by Amanda Pestana
A resume is your advertisement. It won’t automatically get you a job; however, a well-developed resume will increase your chances of getting called. An impressive resume will make the reader think, “I need to meet this person.” Therefore, it is your ultimate tool of landing that interview.
If your industry is extremely competitive, you might wonder - How do I stand out from the crowd?
Before continuing I would like to pause for a moment I call R.H.A.Y.A. - Recall How Awesome You Are. (FYI - The word also is a girl's name, origin Greek, meaning flowing.)
There are three things to take into consideration when developing your resume.
Content - What information is the most relative and foremost to convey?
Order - Should I highlight academic history first or my professional experience?
Presentation - What template should I select for my resume?
Hiring managers look for well-formatted resumes that grab their attention. It takes only 10-seconds for a resume to be discarded. Therefore, style, content, colors, design, and more should all be considered to develop an effective strategy that will entice the reader. Now, a lot of people think that a resume needs to be one-page. This isn’t true, especially with career longevity. Don’t stress about keeping your resume one-page long. Instead, focus on creating a resume that will adequately reflect why you will be their next top performer.
There are multiple resume designs and templates. When choosing a style, keep in mind your future employer's company culture. There are no fast or hard rules on resume writing. There are necessary steps that will guide you on how to effectively develop your content and point you towards the direction you would like to go.
Three types of formatting to think about:
There are advantages and disadvantages to all formats. The Functional Resume is used when there are gaps in employment history, a change in career, or you want to highlight your skills set to stand out from the crowd. The reason why you shouldn’t use this format is when you want to highlight career mobility, you lack experience, or you lack soft (transferable) skills. Examples of soft skills are leadership, team management, business strategy, problem-solving, teamwork ability, data analysis, and communication.
A reverse-chronological resume is used with vertical career progression, applying to a similar field, or promoting career mobility upward. It shouldn’t be used if there are gaps in employment history, a change in career, or job-hopping.
The combination resume is beneficial when highlighting developed skillsets within the same career, when emphasizing a change in career path, or when you master your field. This resume shouldn’t be used if you want to highlight your academic achievements or lack professional experience.
There are various template styles, but to keep it simple, let's focus on three mains one.
The Classic is a modern version of the traditional resume which is mostly used for government positions, senior executive roles, and other work industries which value the content formatting within the classic style. This style emphasizes skills and abilities above all else. Usually, the color palette for this template stays within black and white with some grays here and there.
The Modern style will include a more edgy color palette drawing attention visually to different content sections. The design is minimalist in nature and effective. The form flows smoothly, and the wording is more concise.
The Artist is a freestyle format. Pictures, colors, graphics, personal logos, and more are all included in this style. It shows personality from the beginning, which will give a sense to the resume reader who you are. This formatting works perfectly for marketing professionals, graphic designs, illustrators, and web designers. Visuals speak just as loud as words in this formatting, so it is a combination of design and description.
It is worth your while to take time to develop a content strategy for your resume which will resonant. Even in The Classic style, which gives room to more words, the presentation of your resume needs to entice the reader in just 10-seconds. Therefore, consider the position that you are applying to and the skills set they seek. Be selective and purposeful. Your resume shouldn’t be a log of all your work history or a summary of your abilities. Focus on your highly acclaimed qualities that match the position you are applying to. Choose words that attract the reader's attention so that they want to learn more about your experience, and who you are.