Thinking about how to enhance your resume? If you’re not sure of the best way to get started here are a few resume concepts to keep in mind.
1.) Limit the use of color: Call me a resume traditionalist, but I wouldn’t say you’re putting your most professional foot forward by printing your name and contact information on your resume in bright neon orange– as cool as it looks. I get the point though. You want your resume to stand out from the others. The logic makes sense, but because your resume is a professional document you want it to appear as formal as possible. Most employers will want to see that you’re able to make your resume stand out based on the content of your resume. Now, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Depending on the industry you are in, you may need to add some flare and design concepts to your resume. Marketing professionals will often have a modern design resume to display their graphic illustration skills. You will want to keep the industry of the job you’re applying for in mind. Take a look at this article from Keith Wolf at ResumeSpice which outlines how to think about adding color to your resume (or if you should at all).
2.) Ask yourself this question… How easy is my resume to scan? You have probably heard this statistic before. Most recruiters will only look at your resume for 5-7 seconds. Every hiring organization is different in terms of how they evaluate resumes, but this is true to an extent. A recruiter isn’t going to read every word of your resume, at least the first time through. Rather they are looking for the most important information: degree, the companies you have worked for and how long you were there, gaps in employment, software experience, etc. etc.. These things will vary based on the job you’re applying for, but once you’ve read the job description you should have an idea of what the most important factors of a position are. Looking at your resume quickly, how easy is it to find that information? Would your resume benefit from some formatting differentiation or reorganizing your categories (Skills, Work Experience, Education, etc.)?
3.) Consistency and Grammatical/Spelling Accuracy: Spelling and grammatical errors are a very common reason that a resume will not be considered by a hiring organization, and they can be easily avoided. A good example might be if you have periods after some of your bullet points in your position descriptions, but not all of them. The more eyes that you can get on your resume, the more likely it is that these mistakes will be caught… AND another reason to get a check up by your career advisor!