Preparing or updating a Resume is a task that is dreaded by most jobseekers. It can be very confusing knowing what information to include, where information should be presented and just how many pages your Resume should be! Writing a Resume requires a great deal of thought and planning. It should take a few hours, on average, to prepare and is not something that should be rushed or ‘slapped’ together. You should also re-edit/format your Resume every single time you update it.
Your Resume is one of the most important documents you will prepare and possess in your professional life, therefore, it is imperative that you spend lots of time perfecting it. So just how do you structure the perfect Resume? This article will provide you with professional recommendations on how to prepare and format your very own Resume that is effective in standing out from your competition, passing through Resume screening software and most importantly, securing you an interview.
There is nothing worse for a Recruiter/Employer than receiving a Resume the size of a telephone book. This is a sure way to get your Resume tossed in the trash. On the other hand, Recruiters/Employers cringe at Resumes that are too brief, as they find it difficult to determine what experience the jobseeker has. It is your responsibility to find the right balance and ensure your Resume is professional, concise, well formatted and easy to read, whilst addressing the key criteria for the job at hand. Below is a guide of how many pages your Resume should be according to your level of experience:
As mentioned above, this is a guide only. Always read the job ad and comply with what is requested.
Font & Size:
To ensure your Resume passes through Resume screening software, choose a conservative font such as Arial, Tahoma, Verdana or Calibri. Avoid using script fonts, even for headings. When it comes to font size, you should use 11 or 12 size font for the body of your Resume. If you are struggling to fit information, you can use a 10.5 font, but I would not recommend going any lower than this. Headings can be in a larger size font of 14-18.
I would also recommend using the text justification option in your word processing tool bar to give your document a highly professional appearance.
Sections & Headings:
Resumes must be organised and broken up into clear sections, with headings stating what each section entails. At a minimum, your Resume should include the following sections/headings:
Personal Information (this should be positioned at the top centre of your Resume). Do not place any information in headers or footers as these get blocked by screening software.
It will definitely serve you well to plan and organise the structure, format and content of your Resume. Ensure all information is concise and to the point, but with enough substance that the Recruiter/Employer can easily find the information they are looking for.
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