5 Tips to Improve the Visual Impact of Your Resume

By: John Stronack

Going through job applications is a tedious process. With that in mind, you need to do all that is within your power to grab the attention of the person who will screen your resume.

1) Capitalize, bold, underline or italicize for a reason. Too often job seekers are putting the emphasis at the wrong place and, when asked why, don't really know. One bad habit is to highlight the name of a previous employer. If your prior employer or employers are unknown companies, drawing attention to their name will not make your candidacy stronger, which begs the question, why should you do it then? If you worked for an 'avant garde' company like Google or Apple, it would be a good idea to draw attention to their name. There is a presumption that those big companies only hire the cream of the crop and so, the fact that you used to work there can surely bolster your standing. If, however, you worked at a small company, it might be a better idea to highlight the title of the position you held to draw the focus on you.

2) Be consistent. As you write your resume, be consistent with the formatting. That same formatting should also be used for the cover letter that will accompany your resume. Why is consistency important? The obvious answer is that it will improve the visual appeal of your resume. Beyond that, however, it will also allow recruiters to screen through your resume faster and locate the information they need more easily. Consistent formatting is key to having a clear and professional looking resume.

3) Use boxes, bullets, images, tables and/or charts to draw attention to key aspects of your qualifications. This will help accentuate the impact that your resume will make. Again, keep in mind that recruiters will only spend a few seconds screening through each resume they receive. Without these visual aids, they may fail to see the full strength of your candidacy. Going through a resume should not be a laborious process. Make is easy for the recruiter and he or she will thank you for that.

4) Use the header and footer functions of Microsoft Word. If you are using another program, see if there are similar functions. These functions are very useful because they will ensure the consistency in the formatting throughout your resume. In the header, only put your name. At the top of the first page of your resume, below the header, include your address and contact information. The reason for not including your address and contact information in the header of your resume is that you don't want this information to be repeated on all the pages of your resume. For the footer section, you should indicate the page number and reference to the total number of pages. Examples: '1/2', 'page 1 of 2' or '1 of 2'.

5) If you email your application, make sure to email one Word version and one PDF version. It is important to email a Word version in case the recruiter has a program to scan the applications that are coming in. This will most often be the case for larger organizations. The PDF version is to ensure that, if the recruiter prints out a copy of your resume, it will keep its formatting.

If you use these 5 tips, you will improve the visual appeal of your resume and will be a step closer to landing a job interview.

Author Resource:-> John Stronack is a resume writer for Checkmate Resume (http://checkmateresume.com). Checkmate Resume offers professional resume template packages at affordable prices.



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