Sometimes I see resumes that are less than crisp. I call them “wonky.” The margins are out, the bullets jog, spacing between sections varies, the font sizes change or even the font itself changes … and these resumes represent someone’s “best foot forward.”
Really? Can’t you just imagine the recruiter mumbling “Well if this represent’s this person’s ‘best,’ no thank you. I’m not willing to jeopardize my position with a poor hire!”
Perhaps you hadn’t even connected the fact that if a recruiter hires poorly too many times, his or her job may be on the line? Yes, good hires is a performance indicator for an HR Generalist or recruiter. But that’s a topic for another blog!
So how do you get your resume to convey a crisp first impression? By making MS Word your job search partner! I can’t give you a software lesson here (there are plenty of online resources to help you with that), but here are a few tips on what to watch for:
- Make it easy for yourself by sticking to one font. No one expects graphic pizzazz; one font is perfectly acceptable.
- Decide on spacing between lines, sections and subsections – and stick to that.
- Choose one bullet style - no need for fancy scroll-work, and again, stick to it.
- To avoid wonky margins, create a new document rather than rework an old one.
- If you have a tiny bit of text on a separate page, page two or three, make some adjustments. At a new grad stage, a two-pager is maximum length; a three-pager is not justified. You can adjust the margins to accommodate a bit more text, tighten up your writing by eliminating redundant words, unnecessary phrases and so on.
It’s not rocket science but it’s amazing how many resumes, from new grad to senior executives (!!) convey an unprofessional appearance by lacking a crisp format.
- rescuing the world from “wonky” resumes, Stephanie