I have often been heard to say that your 90-second announcement is a STORY about you. It isn’t a history book. And, it doesn’t have to be detailed.
In much the same way, your resume is a story about you. However, being in print, you need to keep in mind that you aren’t there to present it with meaningful gestures, shined shoes and properly fitting clothes.
No, I’m afraid that your opus is standing there all by itself. A frightening thought, isn’t it? No one is there to explain what you “meant by that remark.”
I hope all of you have gotten into the habit of picking up resumes at networking meetings. If you have, have you taken the time to compare your masterpiece with the work others have produced?
I am talking primarily about esthetics. In a very real sense, at times, it doesn’t matter what the written word says if your document is painted in ugly shades of gray. If you haven’t observed 1” margins all around to provide a proper border, and if you haven’t given considerable thought to your bolding and paragraphing, you are doomed from the get go.
In one assignment I had for The FECG quite some time ago, I had to go over 140 resumes with one of our alumni members before we could go to lunch. In less than 30 minutes we went through them all. What I found interesting was that any resume that didn’t use bolding he cast aside.
Sure you can get carried away with formatting. But if you study the periodicals you read on a monthly basis you will find that they spend a lot of time and money on their graphics. The graphics in a resume provide the eye with a way of following the information you are trying to provide and trying to get your reader to absorb.
This is, however, one case where a pretty face alone isn’t going to win the day. That said it breaks my heart at times when I review a resume and just know that the person behind the paper in front of me is so much better than how he/she appears.
Small type fonts and no thought put into editing out unnecessary information result in something a lot less than a pretty picture.
Hiring a graphic designer to format your resume might be going a little extreme. But, having been in the advertising business for almost a decade, I can tell you that creative folks can sit around arguing about shades of green and their preferences for different type fonts for different purposes for hours on end, so there must be something to it.
Be the best that you can be. You are already a pretty face. Paint a pretty picture of it for the rest of the world to see and perhaps it will help you win that great job we all know you deserve.