If you ever plan on getting a job or starting a career of some kind, you will have to have a resume. Not just a piece of paper that gives the employer some information about yourself, but rather something that will set you apart from the others applying for the same position. One would like to think that there is one way to write a resume, and that if you follow that exact formula, you’re set. But this is not the case. Each employer is different, so some might like one style over another. We can however give you some tips that will turn you in the right direction.
One thing that we see over and over again in resumes is an overload of information. I guess there are many resume writers that think quantity will impress people over quality. They are wrong. Employers are busy people, and don’t have all day to dig through a mountain of information. So keep it informative, but to the point. Don’t add things in there that aren’t relevant to the job. In other words, don’t list that you like pets when you’re applying for a job as a web designer. In keeping with the “to the point” rule, keep your resume to one page. They shouldn’t have to flip a page over to see what they are looking for. This is a waste of their time.
So what should you include on your resume?
A) Your name and other information on how to reach you. It’s kind of pointless handing in a resume if they can’t get back to you.
B) Your Objective. There are quite often other positions to fill, so make sure to specify what you are applying for.
C) Training and Education. List your training and education with the most recent being on top. List only what is related to the job. Make sure to list any side classes you took that could be related to the job.
D) Experience. Make sure once again that you are showing quality, and not quantity. If you are really weak in the experience area, still be careful as to not make it seem like you are just trying to fill in some space.
Although you want to keep a resume to one page, you must not do so by using a font that is difficult to read because it is too small. I find that a font size of 12 or so does the trick. Anything smaller than a point size of 11 is pushing it, and might make it hard to read. This is especially the case if the employer is older. One test to see if the font is too small is to ask a parent to read it. If they have to squint or move the resume back and forth until they find a good reading distance, you might have something that is challenging to read. Fonts that you might want to use are Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, Bookman, or Helvetica. These are easier to read, and can be found pretty much on any computer. Don’t bother with crazy script fonts or other fun looking fonts. You want to make sure your resume reflects professionalism and structure, not a casual direction or feel.
Make sure that your resume has room to breathe. Don’t clutter and squeeze things in just to fit them in. Adding some space creates a nice visual organization that breaks down the page into more manageable pockets of information, and makes it easier for an employer to find what they are looking for. It’s very hard scanning through information when it’s all squished together. So keep it nicely spaced.
When you are ready to finally print this resume, make sure not to get cheap on the paper it’s printed on, or the way it is printed. Use a laser printer when printing your resume up, and make sure it’s on crisp thicker stock paper that doesn’t have any blemishes or folds. Make sure to have at least 20lb stock. Outputting to a laser printer will ensure the darkest text, and that it won’t bleed or smear. Inkjets just don’t cut it for this task.
In the end, make sure you keep it simple and to the point. Don’t add what you don’t need to for the sake of making you look busy or important. Just add what is necessary to reflect the important aspects that will make yourself a good fit for that company. Give the resume room to breathe, and don’t skimp out on the printing process. Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way creating to a rock solid resume, and a strong impression on employers as well.