Beyond tips and tricks, ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, the ultimate purpose of a resume is to tell a story. Your story. Hiring managers rely on resumes to make the case that the candidate being represented is the best person for the job. So, how do you tell a compelling story using a standard resume?
Resume real estate is extremely valuable, in that you only have 1 page to make an impression. There’s much debate around acceptable resume length, but at the end of the day less in more when time is against you. Achieving the right balance with an effective usage of white space is the cornerstone of any resume, as are bullet points and a consistent use of italics, boldface type and capitalization.
Hiring managers will not spend time looking for the key facts that make you the perfect candidate, so your formatting must do that for them.
Pro-tip: Your font size should never be less than 10pt or more than 12pt. We recommend the following fonts- Tahoma, Arial, Century Gothic, Bookman, Garamond, Verdana, Cambria, and Times New Roman.
Include Unique Sections
All resumes should have the following 4 sections, regardless:
- Contact Info
- Experience Section
- Education Section
- Key Skills Section
…but, beyond the standard there are many ways to further your story with unique sections. For instance, hobbies, volunteer work, training/certifications, honors, associations, languages, and projects are all great selling points for being a good cultural fit and generally a well-rounded professional.
Pro-tip: People who used even one personal pronoun in their employment section (not the objective or professional summary section) had a -54.7% lower chance of getting an interview callback.
No one likes a long and boring story; too much information is difficult to navigate. Forcing every job you’ve had onto one page isn’t necessary nor advisable. Instead of describing your day-to-day job responsibilities focus on what you did. Obviously, the hiring manager knows what the job itself entails so by focusing on your personal accomplishments you’re crafting a narrative that grabs the reader’s attention.
Consider why you’re listing various items and how that will ultimately improve your candidacy.
Pro-tip: Past work experience should be written in the past tense.
The climax of your “story” is your goal: to get the job. ‘Storifying’ your resume helps create an image beyond bullet points and highlights your professional accomplishments in a unique, memorable way.
For $10/month we can automatically find the best jobs and pre-fill job applications for you based on your desired role, location and years of experience. In addition, you’ll get our Interview Guarantee — if we can’t get you an interview within 60 days, we’ll refund everything back to you, guaranteed. (90% of job-seekers using TalentWorks get an interview in 60 days or less).