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Your Resume's Design - How Important Is It?

Apr 20, 2008
The thought of writing a resume can be intimidating to say the least. There is so much to consider that the process can easily leave you too exhausted to continue - even before you start.

What's worse is if you have no idea how to create the design - or even how important the design actually is to the resume. The design can have a lot of influence on how successful your resume is in procuring you interviews. There are some simple tips that will help improve your resume significantly. Let's dive right in...

Make it Easy to Read

The first idea you should keep in mind when designing your resume is choosing the right font style, size and color. Most people find success with the more professional fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, rather than Comic Sans, which makes the resume look more like a party invitation than a professional document. As for sizes, you want to avoid those that are too large or small. Again, you aren't trying to place your resume on prospective employers' windshields so getting their attention won't take much more than a 12-point font for Times New Roman and 11 for Arial. And when choosing the color, remember one word: black.

Nothing Fancy

Another design error that many make when creating their resumes is adding decorations. This is definitely a risky move to take because while one employer might absolutely love your cute form of expression another might feel sick to his stomach. So instead of using flower borders in your design, think about making your name a little larger (and using a different typeface) than the rest of the content to add a little character to your resume.

Stick with the Default Setting

When deciding on the layout for your resume, you definitely want to stick with vertical rather than landscape. Think about it; if you were a manager who had to sort through a stack of papers, you would probably be pretty annoyed if you had to rotate the stack 90 degrees because someone wanted to add a little spice to the design. So to avoid irritating an employer, stick with the default set up for your word processing program. You'll be glad you did.

The Paper on Which It's Printed

Over the years, many people have come to rely on fancy resume paper because they have been advised by their career centers or professors that this is the best way to stand out among other applicants. However, with times changing so much and the electronic age prevailing over all else, most companies prefer that their applicants submit materials via the company's website or job portal, which pretty much kicks a hole in the pretty paper theory. You can buy white paper with a plain smooth finish and be okay. If the company allows for both online and offline applications, then you can always choose to do both.

You'll find that the effort you put forth on your resume and its design will pay off in the end. Stick with the basics and keep it simple. After all, this is the easy part of writing your resume.
About the Author
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. Check out reviews of the top Resume Writing Services in the industry at http://www.resumelines.com
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