A graphic designer asked an online forum if she should highlight her skills by creating a unique design for her resume. Every hiring manager who responded answered, “No!” They wanted a resume formatted for easy reading, scanning and printing. If a professional graphic designer has to reign in her artistic talent, you should, too. That means:
- Using a standard font like Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica If you wander away from standard fonts, the computer that receives your resume may not have that font. Suddenly, your resume file is unreadable.
- Being careful with clip art, color or other ornamentation. Black-and-white printers/copiers reduce every color scheme to grey. Some scanners turn ornate designs into a mess. Besides, you never know how a hiring manager will react to a resume bordered by flowers, in green ink, on baby blue paper. It is OK to be creative if you are in a creative field and using a paper resume to hand to a person you know; however, even then, you will need to also provide a standard resume which is able to be scanned.
- Avoiding templates. Some Word templates cause receiving computers and scanners to choke. In addition, if you use a Word template, your resume will look exactly like the hundreds of other applicants using the same template.
- Making the resume easy on the eyes. Somewhere along the line, a human being will read your resume. Save bolding, italics or capitalization for your most important points; use it consistently and sparingly. Chose a font size of at least 11 pt for Times New Roman or 10 pt for Arial or Helvetica.
With resumes, content always counts more than style. Make sure your style lets your content stand out.