Make Or Break Your Chance of Interview? It’s All About Your Resume Writing Format

One of the keys to resume writing is to remember that the format of a resume is nearly as important as its content. Employers may receive dozens of resumes for open positions and usually give them a quick scan to determine if they’re interested in the candidate. The first impression the employer will have of your resume is its format, even before noticing keywords. Whether your resume is on paper or in digital format, the first thing that will be noticed is the format.


Resume Writing Format Rule #1 – Avoid resume templates

There are several rules which will help you create a winning format for
your resume. The first rule is to begin with an empty page. This means
stay away from templates which are available for Microsoft Word and
other word processing packages. These templates are widely used and can
make your resume look common and out-of-date. Your resume won’t stand
out when you use a template.

Another problem with using templates for your resume writing is that it
may not convert well for email and job website uploads. Instead of
using a template, search online for contemporary resume samples. You
will be able to find samples which are tailored for your particular
industry. Take your empty page and craft a resume that has all the best
features of the resume samples you find online.

Resume Writing Format Rule #2 – Keep it simple

A longstanding rule of resume writing says to keep it to one page.
However, if your educational background and experience are extensive,
it’s acceptable to add a second page. Don’t go beyond two pages! Before
adding that second page, see if you can leave out experience and skills
which aren’t relevant to the job you’re seeking.

Avoid adding images or pictures to your resume, even if you’re
seeking a position in a creative field. Save the creativity for a
portfolio of your work.

Resume Writing Format Rule #3 -  Keep the style consistent

One
inch margins at the top and bottom and sides of the page are standard.
Left justification of text is more modern looking than centered text.
Use a single font throughout the resume. A good font size to use is 12
point. Use a larger font size, such as 14 point, for your name and any
headings and make them bold and all caps. Avoid underlining text in
your resume, since this resembles a hyperlink.

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Resume Writing Format Rule #4 -  Keep the layout neat

Watch your use of tabs and spaces. Use tabs instead of spaces for
alignment to help ensure consistency in the layout of your resume. As
you lay out the various parts of your resume, keep in mind that if it’s
being viewed electronically with a different version of software, some
aspects of the formatting may change. Margins may shrink or grow,
paragraph styles may differ, bullets may have an alternate appearance,
etc. By keeping your layout as simple and consistent as possible, you
can avoid some of these unexpected changes.

Creating a PDF version of your resume will allow you to avoid the
problems of layout shifting. Many PDF creation programs are available
online, such as the one found at www.cutepdf.com

When you’ve finished your resume writing, get the help of family and
friends. Ask them to review your resume and give you feedback on the
formatting. Email the resume and see how it looks in electronic form.
Also verify that a print version of the resume looks good, with correct
margins and well laid out content.

The most important thing to remember about formatting your resume is to
aim for a clean and simple presentation. Once you have that in place,
focus on the writing and content, and you’ll get the job you’re
seeking.

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From the Desk of Damen Choy.
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One Response to Make Or Break Your Chance of Interview? It’s All About Your Resume Writing Format

  1. Thank you for giving this inspiring read. See my very own!

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