So, you sit down with a ballpoint pen and legal pad in an attempt to carefully craft the perfect résumé; hate it or love it, your résumé easily is one of the most important documents you ever will compose. Done correctly, it actually can be an effective marketing tool, to help you secure an interview for employment. Done in the wrong manner, it just might end up in the trash bin. Just as there are many don’ts to several aspects in life, the same holds true for résumé writing. Touching on a few of these essentials, is as necessary as braving the job market itself.
Adding that Personal Touch
1. Various positions have piqued your interest. But, how do you go about expressing this interest in the best way possible through a résumé? To be completely honest, it may be tempting to highlight all your skills on your résumé, but refrain from doing so, because this can cause your résumé to become several pages in length.
Employers give résumés the once-over, spending a few seconds on each one. Do be sure to keep your résumé one-to-two pages long. And, if you are a newcomer to your field or if you are in search of corporate employment, your résumé should be kept to a one page minimum.
2. With the hundreds of fonts to choose from, it may be hard not to get creative when it comes to adding fonts to your résumé. But, being creative on this front is another no-no. Font size also known as typeface generally is in Ariel or Times New Roman for easier reading. Font size also is between 10-12 points.
3. Times are a changing; we no longer specify that references are available upon request on résumés, because it goes without saying. Instead, be prepared during your interview by having a page (with the same heading as your résumé) that lists between three to five professional references, along with their contact information.
4. You put a lot of time and effort into your résumé, so its important for your résumé to be viewed exactly as it should. For this reason, it is beneficial when emailing your cover letter and résumé, to send them as PDF documents in order to preserve formatting. What exactly is a PDF? PDF stands for portable document format and is a file format created by Adobe Systems to enhance document exchange. Documents in PDF can be read on any operating system including Linux, Windows and Macs.
5. Several pieces of personal information just should not be added to your list of credentials, because it’s just that, personal. What information is deemed personal? To begin with, omit information such as your date of birth, social security number, marital status, age, height, weight, license or certificate number.
Also, exclude hobbies, pictures, personal interests and religious/ethnic background. Adding these things can be a hinderance to the reviewer of your résumé and take the focus away from it. Be super choosy when adding fine details to your résumé; when in doubt, leave it out.
6. Within the normal parameters, it will work in your best interest to be authentic when it comes to creating a résumé. For this reason, using résumé templates is strongly discouraged. Why? Cookie-cutter résumé templates can be spotted a mile away, by the trained eye. Now is the perfect time to create a document that is both visually appealing and easy to edit, too.
Working Toward the Ultimate Goal
There is no magic formula for creating the perfect résumé. Just go with what you think looks best, within reason. After sending a few of these documents, you are sure to develop your own unique résumé style. Just be sure to tailor-make your résumé for each position you apply to. Congratulations on being one step closer to landing your dream job!