For job seekers, a resume is often the only exposure to a company. In many cases, the resume format you use can make or break the document—and your job search. An ugly, unformatted resume can make it impossible to move forward to the interview round of the hiring process.
Your resume format plays a significant role in its readability. A cluttered resume with large blocks of text and no discernible hierarchy is nearly impossible to read. In order to get through the information, the potential employer would need to spend long periods of time reading carefully. Unfortunately, research shows that employers spend an average of six seconds on each resume. Without a strong resume format to catch their eye, employers are more likely to toss your document into the reject pile without a second glance.
When you are preparing a professional resume, the format is crucial. Your document should be structured with a clear hierarchy that enables reviewers to find each section at a glance. What's more, it should use formatting elements like bullet points, bold typefaces, italic typefaces and differing font sizes to highlight important information. A great resume makes it easy for employers to locate your education, past job titles and skills. When competition for jobs is tough, the less work a reviewer has to do, the better.
Attention to Detail
Your professional resume does more than communicate your qualifications and credentials—it acts as an example of your communication skills. Your resume is essentially a portfolio piece that demonstrates your design skills and attention to detail. A great resume format shows the potential employer that you understand the importance of information design in a professional setting. Poor formatting indicates a lack of awareness and lets the employer know that you do not have an eye for design. What's worse, a lack of formatting also communicates a lack of enthusiasm and motivation. If you can't be bothered to create a carefully designed resume, after all, it does not bode well for your performance as an employee.
Even in non-creative fields, resume formatting is important. It lets employers know that you recognize the importance of design in professional documents. After all, you wouldn't send a company brochure out without formatting it first; the same holds true for your resume. If you don't have design skills, it is crucial to seek help from a career center or use free resume design tools. The extra effort can mean the difference between a resume that sells you as a candidate and one that cuts you out of the running.
An easy-to-read resume format makes it simple for employers to see your qualifications, increasing the chances that you'll secure an interview. By taking the time to create an engaging document, you your job hunt will be more effective.
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