A resume is your introduction to the company or organization you are applying to. You only have one chance to make a first impression, and your resume is the first thing the employer sees. Having a well-crafted resume can make all the difference when it comes to landing an interview.
Formatting a resume does not need to be complicated, but there are some simple steps to take to do it correctly. Follow these tips to ensure your resume lands you an interview and doesn’t land in the recycling bin.
There are two main types of resume formats: chronological and functional. Each option is structured differently and can be suitable depending on your work history.
A chronological resume is the most common format. It is the style that employers are the most familiar with and is usually the easiest to write and read. In a chronological resume, you list your work experience beginning with your current employer, working backward. If you don’t have a current employer, start with listing your most recent one.
One advantage of a chronological resume is that it can highlight steady employment. It’s a great option when you don’t have large gaps in your work history. By including dates on your resume, employers can see how long you have worked for each company.
Chronological resumes also have the advantage of highlighting job titles and company names. If you have held supervisory, managerial, or other high-level roles, this format is a good option. This style is also ideal if you have worked for prestigious or well-known organizations.
A resume formatted in this way will also show how you have progressed over time. Employers can see how your job titles and responsibilities have changed with each job.
A functional resume focuses on your skills and strengths as opposed to your employment history. This style of resume is a great choice if there are large gaps in your work experience. It is also a good way to highlight skills you have developed through volunteering, internships, or other unpaid work.
New graduates and those just starting in their careers are usually best-suited to a functional resume. This format allows you to focus on your abilities and the skills you have learned in school while minimizing the lack of lengthy work history.
Functional resumes can also be a good choice for individuals who are changing their career paths. By offering a way to highlight transferable skills, this style allows you to showcase the talents you have that will benefit a new employer.
Your resume should use a font style that is professional and easy to read. Common choices include Arial, Calibri, Georgia, and Times New Roman. Avoid using any font in cursive or all capitals as these appear unprofessional. Whichever font you choose, make sure the entire document is set to this font.
Your font size should be set to 11 or 12 point. This allows for easy readability while still providing you with plenty of space on the page to include information. The entire document should be set to the same font size with the exception of your name which can be set to a larger size.
A 1-inch margin is most commonly used for resumes and should be the same on all sides. Anything smaller than this and your resume will look crowded. Aligning your text to the left gives a clean, professional appearance. You should center your name and contact information at the top.
Most people believe a resume should fit to one-page – this is simply not true. It is much more important that all your relevant experience, education and skills be listed on the resume than to try and edit the content down to one page. If your resume does not make it to the bottom of a single page, then you need to add in more details of your experience. A resume that is less than a page is far worse than one that is more than one page.
The sections you use in your resume will depend on whether you are using a chronological or functional format. All resumes should include a contact section that has your name, phone number, and email address.
Consider using a summary section after your contact information. This section should be concise and give a brief overview of your relevant skills and experience.
In addition to your work experience and skills, your resume should also have a section for education. Here you can highlight your degrees as well as any awards or distinctions you received.
Other sections you can consider using include volunteer experience, languages, professional associations, consulting jobs, and publications. This information should be added to your resume regardless of the position you are applying to.
Another option is to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for. If you choose to do this, be sure to thoroughly research the organization you are applying to and customize your resume to reflect the experience or industry you think that specific employer will be interested in.
Any job requirements that are outlined by the employer should be addressed in your resume. Clearly show how your skills and experience are a good match for the open position with the company.
Do not lie or embellish your accomplishments on a resume. Even if being dishonest results in gaining employment, you put yourself at risk of being terminated if the employer becomes aware of this. Focus on what you have achieved and the value you have added to previous employers.
Your resume is a reflection of the person and professional you are. If it is well written, clear and concise, neatly formatted, and free of any grammatical and punctuation errors, it will be well received by any reader and will greatly increase your chances of landing an interview over someone whose resume is not.
Are you currently looking for a new position? Contact Atlantic Group today to get in touch with a recruiter.