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Worst mistakes on resumes
With such limited time to get important information across, anything you can do to make your resume easier to skim could mean the difference between the forward or toss piles.
Here are 12 little resume formatting tricks you can use to help recruiters and hiring managers get the most from your resume template during their six to 18 second scan.
Even your section headings should be aligned to the left. You can only fit so much different information company name, job title, location, dates of employment on one line of text before it gets unwieldy. To help separate out your information, make a separate column for dates and locations that is right adjusted.
On most word processors, you should be able to just create continue reading right-tab. Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability.
Rather than using font size for emphasis throughout your link, use bolding, italics, and all-caps—sparingly, of course.
So choose what to bold wisely, depending on the message you want to send. If your job titles effectively illustrate your path to management-level roles, bolding those might make the most sense.
Save your all-caps option for section headings or your name. When skimming a resume, a recruiter is very likely going to be reading the first few words of a bullet, then moving on to the next line unless his or her interest is piqued. This means those first few words of your bullets are much more important than the rest.
Make read article the first five words of each line make the reader want to keep reading. These power verbs will make your resume awesome. Even if your first few words are the most interesting thing your recruiter has ever read, going over two lines per bullet is pushing it a bit. Try to keep your bullets short and sweet. And yes, you should always use bullets, not paragraphs, How Easily Readable Should Resume Be describe your experiences.
Using numbers in your bullet points quantifies results and helps recruiters better understand the scope of your work. Make these numbers easy to read by using digits i.
It improves readability and—bonus—saves space. Just to really drive the point home, piling up all your relevant skills into one section helps ensure that the recruiter sees them. Consistency helps with skimming, and if the recruiter wants to refer back to something, he or she will know where to look.
Lastly, having some breathing room on your resume also helps with skimming.
Different amounts of white space can signal to the reader that this is a different section or help emphasize the importance of something, such as your name or skills. And overall, it just makes the whole document less overwhelming.
Having your resume skimmed is a fact of life as you apply for jobs. So, make sure you maximize the experience and make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find the right information—and send you along to the next step of the process. Lily Zhang serves as a Career Development Specialist at MIT where she works with a range of students from undergraduates to PhDs on how to reach their career aspirations.
When she's not indulging in a new book or video game, she's thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter lzhng. Hmmm, seems you've already signed up for this class. While you're here, you may as well check out all the amazing companies that are hiring like crazy right now. Have a question about job search? Ask your question here Ask now. Align Your Dates and Locations to the Right You can only fit so much different information company name, job title, click here, dates of employment on one line of text before it gets unwieldy.
Keep Everything the Same Size Font Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability.
Maximize the First 5 Words of Your Bullets When skimming a resume, a recruiter is very likely going to be reading the first few words of a bullet, then moving on to the next line unless his or her interest is piqued. Keep Bullets Under 2 Lines Even if your first few words are the most interesting thing your recruiter has ever read, going over two lines per How Easily Readable Should Resume Be is pushing it a bit. Use Digits When Writing About Numbers Using numbers in your bullet points How Easily Readable Should Resume Be results and helps recruiters better understand the scope of your work.
Photo of resume courtesy of Shutterstock. More from this Author.
Use a Variety of Resume Samples To Build Your Perfect Resume. 1) Simply Fill In Fields Online. 2) Download & Print Resume- % Free By 1/31!. 1) Find Out How To Make A Resume. 2) Download, Print, And Get Hired - % Free!. Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability. More often these days, you create a scannable resume on your computer and e-mail it to an employer, Use type that’s clear and readable.