Career Advice, Interviews

Three Useful Tips To Format Your Resume

As we have blogged in the past, due to our current economic backdrop, the flow of talent interested in available opportunities is overwhelming to companies. You must do all you can to insure your information is reviewed by the right people in a timely manner. And one of the first and most important steps is to insure you have formatted your resume / CV / profile in such a way the information is easy to store and find.

Many of us are on the front lines of recruiting and reviewing talent for our company or clients and dealing with the numbers are not easy. Most work with applicant tracking systems, a the technology platform, to help manage the flow and these help, however when the data from the candidate is formatted in ways that are not easy to deal with they can be overlooked. Yes, these systems do a fine job of uploading data. It’s how the recruiter or hiring authority uses the information that matters. Here are a few tips to consider when formatting your resume:

  • Ease of contact: Our contact information needs to be seen and easy to retrieve. Use a word doc or PDF and have all your contact information together so one can easily cut and paste the information into an email. A hiring authority or administrator needs to schedule an interview and they need the contact information with the resume attached. I like to send the contact information in the email so one can quickly see the data and make the call or send the email. It is frustrating when the name, address, phone and email are in separate boxes or have been formatted in a way the makes the simple cut and paste difficult. Check yours and see how easy it is. A simple point but when sorting through the deluge it matters.
  • Clean Format: And speaking of copy and paste…Corporate and third party recruiters, at times need to copy and paste your information into a doc with corporate letter head or into a standard format for hiring manager review. When the resume is formatted into boxes, for instance they look great but once copied the good looks fall apart. Personal suggestion, use a straight word doc format or PDF file that it easy to use. I know, many of you and for good reason don’t want people manipulating your resume…understand completely, just know that making it difficult may slow the process that may have led to a timely call…have seen it happen more than once.
  • Easy to read: There are more resumes styles than we know how to deal with and because people are reading people’s work it makes sense that multiple styles satisfy the market. The simple point, please remember to make your content  easy to read. And you don’t have to check with an expert. Next time you’re at the coffee shop ask the person sitting you don’t know next to you for help. Let them read and react to your resume / CV / profile and be willing to listen.

And hey, your new ‘friend’ may very well be the channel to a new opportunity. As a matter of fact, it may be worth asking everyone there for the help and input….guarantee it won’t hurt.