When trying to get a job interview, your resume really is the marketing piece that gets the job done. Thoughtfully crafted, your resume format highlights all the skills, experience, and qualifications you bring to the table. In the end, your resume inspires readers to call for an interview.
That being the case, content isn’t the only key factor. The format also counts and should really invite the reader in so they consume the information. Remember, you only have 6-8 seconds to make an impression.
Resume Format: Paragraph versus bullet points
While narratives are often a welcome addition in many scenarios, they tend not to be effective when summarizing your responsibilities at each job. Paragraphs form large blocks of text, and it’s difficult for most to skim for key information. Instead, bullet points are the way to go. Begin each with a verb and include stats and figures where possible. These bullets will basically “tell the story” in a way more accessible to readers.
Format for experience under each job
There’s a resume format out there that encourages you to list all skills and responsibilities separated into categories (administrative, HR, account management, etc.). Then when listing jobs, it is truly just a list of employers and dates with no detail as to what you did in each role. Readers like to see which responsibilities align with which job. It’s a matter of clarity and can make a huge difference.
Organized and consistent resume format
The rest comes down to keeping all your ducks in a row and is a matter of consistency. This applies to date format, amount of spacing between each section, etc. The more neat and tidy the resume, the more inviting it will be.
Now that you’ve put all that thought into your resume format, you want to make sure readers see it, right? With many job boards, you’re attaching the resume so you know exactly what they’re going to see.
Other job boards default to sending a resume they create based on data you enter. This is where you sometimes lose control over your submission. Keep an eye on this because they often allow you to attach your own document. Definitely take the option. I say this because many of these jobs boards do not create an attractive document. Ideally, you want to make sure all your experience gets presented the way you intended.
Written by Adam Lafeld, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist