Regardless of your work experience and skills, your goal is to catch the recruiter’s eye. The right resume format will draw attention to the specific items you want to emphasize while downplaying less useful details.
Use White Space to Your Advantage
In addition to being visually unappealing, a big block of text is bound to distract the hiring manager and draw attention away from your key strengths. Make use of white space between categories, subsections and headers, and break up the text into easy-to-read paragraphs and bulleted lists. Your name should appear at the top of the page and be at least one font size larger than the rest of the text. Use title case for each sub header, or consider using bolded text to create contrast. Remember that the margins of your resume should be no more than 1 inch in on all sides and that overall consistency in your resume format will create a clean, attractive appearance. When you balance bolded font, lists, white space and italics correctly, your resume is sure to stand out from the crowd.
Express Yourself in as Few Words as Possible
Whether you choose to write a resume objective or a resume summary section, always include a list of past accomplishments and achievements, beginning with those your hiring manager is likely to find most relevant. Revise these sections as needed, and don’t just settle for communicating the information. Show off your ability to write well by eliminating unnecessary phrases and incorporating a variety of action verbs. Avoid auxiliary verbs and adverbs, and do not begin sentences with phrasing such as, “I am,” or “There are.” Instead, begin each item with an action verb, such as “achieved,” “managed” or “resolved.” Proofread for redundancies, and do not use a phrase when one word will suffice.
Since your resume is likely to end up in a computer, using specific keywords from the job posting will ensure that your resume doesn’t get lost among others. Since employers receive so many resumes at one time, they often resort to uploading them to a database. Their software scans each document, and resumes with the greatest quantity of industry-specific keywords are identified. Therefore, creating one generic resume format and distributing it among multiple job openings is a surefire way to go unnoticed. Since you may not be familiar with the keywords your recruiter is looking for, examine the wording of each job posting thoroughly, and tailor your resume format accordingly. One rule to keep in mind is to always include job titles such as “manager,” “operator,” or “assistant.”
Lead with a Summary Statement, Not a Resume Objective
A summary statement differs from an objective in that a summary statement concisely expresses who you are and what you have to offer. An objective, on the other hand, introduces you in terms of what you hope to gain from the company, which is typically not what a hiring manager will want to see. For example, an objective might state something to the effect of, “Motivated, talented individual seeking a challenging position in sales that allows me to apply my customer relations skills and grow within the company.” Instead of stating what you want, focus on how you can meet your employer’s needs. A summary statement, by contrast, may start out along the lines of, “Customer-oriented sales manager with ability to speak fluent French and Spanish, offering 12 years of experience in the industry.” You can see which style is superior.
When deciding on how to achieve the best resume format, you may find that LiveCareer has the templates, samples, hints and tips you need.