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Do’s and Don’ts of Resume Formatting

Written on April 10, 2012

In last week’s post I mentioned how important resume formatting is in your job search. But, fewer than 100 words on the topic doesn’t even come close to being able to fully elaborate on what to do and what not to do. Follow these simple tips to getting your resume to the top of the stack.

Do:

  • Tailor your resume to each position. It will only make you seem more qualified if you have added additional information to your resume regarding the skills/technologies that the customer is looking for.
  • Be consistent with your format. I have less faith in candidates whose resumes don’t follow the same format throughout their entire resume. Make sure you have the date written the same way. If you put a period at the end of one bullet, make sure there is a period after every bullet, etc.
  • Make your resume visually appealing. If I see a resume that looks like one big blog of text, I’m immediately turned off. Split up each position so that it gives the readers eyes a break. Use bullet points, bold your position title and company name and add breaks between positions and additional information so that it flows well.

Don’t:

  • Have a 10+ page resume. The one page resume is becoming a thing of the past. Your resume length should reflect your years of experience but every single detail of your job is not necessary. Most employers are merely skimming your resume as it is but resumes that are too long will lose their attention that much faster.
  • Refer to yourself in 1st or 3rd person. It’s your name at the top of that resume, not anyone else’s. There is no need to continue referring to yourself throughout your resume as “I” or “Mr. Smith”.
  • Use a template. Follow a simple resume format that doesn’t have any crazy graphics, lines or indents. Most recruiting firms will add their own header or reformat a bit so that their resumes always look consistent. Getting your resume out of its current format shouldn’t be rocket science so keep it simple.

 

Ryan Campbell
Associate Recruiter
Author of Spicy Richmond

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