You can know exactly what your resume needs to say, and that’s great.
But you might have some trouble when it comes to how all this information should be presented.
Or maybe you have an idea of how it should look but you aren’t confident you’re on the right track.
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.
What is the “6-second rule” you may ask?
In a nutshell, the 6-second rule states that the average hiring manager spends 6-seconds viewing each resume before moving on.
6 whole seconds.
That’s not a lot of time.
So what can you do?
Well, that’s where the presentation of a resume comes into play.
A professional resume style will help the employer find what they are looking for more quickly, making every second count.
The headers/headings are the titles of different sections in your resume and are key to keeping everything neat and organized.
This makes it all the more important that the resume headers stand out and are consistent.
Your headers should be formatted with the same characteristics throughout your resume.
For example, it’s important to take into account the following:
- font size
- other formatting
We suggest 16-18 size font and consider the use of bold and italic.
Using a larger font with different formatting will help your headings stand out.
You should make it quick and easy for the reader to find what they are looking for.
Contrary to popular belief, the font should not play a significant 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.
(And if it does, it might not be for the best!)
If you get too fancy with your font, the employer may have trouble reading your resume!
We suggest you stick to the basics:
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.
This will help give your resume a nice clean, professional look.
For more information about resume fonts, review our article 9 Best Fonts for a Resume or CV.
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 applying and for what type of role.
Most new, techy, startup-y companies in large cities would be totally fine with a bit of color.
However, a 100-year-old professional investment firm might appreciate a plain black and white resume.
Deciding on whether to add some color or not can mean taking the company’s personality and culture into account.
Now, adding a little color doesn’t mean that the entire body of your resume should be bright pink.
What it does mean is you can slightly adjust headers, contact info, and your name with conservative colors such as red or blue.
A bit of color can also add to the organization and scannability of your resume.
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.
If you are applying for a ton of jobs but you don't see 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 that need a makeover.
Even some paid-for resumes could use a world of improvement.
Need More Help?
Sometimes you can have a ton of great skills, but you need help expressing them.
Well, you’re in luck.
Best of luck!