When formatting your resume, it’s important to remember that your resume will be quickly scanned by the hiring manager, rather than read. Thirty to forty-five seconds is the amount of time you have to impress your future employer and convince them to keep reading. Format your resume to sell yourself quickly and effectively.
Your resume should only be as long as it takes to get the point across. If your resume is too lengthy, you can lose your reader’s interest. A normal resume rule is to not exceed two (2) pages unless you are an executive. If you choose to use two pages, be sure to fill the entire second page.
Resumes need focus. Your resume should be customized to show that you meet the requirements of the specific job you are applying for. Do not be vague. Recruiters want to see an objective or profile that matches the position applied for, not a vague description such as “I’m seeking a challenging position with a dynamic organization that will allow me to employ my extensive skills and abilities to the fullest”. If you want a specific position, say it.
- Highlight skills, achievements, and what you’ve learned; not a duty list. Include sections that highlight your individual experience, putting the most relevant and recent information first.
- Uphold a professional image. Funny email addresses may be meaningful to you, but to employers it represents a lack of professionalism. Keep your email appropriate.
- Make sure your resume is consistent in formatting, font and content.
- Your resume should be appealing to eye, free of grammatical errors, and current.
- Font size should be 10-12 point, except your name, which should be 16-18 point.
- Margins should be between .5 to 1 inches.
- Make information stand out by using bold, italics, caps, and underlining.
- A good objective statement answers what type of position you are seeking, what type of company/industry, and what strengths you will bring to the job.
Your skills and experience cannot overcome a weak resume. Solid qualifications and good references make no difference if the resume is deficient. Your resume needs to sell yourself in order to be considered for the most lucrative jobs in your field.