Resume Presentation Tips
Christine F. Della Monaca | Monster Staff Writer
August 24, 2009
Writing a resume is like exercising: You may not look forward to it, but you feel better once it’s done. And like the results of a good workout, a well-presented resume can help you keep your career in shape.
But when writing a resume, what works and what doesn’t? We thought we’d turn to Monster members like you for advice. Here are some tips from both job seekers who write resumes and hiring professionals who read them for a living. Keep in mind that like resumes, opinions can vary — what works for one person may not work for you.
Title and Objective
A strong, descriptive title will help you stand out in a sea of resumes. “Titling your resume ‘Joe’s do-it-all resume’ or ‘1975 hottie looking for a job resume’ gets your resume passed over by a busy recruiter,” says one Monster member who should know – he’s a recruiter himself. “Make the title useful. For instance, ‘Nursing Director, Pediatrics Labor and Delivery’ or ‘IT Telecom Project Manager, Microsoft and Cisco Certified’ or ‘Enterprise Software Sales Manager, Life Sciences’ – enough with the stupid titles we dismiss and make fun of. This is your career we’re talking about.”
And an objective must get an employer’s attention quickly or it won’t get any attention at all, says a district manager for a wireless company. “I receive hundreds of resumes on a monthly basis,” he says. “Two-thirds of the resumes are rejected due to the applicant having no clear objective in seeking employment with my company. Your resume must grab my attention within the first few words of the objective. It must be clearly written and relevant to the position you are applying for. Take a little extra time and customize the objective to the position you are seeking…. If you cannot sell yourself with your resume, you might not have the opportunity to sell yourself at an interview.”
Look and Feel
As for typeface, you had definite opinions. “Don’t use Times New Roman font,” advises one seeker. “Your resume will look like everyone else’s. Georgia and Tahoma are both different, professional and pleasant to look at.”
But another job seeker’s font advice is more practical: “Use Times New Roman or Arial Narrow instead of other wider fonts to keep your resume to only one (or two) pages and save paper.”
Monster Resume Expert Kim Isaacs recommends you use a standard Microsoft Word-installed font so the layout will be consistent when an employer opens your resume. No matter what font you use, she suggests you stick with one per resume. “Also, the type should be large enough to be read on screen without causing eye fatigue,” she says.