Part of the Career Collective monthly posts. See end of this post.
We all LOVE presents! Don’t we? It is especially delightful to open a beautiful gift box adorned in all the ‘bells and whistles’ (high-quality gift wrapping, fancy ribbon, sparkly bows with a sentimental gift card). Tell me. How difficult is it for you to temper your smile when you’ve been ‘gifted’ with an aesthetically pleasing package? Seconds later, surges your curiosity, what’s inside the box?
You can admit it, the prettier the box—the greater the expectation. Of course, there are those times when you open that box and, um, you wonder…Why on earth someone would go through all that trouble just to present you with a pair of socks. Really! Why would they? Yet, you have to admit (even while you’re enjoying your eggnog and ‘admiring’ your brand new red fluffy socks) that the presentation was so alluring– your curiosity was instantaneously ignited. That’s because presentation matters.
So, this holiday season, don’t halt your job search. Instead, equip yourself with the best job search marketing tools and strategize your job hunt. One of the things you can do is revamp your resume so that it’s attractive and professionally branded. Please know, however, that while I’ll be equipping you with formatting/visual techniques, your resume’s content is the bottom line and it needs to be 1. RELEVANT, 2. MARKETING-ORIENTED, 3. ACCOMPLISHMENT-DRIVEN, 4. SUBSTANTIATED and 5. QUANTIFIED. The following will immediately improve your resume’s visual appeal…
Expert Techniques to Make Your Resume Sparkle
Dynamic Heading – A few things can help your resume’s heading pop. You can bold, change the font size, create a logo, or add a clip art. The point is to ensure it is tastefully done and relevant to the industry. Note: I do not recommend anything other than bolding and changing font size for conservative industries (i.e., engineering, law, accounting, insurance, etc.).
Summary / Profile – Brand yourself a professional. You can begin to do so easily by adding a job title before your Profile/Summary and underlining your new section with a colored border.
White Space –One of the most neglected visual techniques is the inclusion of white space. Including white space makes the reading inviting and easier on the eyes. Legible!
Cleanup Sentences –I am a concise kind of gal. For me, conciseness is key. Keep paragraphs short. Personally, I don’t like more than say five to six sentences together. Nice crisp and clean –but power hitting!
Color –I mentioned color above, but allow me to elaborate and emphasize you must use color carefully. If you are using more than one color, keep it coordinated, subtle, and professional. If you have no color theory knowledge, keep to the same color and just combine two shades. Better yet, stick to one color.
Charts, Tables, and Graphs – If you are in sales, marketing, any numbers-driven field, you can add a visual relationship reference to demonstrate spiraling revenues.
Borders/Dividers – Sectioning off the areas of your resume with either borders, dividers, or extra white space is an excellent way to keep things organized and neat. Give each section a strong and bold title. Make it easy for your employer to skip to the areas desired.
Bullets Limited – A sea of bullets is not attractive– no matter how you adorn them. I try to keep bullets to no more than six. There a few things you can do here like inserting space of .02 to .04 in between bulleted sentences; create a paragraph and then bullet only extraordinary achievements; a bit trickier, but effective, is grouping bullets/achievements based on skill.
The Second Page Matters –When you create a second page, remember to format it also. Many will focus on the first page and the second page looks pretty plain. Use the same techniques I listed above. It is even more difficult to guide your reader’s eyes through the entire second page, as most employers don’t even read that far into your resume. If they have, ensure it is an easy and information-driven read.
Extra Visual and Marketing Power – Adding an endorsement or a quote is an excellent eye-catcher. Just ensure you have followed the white space rule, otherwise, your endorsement will just seem like unnecessary adornment. Lastly, adding a branding statement is an outstanding charmer and an excellent marketing tactic.
As always, if you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Download Resume-Sparkle and present it to someone who needs a resume makeover this holiday season. Happy Holidays!
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Master Resume Writer Credentialed