Two Parts:Formatting Your ResumeAssembling and Presenting Your ResumeCommunity Q&A
The interview is one of the most important parts of the process of finding a job. Notably, it’s also a great opportunity to present your resume in a way that will make you stand out as an applicant and will emphasize the strongest aspects of your career experience. By following simple formatting techniques and assembling your resume in a professional way, you can make sure your resume is presented in a way that makes you a strong contender for the job you’re applying for.
Formatting Your Resume
1Write your resume in a professional font. Your resume, including its contents as well as how its presented, is ultimately a marketing tool you’ll use to sell yourself to potential employers. Thus, you’ll want to use a font that also conveys a sense of professionalism in your resume.
- Serif fonts are the best fonts to use in a resume, as they are perceived as being reliable, traditional, and authoritative. Good serif fonts to use include Times New Roman, Bell MT, and Bodoni MT. Some sans serif fonts, like Helvetica and Arial, may also be used.
- Always avoid using Comic Sans as your resume font.
2Leave 1 inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides of the resume. This is especially important if you’re sending your resume out electronically. If the recipient prints out your resume, having a 1 inch (2.5 cm) margin will ensure that none of the important information is cropped out and that the layout remains intact.
- This will also help to give your resume a neat and contained structure.
3Keep the font size between 10 and 12. Most professional documents, including resumes, are written in this size font, so keeping your font within this range will help you adhere to professional standards. You can make your font slightly smaller to condense your resume to 1 page if need be, but staying within this size range is ideal.
- Note that some fonts have sizes that don’t correspond to those of other fonts. For example, Arial 12 is actually larger than Times New Roman 12. Most documents use Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11, so try to adhere as closely as you can to this font size.
- The one exception to this rule is your name; feel free to write your name in a larger font to make it stick out more.
4Put your contact information at the top of the page. Your contact information, including your name and email address, should always be the first thing that anyone reading your resume notices. Place these prominently at the top of your resume and make sure they stand out from the rest of the document.
- For example, consider centering your name and contact information instead of having it extend from the left.
- Your name should also be in a slightly larger font than the rest of the resume.
5Make sure the resume is skimmable. The people reading your resume may have to read dozens, or even hundreds, more like it and inevitably will have to skim them. Thus, making your resume easily skimmable will make the reader appreciative and give you and your resume more attention as an applicant.
- Clearly mark the headings of the resume’s different sections in bold or italicized letters. You might consider increasing their font size, but this isn’t strictly necessary.
- However, avoid putting your section headings in all capitalized letters, as this will be off-putting.
Assembling and Presenting Your Resume
1Get a portfolio or folder to hold your resume and other papers. Before going into your interview, acquire a portfolio that will hold your resume, your references sheet, and business card, as well as any other papers you plan to bring to your interview (e.g., a writing sample). For best results, use a portfolio that vibes with the culture of the company you’re applying to.
- For example, if the company is more artistic and expressive in its content, consider using a portfolio with creative designs or that you can personalize with your own designs. If you want to appear organized and professional, use a simple black portfolio.
2Print your resume on quality paper. It can seem like a minor issue, but the person handling your resume during your interview will notice if it’s printed on paper that’s not the same as all the other resumes they’ve had to read. Purchase linen or cotton paper from a stationery store and use it to print your resume on.
- Use this paper to print out your references sheet and any other materials you plan to bring to the interview.
3Purchase business cards on paper that matches your resume. Business cards are a must-have in much of the professional world and should definitely be included with your resume. At the same stationery store, purchase business cards with your name, contact information, and professional affiliation to include with your resume.
- Make sure your business cards are printed on the same type of paper that you used to print out your resume. This will give your documents a consistency that will reflect positively on you during your interview.
4Place your resume, references, and card in your portfolio and bring it. Your resume should be on top of your references sheet, unless you can place them on opposite sides of the portfolio. Place 1 of your business cards in the card-holder slot in the portfolio. Bring your portfolio as assembled to use in your interview as a reference.
- If your portfolio doesn’t have a card-holder slot, simply bring your business card with you and give it to the people interviewing you if the opportunity arises.
5Refer to the career highlights on your resume. When asked any questions about your resume, take the opportunity to emphasize the highlights of your career. Talk in the most detail about those aspects of your experience that you feel add the most to your strength as an applicant.
- You should especially emphasize any experiences or skills that you feel are transferable to the job you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to work at a computer company, you might emphasize your prior work experience as an IT consultant or your education in computer science.
Categories: Job Interviews | Resume Preparation
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