7 tips for how to format a resume if you want it to stand out from the crowd. [TWEET]

Are you putting together a resume? To begin, you’ll want to gather the following information: employer names, educational history, volunteerism, professional engagement, and transferable skills. Unsure of how to proceed with formatting from there? Start by Googling templates or reviewing friends’ documents. You may then realize that there are unlimited options for hot to format a resume.

No matter the format you choose, keep these tips in mind when taking the first steps towards creating a resume - especially one with a modern look. 

Tip #1 – Add a professional summary

When creating a resume, this 3-5 line section should be placed immediately following the header/contact information. This short summary is an introduction to you—the candidate—while focusing on how you can help the employer. By adding this, you are immediately showcasing what talents and abilities you can bring to the table.

Tip #2 – Be concise

Believe it or not, adults have short attention spans. In fact, if they see large, bulky, and never-ending paragraphs, they are less likely to read the information. And, that information is important—it’s yours! When deciding how to format your resume wording, utilize phrasing on your resume and put each phrase into bullet points.

Tip #3 – Highlight the important information

Even if your information is in bullet format, it may still be difficult to quickly identify the pertinent skills and accomplishments that are important to the potential employer. If a bullet contains keywords and examples that directly align with the possible opportunity, then draw attention to this detail.

See below for an example. While both phrases contain the same information, someone quickly scanning your resume will go to the bold information and note that you were exceptional at sales in this position.

Previous Version: Boosted sales by 83% within six months through effective target marketing, in-person sales meetings, consistent follow-up strategies, and team collaborations.

New Version: Boosted sales by 83% within six months through effective target marketing, in-person sales meetings, consistent follow-up strategies, and team collaborations.

Tip #4 – Utilize quantitative information whenever possible

Our minds automatically respond to numbers, percentages, and dollar signs. Rather than using words to describe these achievements, use numbers and symbols when creating a resume. Whatever you can do as an applicant to keep the eyes on your document means that you have a better chance of being noticed.

Tip #5 – Use clear section headings

Most resumes will have similar components – a career summary, areas of expertise, professional experience, education, and volunteerism. When deciding how to format a resume, remember that these headings must be definitive and must stand out amidst the other text in the document. Don’t be afraid to use a shaded box, bold text, and white-space around each heading.

Tip #6 – Ensure white-space

Too much text is overwhelming to the reader and may even stop a potential employer from reviewing your information. Each page of the resume should have sufficient white space around all four sides of the document. Also be sure not to push the margins to the edge. If and when a person prints the document, you want to make sure there are no technical challenges.

Tip #7 – Use common fonts

While script may be a beautiful choice for handwriting and Comic Sans may be appropriate for your child’s birthday invitation, they aren’t appropriate for a resume. In fact, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can have difficulty reading these fonts. In addition, a human being may not find these fonts as easy to read. Instead, stay with common fonts such as Cambria, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

Remember, creating a resume that catches eyes in today’s marketplace is vital to your job searching success. After you create your document, send it a trusted colleague or business partner for advice. Ensuring that your resume is visually appealing will bring you one step closer to your future career success!

Need help with your resume? Our TopResume writers can help!

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