Even the best resume will be overlooked if it is unappealing or hard to scan. When you make a resume, consider its appearance as well as its content.
Why the Appearance of a Resume is Important This Year
What Should a Resume Look Like
The content of your resume is, of course, the most important part of a job application, but you should also consider how your single-page resume looks. While it should not always be the case, hiring managers will pay attention to your resume design and layout. This article will discuss:
- The three main resume formats
- The main features of a resume
- How to use professional resume templates to improve your resume appearance
The Main Resume Formats
First, consider your resume format. There are three main resume formats to choose from. While they primarily impact the order and size of certain resume sections, this can have a huge effect on the appearance of your resume. The three main resume formats are:
The chronological resume or reverse-chronological resume format is the most traditional. With a focus on work history, this resume format is best for those who have a lot of professional experience.
The functional resume format is one that puts emphasis on a job seeker’s skills. This is ideal for those who have robust skill sets but lots of employment gaps or limited work experience.
A combination resume format is the most balanced resume format. With equal emphasis on skills and work experience, this format is great for those who have limited work experience but a robust skill set.
The Key Components of a Resume
The look of your resume, and the first impression it creates, will be determined in part by the sections you include. Whatever extras you include, however, all resumes should include the following components:
A good resume header should contain the job seeker’s full name, phone number, physical address (city and state), email address and professional social media details (e.g., a LinkedIn profile).
Resume summary or objective
Each resume should include either a resume summary or a resume objective statement. A resume summary should be a statement of the achievements, skills, and qualifications that make a job seeker best for a role. This is best for the highly experienced. A resume objective statement should be a statement of intentions and goals. An objective is best for those who lack professional experience.
The work history section should outline your previous jobs and major accomplishments. Include up to ten years of experience and list the following details: job title, company name, and employment dates. For each job, feature bullet points detailing your best achievements and your duties in each role. This should be presented in reverse-chronological order with your most recent job first.
The skills section is where you should list your relevant skills. You can include 8 to 12 bullet points detailing skills that suit the job description. This section is important for your resume’s ability to rank well in applicant tracking systems (ATS) that employers use to scan resumes. If you include all the important soft and hard skills listed in the job description, then you will come pretty close to writing the perfect resume.
The education section should include your most relevant and advanced academic qualifications. For example, if you have a college degree, then you don’t need to list your high school diploma.
How Resume Templates can Give Your Resume an Eye-Catching Look
Resume templates make it far easier to create an effective and persuasive resume for any job application. Beyond a striking appearance, however, a resume template has the benefit of ensuring that your resume is in line with all US resume formatting guidelines. The basics of resume formatting include:
.5 to 1-inch margins
A professional sans serif font (e.g., Arial or Times New Roman)
Font sizing of 10 to 12 points
Font formatting tools like italics or bold in place of gaudier design elements
The right resume template will make it much easier for you to impress potential employers and land a new job. If you want to really step up your game, however, then try reading relevant resume examples for inspiration.
FAQ: What a Resume Should Look Like
It is a great idea to match your cover letter and resume templates. This is one of the best resume tips for job seekers because it creates a professional-looking job application quickly and easily. The ResumeNerd cover letter builder offers a wide range of attractive cover letter templates to choose from.
Your resume layout and design should be much the same whether you are applying for an entry-level role or a senior one. It is the content of your resume, and in some cases the length, that will change. For example, if you are applying for a very senior role such as CFO, then you might need a two-page resume to detail all your experiences.
Yes, using a resume builder can create a great, editable resume in just a few minutes. The ResumeNerd resume builder is a great tool that has a range of high-quality templates to choose from, and provides expert job-specific suggestions to create your resume.