How do you structure your resume if you don’t have much work experience? Career Strategist, Stacey Gordon, will help you figure out how to fill white space on a resume, where to place your education, how big is too big when it comes to font size, how to showcase your internships and volunteer experience and remind you to refrain from adding irrelevant information just to fill space.
- Is your resume full of white space? Does it screen inexperience? Let's take a look at some examples and ideas for structuring your resume to make your experience, or lack there of, look appealing to the reader. Whether you are a newly minted college graduate or you've been out of the work force for a few years you've probably grown tired of being rejected due to a lack of experience. So here are a few ways to stretch that resume and fill in the white space. Margins are important.
You don't want your resume to have too wide of a margin. So keep the margin size to nothing larger than the standard one inch. When you're resume is printed any lying among the other resumes whose owners adjusted their margins to half an inch your resume can look even more inadequate. Try utilizing a different font size. Start with a 12 point Times New Roman font. Then if you want to switch to a different set of font remember that each font may appear larger or smaller based on the type of font, not just the font size.
As an example: the Arial round typeface will appear larger than Times New Roman even if they are the same font size. Again, if you go with an overly large font it will look amateurish when sitting among the other resumes that the reader has printed. It will stand out but not for a good reason. You can use a larger font size for the section headers but don't go more than two font sizes larger than the overall text in your resume. Meaning, if the main text of your resume is 11 points do not go larger than 13 points for the section headers.
The only exception to this is with your name. At the top of your resume you can make your name larger which will also help to take up white space on the page. Adding a space between the name of the company and the job title or the job responsibilities is another aesthetically pleasing way to fill up space on your resume without making it obvious just what you're trying to do. Putting your education at the top of the resume will alert the reader that you probably don't have much experience to back up your degree. So if you have internships, volunteer work and actual work experience that you can include there's nothing wrong with including that information before your education.
But keeping with tradition works, too. If your education is your biggest asset go ahead and place it right up front. An objective will make it clear that you meet the requirements of the job. Especially if your degree is not relevant to the job you are applying to. If your degree's in accounting and you're applying for an engineering position you're going to have to explaining to do. And that explanation will start with your objective and then carry over into your experience. But for purpose of filling space on your resume an objective helps to do that, too.
A caveat to this is that everything you include should still be relevant and stay within resume writing guidelines. While you may feel you need to fill space on your resume this is not an excuse to begin adding hobbies, your photo, or personal information like your height, marital status, or gender. If you have been simply widening your margins try some of these other tactics to help you further build out your resume.
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Writing an objective statement
- Adding a summary of skills
- Showcasing your professional work
- Presenting your education
- Customizing your contact information
- Tailoring your resume to fit a job
- Upgrading your resume
- Choosing a resume layout
- Writing resumes for marketing, entertainment, and design jobs
- Handling career gaps and job changes
- Standing out and following up with employers
- Using a resume effectively
- Determining fit at a prospective job
- Finding contacts at companies you want to work for