Remember that we want to present ourselves as professional and thorough, regardless of whatever other traits you may prefer to highlight. And we want to advertise.
So keep in mind the following 10 design points:
1. Use a portrait layout. Never ever use a landscape layout. Some enthusiasts change the layout to appear different but end up irritating the recruiter. Either in print or screen, sudden change of layout when one is reviewing other resumes and browsing other documents as well (99.99% of them being in portrait layout) is extremely distracting.
2. Spelling mistakes are greatest crimes in resume building. I would throw away a resume immediately I find a spelling mistake. After all if one is so careless about his own self-projection, how can he take his job seriously! You may differ from me, but that is how most serious recruiters think.
3. Grammatical errors are next greatest crimes. Please use the spelling and grammar check functions of your word processor to make sure these are absolutely eliminated.
4. Use a font size that is neither to big or small. Size 12 seems just ok. You can experiment with other sizes depending upon the font.
5. Avoid using fancy fonts like Comic Sans, Script etc. Use standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Tahoma, Verdana.You can use other fonts as well but then make sure you ‘embed‘ them when saving the file. Otherwise when the recruiter opens the file in his computer, the resume design may break because of lack of fonts. Times New Roman used to be a popular standard font earlier. But it is overused and hence be better avoided to create differentiation of your resume. Times New Roman is considered as boring and unimaginative. But in certain roles, even it can be used smartly. In fact I have seen people getting good jobs even with Comic Sans fonts. Though I would recommend newbies to avoid such experiments.
6. Always check the resume in print as well as on computer screen at normal and 75% magnification. While most resumes are shortlisted on computer in first run, the second round of interview has high likelihood of they being printed for recruitment panel.
7. Unless specifically asked for, always save and share your resume as a pdf document. This will ensure that your resume appears the same on all machines and are not accidentally edited by anyone.
8. When you save your resume, make sure you check the resume document properties. Make sure the property fields are either vacant or contain your details. Sometimes we create new documents by deleting content of old documents, and thus document properties retain old information. I once created a resume on my friend’s machine that he had bought from his senior. So the resume I created had name of my senior causing me to lose several opportunities!
9. Make sure resume is 1 or 2 pages long at the most. Save more details for interview stage. Remember that the best advertisements are brief.
10. Make sure there is sufficient empty space in resume so that it is easy to read. Too crowded and tightly spaced resumes don’t even get read in many cases.
Now that you have reviewed these extremely powerful methods for a resume that can take you to any destination that you have imagined, we would strongly recommend that you carefully revise them again. And then spend the next 15 minutes to close your eyes and think about your own resume. Let your thoughts gradually converge around how these methods can transform how you are represented through the resume. Then quickly get to work. Spend next 45 minutes to quickly create and tweak your resume as per these guidelines. The next 15-20 minutes to review and revise again. And then ten minutes for final audit.
Thus within just 90 minutes you would have a resume that you would love to make your new baby!
But don’t stop here. More the iterations you perform, better the baby becomes. And as we learn more powerful techniques later, you would have ensured that there is no barrier between you and your dream job!
Wish you a wonderful career!