidates turn their resume from drab to “fab” in less than an hour.

1.  The candidate’s name should be front and center.

At the top of every resume should be the individuals name.  The recommended font size is between 16 and 18, and should be bold.  This makes an impactful impression on the reader, and is aesthetically pleasing.

2.  Put a separating line between the name and contact information.

The contact information should be easily found below the name, and should be in a smaller font.  Be sure to include full mailing address, email address, and phone number with area code.  Use the font within the same family as the name.

3.  Consider nixing the objective statement, and instead, inserting a target job title – centered and bold.

This method ensures the keywords the employer is looking for within the resume are utilized, and cuts down on the unnecessary verbiage that can often get incorporated in to the document. 

4.  Create the profile or summary that is no more than 5 – 6 lines long.

In most cases, a candidate’s resume has no more than 7 seconds to make the cut.  Employers and support personnel routinely read the first half of the first page of the resume, and based on the information they find there, make a decision as to whether they want to file it in the filing cabinet or the trash can.  Utilize short, descriptive sentences that articulate value to the employer.  A good resume tells the hiring manager “what’s in it for them” to make this candidate a part of their team.

5.  Divide sections (education, employment history, etc.) by using bold text.

The eye should flow down the paper when reading a well-designed resume.  To ensure the reader makes their way down the page, increase the font size for each section to 14, and be sure to use bold.  This creates separate sections and partitions the information exactly as necessary. 

The resume should be a reflection of the candidate’s ability to sell and market themselves in a competitive job market.  Incorporating the basics of visual appeal ensure the document is read, and the interview is scheduled.

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