“How to write a résumé” is a Google search you’ve probably done before. I’ve done my fair share of research on this, but the following are some traits and tips that I only learned from everyday conversations with my boss, the co-founder of an online hiring platform, and university friend.
Trait 1: Texts are Justified
This is a really simple tip that many people miss. This tip was given to me after the co-founder of the hiring platform looked at my résumé. He said that justifying your text can make your résumé instantly look more professional. It’s a small change, but it does show attention to detail.
Trait 2: Résumés and CVs are sent in PDF
This is another thing people often forget to do or don’t do at all. My boss once said to me, “Sending a résumé in a doc and not PDF format is like a designer handing in unfinished work. You just wouldn’t do it and you shouldn’t.”
Trait 3: Correct Formatting
There are so many different résumé formats out there that it’s hard to know which one to follow. A good guideline to follow is:
- Contact Details
- Summary/About Me
- Work Experience
- Professional & Personal Skills
And don’t forget to order everything from most recent to oldest (e.g. most recent job to your oldest job; university to high school).
Pro-Tip: Use Canva for Template Inspiration
This one is a personal tip. Having a creative résumé can set you apart from other candidates. Whether you’re applying to a small firm or big firm, adding a pop of colour or just having a different design to the usual Microsoft template definitely leaves a lasting impression.
I don’t recommend doing your résumé up in Canva, though. Like InDesign, the text boxes in Canva don’t line up to the next page, which means if you type something up and it ends up being too long, it won’t automatically flow to the next page. You’ll have to delete and make a new text box on the next page to continue.
Another reason not to design in Canva is Canva doesn’t have gridlines. You’ll have to place all your elements by guesstimation. What I do is take a basic résumé template from Canva and try to replicate it in Pages.
Following these traits and tips won’t guarantee you’ll get the job, but it’s a good start when improving your résumé. Remember, don’t stress. Everyone’s on their own career journey, and most people don’t get it right the first time. Whatever position you’re looking for is looking for someone like you to fill it.
Good luck job hunting!