Here are some tips on how to format a modern and visually-appealing resume and stand out from the job-search crowd.

Are you putting together your 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 how to format a resume.

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

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 as 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.

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! When deciding how to format the information on your resume, put each phrase into bullet points.

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 an impressive award or measurable accomplishment that illustrates your qualifications, then draw attention to this detail by bolding the text.

This type of strategic highlighting is illustrated below. 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.

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. Whatever you can do as an applicant to keep the eyes on your document means that you have a better chance of being noticed.

Related: Words and Phrases to Remove From Your Resume Right Away

Use clear section headings

Most resumes will have similar components: a professional 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.

Create 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.

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, stick with common fonts such as Cambria, Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman.

Remember, creating a resume that catches eyes in today’s marketplace is vital to your job-search success. After you create your document, send it to 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!

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Not sure if your resume is grabbing the right attention? Utilize our free, objective resume review to see if your resume is visually appealing enough!

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