HOW TO DESIGN A
By Ann Baehr, Best
Resumes of New York
Hiring managers always prefer a
business-style resume. However, if you are in search of
a resume design that catches the reader's eye and makes
optimal use of keywords, accomplishments and
credentials, the flyer-style resume might do the trick.
Career experts will tell you that a hiring manager
quickly scans a resume from six to fifteen seconds
before making an initial decision. It is for this reason
alone that you must leverage the use of design elements
in a resume to create a visual interest.
Formatting the sections of a resume can
make a significant difference between a mediocre resume
and a resume that has the WOW factor. The information
contained within the resume is the same for both, but
the presentation is a night and day contrast.
The list of formatting techniques is
endless. The most common include capitalizing headings,
bolding text, indenting sections, italicizing
paragraphs, using two bullet styles, placing
accomplishments in a text box, adding excerpts from
testimonials, and placing awards in between lines above
and below the information. Some more edgy techniques
include the use of pie charts to show sales
When armed with all of these options, the
question becomes how to actually implement them. One of
the most creative resume formats is the flyer-style
resume. It sounds very fancy, but it is basically the
use of two table columns that is easy to create using a
First create your name and address as you
normally would. Then place a title objective statement
in the center that is bold, but not all caps like your
name so it does not compete.
For example, let's say you are a computer
programmer. Instead of a wordy objective statement,
simply write Computer Programmer. Then follow the
heading with a two-line overview that explains how many
years of experience you have, your key credentials, and
a brief about the types of projects you've worked on.
Okay, the top part of the resume is done.
Now comes the interesting part where you will create the
Drop down a line or two and create a
two-column table. Select the left column, or cell, and
fill in the color with a very light shade of gray. Keep
the right column unfilled color-wise.
In the left column, treat the section the
same way you would on a business-style resume by typing
Professional Experience in bold and in all caps. In this
section, you should include all of your jobs the same
way you normally would. The difference is that this
section is only for your jobs and nothing else.
The right (gray) column is where you
would list everything else such as your education,
computer skills and achievements. This is an effective
way to list your computer programs, project highlights,
and specialized credentials.
The flyer-style resume requires a bit
more word processing skills that other formats, but the
payoff is tenfold. There are probably very few who use
this format, which almost guarantees your resume will
grab the reader's attention.
It is important to note that the
flyer-style resume works best for a one-page resume. If
you have a two-page resume, you can implement many of
the more common formatting techniques mentioned above to
create your own style.
To find ideas on various resume layouts
and design elements, research resume samples in books
and online. Whatever style you choose, be sure not to
overdo it. Even with a unique resume design, less is
more. Keep in mind that most resumes are plain. So, the
minimal use of design elements will still help your
resume to stand out in the resume pile.
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