Below is a breakdown of some basic things to consider when deciding whether or not your resume style is professional.
Between your headers, fonts, and the overall themes, it is important to remember to present yourself professionally, while keeping in mind the 6-second rule. If you aren’t familiar with the 6-second rule, it basically states that the average hiring manager spends 6-seconds viewing each resume before moving on.
A professional resume style will help the employer find what they are looking for quicker, making every second count.
Your headers should be formatted with the same characteristics throughout your resume (ex. Font Size, Underlined, Bold, Italicized, etc.). We suggest 16-18 size font and consider the use of Bold and Italic. You should make it easy for the reader to quickly find what they want.
Contrary to popular belief, the font should not play a big role in the overall resume style. There is no need to get fancy with a font… This does not express your individuality as some may believe. We suggest you stick to the basics of Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. The headers have a little more wiggle room, but it is not necessary to vary from the standard accepted fonts. The more common your font is the more familiar the reader will be with it, making the resume easier to read.
Many professionals recommend keeping your resume black and white. This can be a really gray area that seems to be moving towards adding a little bit of color. First, this really depends on where you are and what type of role.
Most new, techy, startup-y companies in large cities would be totally fine with a bit of color. While some 100-year-old professional investment firm might appreciate a plain black and white resume.
This doesn’t mean that the entire body of your resume should be bright pink but it does mean you can slightly adjust headers, contact info, and your name with conservative colors such as red or blue.
Make your resume scannable
Part of having a great resume style is making sure that your resume is scannable. You can be the most qualified candidate and perfect for the job, but if you do not know how to express this on paper, you will most likely not receive a callback. Make sure you utilize bullet points to better outline your skills. As you know, you have 6-seconds, so make sure to be short and sweet, only mention the good stuff.
For more tips on resume writing, check out What To Include In A Resume - 16 Best Things.
The truth is, the more you practice, the better you get… Obviously! If you are applying to a ton of jobs but you aren’t seeing results in your current job search, it may be time to accept that your resume could use some work. I cannot tell you how many resumes we have seen, even paid for resumes that could use a world of improvement.