Your resume is important, because every piece of paper or profile that is associated with you helps to make you more marketable. If you can master a good resume and how to sell yourself on paper, you can sell yourself in your side hustle, for speaking engagements and other opportunities. Job seeker or entrepreneur, your resume is not to be ignored. By now you should know that whatever you learned about creating a resume design is probably outdated, especially if you're in a creative industry. It is the one piece of paper that we obsess over the most and the hardest one to get right it seems. Microsoft Word templates are just not going to give you the wow-factor that you need to stand out in a pile, and the contents on it is probably a lazy collection of copy-and-paste from past job descriptions. Your resume is your introduction and speaks for you. What does your resume say about you? While a resume is just one part of the job search process, it is what can get you in the door.
A resume alone won’t get you a job, but a bad one can eliminate your chances.
Recruiters spend a measly few seconds reviewing your resume. A quick scan by them or a digital application management system is your only chance to be considered for an interview. How annoying is that? You spend hours working on a resume and cover letter that most people don’t fully read. If you want to improve your chances, keep reading to learn 3 quick things you can do to upgrade your resume before 2017.
I know I've thrown shade at Microsoft Word resumes many times, but most make my eyes glaze over and want to go play in traffic. I know that you can do better while still remaining professional, because my students do it all the time. Take a look at this example below.
How to improve your resume design:
Fit more substance, with style.
What’s most important for your resume is to have an eye-catching layout that also accommodates substance. (Here are some of the ones that I like.) You can snatch some edges with a one-page resume easily, if you design it properly. On top of lacking visual appeal, many resume templates limit the amount of information you can fit in. The new layout above is eye-catching, allows you to elaborate on your roles, and draws attention to your skills.
Make your resume accomplishment-based.
If your lazy behind copy and pasted your job description into your resume, you might as well light it on fire right now, because you done wasted everybody's time. A resume needs to tell the reader what you have accomplished, changed, and improved in your current role. It needs to paint a clear picture of the impact that you had on the organization and the kind of impact you can make in your next opportunity. A simple list of what you do day-to-day will not cut it.
Get familiar with design principles.
Let Times New Roman go, bro. Mix and match fonts to provide hierarchy in your design. You can make your headings one kind of font and the body text another kind. You can always play around with capitalization, bold, italics and spacing to bring the design together. If you understand the following design principles, all of your designs moving forward will improve
The idea behind contrast is to avoid elements on the page that are merely similar. If the elements (type, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc.) are not the same, then make them very different. Contrast is often the most important visual attraction on a page.
Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the piece. You can repeat color, shape, texture, spatial relationships, line thicknesses, sizes, etc. This helps develop the organization and strengthens the unity.
Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every element should have some visual connection with another element on the page. This creates a clean, sophisticated, fresh look. Does everything line up in a clear pattern and order?
Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units. This helps organize information and reduces clutter.
The principle of hierarchy determines how important or dominant an element or set of elements is to a design. The most important elements are headers, job titles and company names, while less important elements are dates, contact information and listings . Use size, color, bolding and italicizing to create a visual hierarchy.
So how do you build a resume and personal brand with all the conflicting information on the internet and with minimal design skills?
Templates and the right content will save you. In my email course, The Job Magnet, you take your resume from blah to fleeky in a few days. Everything from leveraging search engine optimization so that you can be more visible online, to figuring out what to say in your cover letter. I breakdown what to include and improve on your resume, how to be proactive in your job search with free tools, and marketing yourself and your brand.
In this step-by step course (I tell you exactly what to do, when and in what order), you’ll get all the little details: 20 hand-selected, Emmelie-approved resume templates you can work with, copy and scripts for reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers, plus timelines and tools, laid out for you to use every time you job search. It takes people years to figure this stuff out. It doesn’t have to take you forever.