We need good resumes now more than ever. If you have not refreshed your resume for more than six months, you should find it this weekend and take a look. Here are five tips to keep in mind.
Save it as a pdf. This is one of the options when you choose where to print your document. A pdf can’t be altered by anyone (unless they have very expensive software) and if there are any words that Microsoft does not recognize, no can tell. Pdfs don’t have funny red squiggles under any words to distract the reader.
Use a plain font. It can be more modern or spacious, but keep it clean. Avoid those tiny tails on the letters– it’s just too hard to read on the screen. And remember, Comic Sans is only for comic artists, not for anything corporate.
A resume can be two OR three pages. If you graduated less than 15 years ago, two pages is fine. If you have more experience than that, go ahead and use three pages. There is no law against that. It’s the first half of the first page that determines if the reader turns to the second page let alone the third page.
The first page has to have a lot of impact. It needs to include what you do, where you do it, where you are geographically and how to get in touch with you. Make certain you have covered those items and then fill in the rest of the details.
Don’t succumb to the narrow margin trick. If you have that much to say, then take it to the next page. Don’t make the reader suffer and squint. But make sure every word is important and necessary. Resumes are not for blathering. They are meant to tease the reader so that they want to call you up for more details.
Finally, always make sure someone who is not a relative or married to you does the final proof read. You need someone who is not invested in your career success to give it the hairy eyeball and make sure there are no mistakes.