When is the last time you critiqued your resume? Yesterday? Never? Regardless of when your last resume critique happened, here are the top 3 edits I make on resumes each week. So go find that resume and make sure it's ready to go for whenever you next need it!
1) Change Up The Colors.
If you are someone that adds a splash of color to your resume make sure they are colors that look good if your resume is printed in black and white. The lime green will show up in a weird muted gray - skip it! Instead, opt for grays and blues to make sure your resume looks neat and professional both on screen and in print. If you aren't a fan of blue, then opt for a deep maroon, dark green, or a rich purple.
2) Check The Alignment.
I realize this sounds like a part of a tire rotation service, but hang in there with me. All items in the same category (headers and bullets) should be in alignment with other text in the same category. When recruiters sort through hundreds of resumes it is really easy for their eye to catch a resume that has text out of alignment. The last thing you want is for a recruiter to notice that your bullet points are just slightly off in one experience section compared to the rest of your experience sections. The recruiter becomes focused on your lack of attention to detail rather than the skills and knowledge you have listed.
How can you easily check the alignment on your resume? Add grid lines! In Microsoft Word you will find gridlines under the "View" tab. This button will place graph paper over all of your text and you can quickly identify which areas of your text are not in alignment with the others.
3) Check The Small Details.
Punctuation. If you use a period at the end of one bullet point then continue to use periods at the end of all other bullet points. Make sure all of your punctuation is consistent.
Abbreviations. The area I see the most issues is with dates. If you abbreviate a month on one area of your resume then it is best to continue those abbreviations throughout the entirety of your resume.
Font Size. There is some differing thought on the font sizes that should be used on a resume. My personal rule of thumb is to keep it simple. On resumes I critique I keep your name larger by 3 sizes, your headings by 2 sizes, and everything else the same size. So for example, your name might be a size 18, your headings (education, experience, etc.) at a size 16, and all other text at a size 12. Keeping your fonts simple ensures the readers attention is focusing on content and not on whether or not the formatting is correct.
Spacing. All spaces between sections should be the same size. Some resumes have double spaces between sections and some have single. It doesn't matter how many spaces you have or what the size is of the space, but you want to make sure it's consistent from the top of your resume to the bottom.
If you need additional assistance with your resume, reach out to Talent Career Coaching! We provide resume critiques for both job seekers and those wanting to keep an up to date resume on file.