The Art of the Resume
Recently at work we have done a round of recruitment, and I think somewhere inside of me there is a Psychology major waiting to get out! There is something in the process of reading someone on a piece of paper, to getting them in for an interview, to determining that perfect person for the job and for the team, that I love.
But one thing I noticed this time round, was the huge impact that a clean, and well designed resume can have on the process. More often than not, and I speak from experience here, your potential employer doesn't have the time to sit down and have to draw information from your Resume, they need it there in front of them for the taking. The easier it is to get a snapshot of you, the more likely they are to be able to determine quickly, and painlessly, whether you are right for the job. And besides, with sometimes hundreds of resumes to sift through, one that isn't a Times New Roman, Microsoft Word template can really stand out from the crowd!
Now hear me, I'm not saying this has to be the most elaborate looking thing on the face of the earth, but clean and easy on the eyes goes such a long way! Here are my top 3 tips:
- Put consideration into the layout - if it's a job in a creative industry you're going for, be creative! Journalists - lay your resume out like it's a newspaper article, make it relevant! Taking the time to do things like using the company's colour or font somewhere on your resume, small touches that can make yours memorable.
- Don't have words you don't need. Most resumes should be a maximum of 2-3 pages, the shorter the better. The information you give only has to be enough to make them want to know more. Don't give your life story on each and every position you've held - pick the most relevant ones, and give 5 dot points on your responsibilities there. Include things like your top 5 strengths from a well known test such as the Gallup strength finder, something that externally quantifies the skills you are claiming to have.
- Give it personality - this is probably more relevant in your cover letter. Yes it needs to be professional, but give it the flair that reflects you. Don't be afraid to put a link to your blog, or a QR code to a video of you introducing yourself. Give your potential employer a good idea of "you" before the interview that you're bound to get ;) but remember - your CV and resume is just a tease, you give them just what they need to know, so that they want to come asking for more.
So my advice from recent experience? Take some time to invest in your resume, even if you're not job hunting right now, chances are you will be at some stage, and having a clean and easy resume to go to makes life for you, and your potential employer, a thousand times easier!