Sometimes your resume doesn’t need a major overhaul but more of a mini-makeover; this week I’m going to cover some easy strategies that you can use to give your resume a fresh look in a short amount of time.
Start with your name. This is the first thing a potential employer will see when they look at your resume. Make your name stand out by using all capital letters, putting it in bold, and using a slightly different font from the rest of your resume. It doesn’t have to be huge or a crazy font; keep it easy to read with just enough difference to capture their attention.
Add a personal branding statement above your qualifications summary. Nothing gets your value across better than a personal branding statement. Not everyone uses one so if you incorporate it into your resume this slight variation will capture your reader’s attention. If they don’t take the time to read through your career summary at the very least they will read your branding statement and get a clear idea of what you may be able to do for them.
When you describe what you did at your previous positions start each statement with a verb. By placing the verb at the beginning you are placing yourself as an active participant in the task. Start with verbs like: championed, revitalized, negotiated, established, projected, or eliminated. Your resume will have a more assertive tone that can help you stand out among passive, duty-based resumes.
Choose a resume font that is a little bit different but still reader friendly. Everyone uses Times New Roman so choosing something else will help you stand out. Some good ones to try are: Constantia, Garamond, Century, or Book Antiqua. Anything that is easy to read and crisp will work.
Use embellishments such as underlining, bold, and italics. This is an easy and effective way to call attention to your accomplishments and set important information apart from the rest of the content. Used in moderation it can have a huge impact and draw your reader’s eye to the most important selling points of your resume.
The appropriate amount of white space on your resume is essential. Too much will leave your resume looking bare and lacking in expertise; not enough and your resume will be overcrowded and discourage a hiring manager from reading it. Make sure your font is an appropriate size and that your margins fall somewhere between .5” and 1”.
These strategies are easy to incorporate into your resume and shouldn’t take you much time at all. If you are looking for a way to get noticed but don’t want to do anything extreme these are subtle changes that can go a long way in individualizing your resume and creating a document that will leave an impression with your reader.
by Megan Koehler