Resume Design Tips to get hired
Let’s face it, you are reading this article for two potential reasons. A) You have recently looked over your own resume and realized that it’s time for a major makeover. Or B) Someone else’s resume you have seen either in person or online has put your resume to shame. Worry not fellow job seekers, this resume design guide will help you to make your application stand out like the Kardashians.
When creating your resume, you should aim to communicate your personality through your resume design. I will use a scenario to further explain what the hell I’m talking about. Picture the following two candidates:
- Candidate 1 is very academic. This person is driven by success and is a highly effective negotiator. This candidate is very professional and wants employers to know it.
- Candidate 2 is extremely friendly, outgoing and creative. This person has traveled the world and is always up for a good challenge. This person is all about being completely out there (I’m talking the type of person who would wear Happy Socks).
- Candidate 1 would be best off with a minimalistic resume design which uses darker, corporate colors like navy or slate with a touch of gold here and there for added aesthetic. The tone of the resume should be of “utmost formality”. Think of it like an advertisement for a luxury brand product.
- Candidate 2 on the other hand, should have a bright and visual resume design. The layout would reflect his/her creativity and use visual data representation techniques to showcase their skills and hobbies (a little more on that in a second). The tone of voice should be a little bit more personal but still maintain professionalism, almost like a conversation with a colleague.
Do you see the difference? Employers can see exactly the kind of people these two applicants are, based solely on their resumes. All in all, your resume needs to tell your story, otherwise why would it be called a resu(me)? A CV is typically the first thing an employer sees; it is hence crucial to invest in making a striking first impression.
Showcase your creative ability through your resume design
Highly effective resume design isn’t just about just adding some color to your resume. It’s about standing out, making a memorable impression and exhibiting your innovative thinking skills. Your resume is practically an advertisement, and you are the product! Picture this, you are an employer going through a colossal pile of job applications. All the resumes in the pile are white and written in Times New Roman font (how original). But there is hope! Amongst this pile, sticking out ever so slightly with its eye-catching colors and unique design is the resume you have been waiting for your entire HR career.
When it comes to layout, one thing is for sure; the shorter your resume, the better. Ever heard of one-page resumes? One-page resumes are all the rage these days, but they do have their weaknesses. “How do I fit everything on my 3-page resume, on a one-page document?” Well my dear friends, this is where you will need to be more adaptive.
Adapt your resume design to the demands of each company
Each job position you apply for will require you to make slight modifications to your resume design. The modifications you make will be based on the requirements specified within the job adverts you are applying for. As stated previously, the limitations of your one-page CV mean you can’t list the entirety of your 20-year work history. Meaning that you’re going to have to be selective in what you include in your resume.
For example, if an employer is looking for a qualified Marketing Manager, you wouldn’t need to include your proficiency in HTML and CSS programming languages as much as you would your expertise in market research, management, data analysis and SEO. Sounds tedious right? Going back and forth, editing your resume to suit the differing needs of employers. Luckily for you guys, Desygner allows you to return to your designs at any time, make as many changes as you wish and save as many different copies and versions as you would like.
Cover Letters – The Inconvenient Truth
Okay so now you have a stunning and relevant CV! But the inconvenient truth is, it may not always be enough to get you that dream job. Without a cover letter, employers may completely reject your application as they may get the impression that you were too lazy to write a simple cover letter. Therefore, if you want employers to see your beautiful resume design, you’re going to have to ensure you include a cover letter with all your applications.
How do I write a good cover letter you may ask? A good cover letter should include a few things. Your first paragraph should describe who you are, what your values area and what you aspire to achieve throughout your career. Your second should convince the reader as to why you are the most suitable candidate for the job based on your skills, knowledge and work experience. The final paragraph should encourage the reader to view your resume for further information and you should always conclude with a call-to-action requesting for an interview.
Review it like your life depends on it (because it does)
You’re almost done! All you need to do now is review your resume and cover letter as if you were about to release to the world (it really is that important). If there is a spelling or grammatical error in your resume, you might as well just bin your resume right now because if you don’t, employers most probably will. Your resume needs to be as immaculate as Shakespearian literature, nothing less. You wouldn’t want that beautiful resume design to go to waste would you?
It may seem like I’m being a little overdramatic but no employer wants to hire someone who makes mistakes, particularly on their own resume! You need to assure them that all of the work you will produce for their company will be impeccable and of the highest quality. And if your resume is riddled with poor grammar, you are already off to a terrible start.
In the end however, no one has ever succeeded without failing first. There are plenty of fish in the sea, don’t let yourself be discouraged by rejection, learn from it, and persist. Find out what parts of your resume could do with some improvement and fine tune your application. You will eventually become an employability master, we believe in you!
For more on ‘Fantastic Resumes and Where to Find Them’, head over to Desygner and create your own stunning CV!