Can I spice things up graphically on my resume to make it easier to grasp the concepts?
Or should I stick to text-only?
Office Hours #1: Resume Writing with Judy Park [42:20]
This question was posed by a question during one of our most recent "CareerVillage Office Hours" sessions. During Office Hours sessions, we invite students to pose questions related to a specific topic. In this case, the topic was resume writing. If you answer this question, we will reach out to the students who attended this office hours session to inform them of your response, and all students on CareerVillage will benefit. If you would be interested in hosting an office hours session on a particular topic, please reach out to our staff!
My general resume advice is:
- Only one page. Unless you are at the peak of your career, the resume should stick to one page.
- Highlight skills on the right in the border area, and experience on the left in the main area. Break that up with clean, simply design
- If you are serious about a job, submit a cover letter - it will set you apart and allow you to explain anything confusing on your resume
- Keep the tense the same, current positions should be written in current tense and past experience all written in the past
- If you say a skill is attention to detail - make sure every detail on that resume is perfect
We are long past the 1980's when we took our resumes to a print shop to be professionally prepared and were stuck with that one resume!
Now, you can submit some traditional resumes, and some that are a bit unique. I like the two column format, with some items set out in a smaller column, and experience in a wider column, like Lila described. If you are applying for a marketing position, remember that your resume is a marketing tool, and you are trying to market a very important product. Yourself!
So, while I like variety, and believe there are very few hard and fast rules (definitely proofread it!), I am also concerned about the ATS doing the first-read of the resume. So, maybe stick with traditional and when you get an interview, bring in a snazzed-up version?
Bottom line, do what works for you. Keep track of what style of resume you sent to who, and what interviews you get. And also remember, no two people in hiring positions think alike. So, what might work with one company may not work with another. It's all an adventure!
I'd recommend keeping it simple unless you are in graphic design or going after an 'art's' job. Pictures and graphics dont always show up the best and remember your resume is your story so being thoughtful about what is on their content wise is important...also, its important to remember you want your resume to be clean and formatted across all platforms; web, mobile, linkedin etc. for that reason I would keep it traditional with bullets and convert to a PDF when applying to jobs or networking. Headshots on resumes are personal options but best success is letting your resume speak for itself. Always check formatting, grammar and strong content. That goes a long way over a picture - in my opinion; and I'm a Recruiter.
Making your resume aesthetically pleasing can't hurt, but remember that form should always follow function. Do you clearly have your name, contact, education, experience and highlights showcased? Is it clean and easy to follow? Has it been tailored to better fit the role you're applying for? Most importantly, does it make me want to read more?
Keep working at it until you're confident the answer to that question is a definite "yes."
If the reviewer only spends 60 seconds on the document what are the three items you want them to remember? Are those items clear and even repeated in the document clearly.
Go Get'em! JW
As someone who reviews tons of resumes everyday - I would strongly recommend avoiding graphics, bright colors, photos. Try to stick to 1 page at most. Make sure it is clean and simple and easy to read through while focusing on adding experience directly relevant to the position which you are applying for.
Best of luck!
As you can see from the responses to this topic there doesn't seem to be a general consensus.
Think about the position you are applying for and ask yourself a few questions:
1.) Am I applying for a job where the average employee age is under 30?
2.) Will the graphics, colors, layout make it hard to read?
3.) Is the additional "spice" necessary or distracting?
When I am reviewing resumes I like to see work history and skill sets relevant to the position.
Regardless of layout or graphics be sure to highlight you in relevancy.
I have never looked past a resume because of spice but I have looked past individuals who list out pages of work history and skill sets.
Good look job hunting!