Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: March 16th, 2020
Guest Post by Rada Abdo
A recruiter's time is limited. They get dozens of resumes to sort through, and job candidates only have this one shot to make an impact.
Recruiters generally know exactly they're looking for in a pile of resumes, which is a major factor in determining who gets selected for the next round.
If you design your resume or CV well and sell your experiences and skills, you will stand out from the crowd.
Read on for tips to create the resume design that will get you the results you desire.
Utilize appealing design elements
The idea is for the reader to quickly consume your resume. The more strategic you are about it, the better your results will be.
Use an eye-catching border to grab attention
To help your resume stand out in a sea of white paper, a border can be helpful. It also adds a bit of personality. A border provides a splash of excitement without distracting from the most important information.
Use a flat color, muted pattern, or simple texture to keep your resume visually interesting.
Pay attention to the company you are applying to and the type of vibe they give off. If you’re applying to a job at a bank, your approach may be more traditional than if you're applying to work for a creative agency.
Use a simple timeline to showcase educational experience
A simple yet unique way to visualize your educational experience is via a timeline. Since most people are familiar with infographics, it makes your resume easier to consume.
You want to keep it to the point. Don’t make the timeline too complicated, but include relevant highlights including publications, internships, specialized courses, career certificates, and other accomplishments.
To keep your resume up-to-date and current, only include recent information. Hiring managers want to know your recent career trajectory and see your professional development. That’s why the reverse chronological format is standard today. In general, only include work experience as far back as 10 years. Anything that occurred before that is no longer useful, unless you have a particularly notable accomplishment or an experience that is incredibly relevant to the position.
— Samuel Johns HR Specialist and Hiring Manager Resume Genius
Use a different background color to highlight your contact information
Your contact information should be the easiest to find, so put it in its own section with a different background color. When information looks inviting, this may make it more likely for the hiring manager to contact you.
Capitalize on career highlights and bragging points
Be intentional about the way you explain your qualifications. While design is important to incorporate, it's the words themselves that will get you picked up by a resume software system to filter relevant candidates. Plus, the right descriptions of your qualifiations can blow a hiring manager away.
When you're applying to a specific job, it's important that you stand out as a strong candidate with relevant work experience. You can make your resume look relevant by using specific keywords and phrases from the job description itself. This also helps you bypass certain Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that are programmed to look for specific terms and increases the overall match rate for your candidacy.
— Ed Moss, Hiring Manager at Angel List
Avoid over-explaining every detail of your experience
You learn a lot in your time at a company, so it may be hard to summarize it all in your resume, but you don’t want to overwhelm the recruiter.
Using a simple resume template is one way to help you hone in on the most crucial talking points. It will also be a great challenge to condense the information that you have so that it is to the point. Your core skills will be easy to find.
Display quantifiable results achieved in previous roles as well as list awards and achievements. Ensure this information is easily seen on the first page of the resume. This will allow candidates to differentiate themselves from others. It will also allow the person reviewing the resume to quickly identify that the candidate will likely a good fit for the company.
— Ryan Moore, Director of Client Management at PeakSales Recruiting
Include power words within your resume
Using words that the company used in their job description is essential to your resume. These words are what make your resume pop.
According to TheBalanceCareers, these are some of the best power words to include:
- Action verbs
- Company values
- Skills words
- Specific keywords
- Industry buzzwords
Words such as accomplished, designed, initiated, and supervised are great to sprinkle into your resume.
Write a resume introduction
You can use different types of introductions for your resume based on your experience:
- Objective introductions are for people who do not have a lot of experience in the industry
- Qualification introductions list relevant soft skills and abilities
- Summary introductions provide a short synopsis of your experience
Tailor your resume to every new application. Read your resume as if you were the recruiter for that specific job. Then, read it again as if you were your potential superior. Then rewrite it, tailored to the recipients. Why is this important? Because every company has a different approach, different demands, and a different culture. You can't just use one resume for all job applications you send out. Instead, elaborate on relevant experience, education, and skills. Recruiters are the first party to make a selection, and they will go through resumes very quickly, reading them diagonally. So make sure relevant information stands out to make the first cut.
— Iris De Geest, Content Marketer at Survey Anyplace