I played a lot of darts in my parents’ garage as a kid. The board is riddled with marks – some made by legitimate tosses and others where I walked up to the board and slammed the dart into it. Until I realized I had been throwing the dart incorrectly, random chance and frustration surrounded any fortunate luck I may have had in getting a bullseye.
Your job search might feel the same way. Are you tossing your resume at the board hoping to hit the bullseye? It might not be the positions and jobs you’re targeting (although it very well could be that you’re shooting for the wrong ones) or the content. Make sure your form is correct.
These resume ideas might help you find the bullseye.
5. Font and Color
I sent my resume out in one color and one font for many years. It had never occurred to me to try another type. Avoiding light colors, yellows (hard to read), browns (just ugly), and any hard-to-read fonts will help slim down your choices.
Another strategy is to change your font and colors to match the company or business. If you’re applying to Nike, it might be beneficial to put parts of your resume in Futura Extra Bold Condensed font.
I don’t recommend using one color for the entire resume if you choose to use something other than black. A solid red resume will give the reviewer tired eyes and probably push your resume to the trash. Error on the side of not enough color. Think of the addition as an accent to your already awesome resume.
4. White Spaces
Too much white space on your resume tells managers a few things:
– You don’t have a lot of experience
– You didn’t have enough work at your past jobs
– You rushed creating it
Fill up the page!
It’s also fair to say that too many white gaps also make your resume stand out in a negative way. You don’t need to add fluff or lies, but don’t be afraid to list accomplishments, achievements, or a specific duty you performed that wasn’t required.
Making your font bold is equal to walking up to the dartboard and slamming the dart into the middle. It works, but it’s cheating. It might take a little extra time to change your simple tasks descriptions from “answering the phones” to “answering questions, redirecting calls, and resolving issues over the phone.”
Most resumes will look different from each other, but most resumes are also portrait oriented. Don’t be afraid to change and stick out from the rest.
He or she has probably looked at hundreds of resumes that look alike. The contents are different, but I’m going to remember Julie with the dark blue text and horizontal oriented resume compared to a similar candidate who uses the same lame font and text.
The arrangement of information can also change. When I started working, I was told that you put the following in order:
b. Contact Info
d. Special Skills
e. Work History
Think outside the box and arrange your information in an order that will catch gazing eyes. A quick glimpse might be all that you get. Please, tweak this accordingly. I will suggest that your name is always the largest sized font.
A lot of places that are hiring ask that a prospect submits an application online. Some places still take tangible paper resumes. Regardless, I firmly stand by the decision to add a cover letter when applicable and include a business card whenever possible.
You have made the titles on your resume bold and dark blue. The white spaces are to a minimum. Your format is distinct and easy to read. But there’s something missing.
It might seem insignificant but a small picture or design can help occupy space and look more professional. I’m not advocating a young college graduate or seasoned veteran add a picture of themselves (could be a good idea if you’re self aware of your attractiveness). I’m simply saying an extra graphic will make your resume look professional, neat, and novel.
1. Be Creative!
There is going to be a lot of tough competition. I’ve asked you to stand out with your resume, so maybe you will be willing to take it a step further.
When Rick Pitino was a basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, he had a graduate assistant who applied by writing his entire resume on a basketball and dropping it off at the office. Pretty easy to see how his resume stood out.
Another story involves a young graphic design student who created a candy bar and wrapper. The wrapper contained all her resume information. A box of the candy bars with her resume-wrapper were delivered to the office to the delight of the hiring manager.
A guy was recently let go from a big firm in New York City. He mapped out the places where employees from the other firms ate lunch and worked. Next, he asked the cab drivers if he could place his resume on the back of their seats. I’m unsure how the story ended for that man, but he gets points for creativity.
I have gotten extremely efficient at darts; although, the board I practiced with is now retired. It was made in the 1960s and probably should’ve never been used by a small kid in the first place.
These five ideas can make you stand out among a sea of other extraordinary candidates.
Figure out which form best shows your personality and style. After enough revision and practice, your darts will start finding the bullseye.