You are a two-page document!
In a desperate pursuit to apply to as many jobs as possible, we quickly throw together a resume to be one of the first applicants to fill a recruiter’s inbox. As a recruitment and employment agency based in Calgary, we see this every day at About Staffing.
You do not have to be in marketing to understand that when you press submit on a job application, you are electronically sending a static document that represents you. You may not consciously think about it, but this two-page, often black and white, Times New Roman, size 12 document distinguishes and represents you.
Does your resume do the job?
First impressions are everything, even on your black and white, Times New Roman, size 12 resume. Can you honestly say that your resume stands out from the crowd? I am not talking about your awesome job history or long alphabet soup; I am talking about the visual brand that is you.
Are you guilty of this?
Are the only two colours on your resume black and white?
Is your resume’s font in size 12, Times New Roman?
Is your resume in a one-column format?
Is there any differentiation between your headlines or sections?
I am going to guess that you answered yes to at least one of these questions.
The resume world is quickly evolving and graphic designers have sprung into action. Believe it or not, there is a market for resume templates that are graphically designed to include different fonts, colours and formats. Images are being embedded to depict skill aptitude. Summary paragraphs and objectives are being replaced with a two-column spread that is not only visually appealing but can be reviewed in less than 10 seconds.
Evolve and stand out from the pack
The great thing about your personal brand is that there are no rules governing what you can and cannot do with your resume. While there are some best practices to keep in mind, your ability to stand out from the rest of the crowd will depend on you. Designing a resume that reflects your personality and creativity does not guarantee you an interview but it may entice a recruiter to spend more than 10 seconds on your resume.
Have I convinced you yet?
It doesn’t take much to revamp your resume. You are simply playing with formatting and design as your content has already been created. Do not be afraid of Microsoft Word, as you would be surprised how far a two-column table can take you. Start with your initials, change them to a fancy font and add in your favourite colour. Move some of your content to the left column and keep the heavy stuff to the right. Remember that readers tend to look at things from left to right and top to bottom. Keep the most important parts at the top. After this, the world is your oyster.
Good luck with the job hunt!