Join Steve Harris for an in-depth discussion in this video Effective content strategies, part of Designing a Resume.
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While the design and appearance of your resume is certainly important, it still comes second to the quality of the information presented. Determine ahead of time what you're going to include on the resume, and don't try to stuff every piece of information you can into the document. If you give an employer too much information ahead of time, they'll have no reason to bring you in for an interview and learn more. Keep it simple. Here's a few tips on what we should include. First make sure your contact information is easy to find. On this example from Nicollette's resume, she's included every bit of contact information you could think of.
Email, address, all of her phone numbers and all of her social media handles. The information presented in this example is really difficult to see how to get a hold of her. And even her address may be unnecessary, because at this point employer isn't going to be mailing anything to her. Next, always be sure not to include highly personal information, like your social security number. You'll provide that when you're actually employed with the company. However, if you're filling out an application form and they ask for it, this isn't something you should supply.
Next, never lie on your resume. You always want the information to be truthful or an employer may question you on it, and you'll be caught. Another example of an issue you see is using high resolution graphics that when you open a PDF, it creates a really heavy or low resolution file. In this example of Nicolette's resume, she's used this dark rock background. But when she opened a PDF, it was quite low resolution and it just looks bad. If you have high resolution graphics that you want to show as part of a portfolio, I recommend you provide a link, or supply a separate document.
You want to be mindful of the PDF size as well. If you submit a PDF that's 10 megabytes, it might not make it through to your recipient's email address. There's often limits on these. Lastly, I recommend that you show some personality, and you be yourself. This example is from an infographic designer's resume. And they've create their entire resume using infographics. The reason that people say to be yourself, is because an employer wants to know who the real you is, and if you'll fit.
And if you lie or make things up on your resume, then you end up getting the job, you're probably not going to be a good fit for the company. New job seekers often make the mistake of over-complicating their resume designs and it hurts them in the end. Employers could be reviewing thousands of resumes, so it's your job to present the most impactful, information first and make it easy for them to see your outstanding skills and expertise.
Note: Steve uses Adobe InDesign to create these resumes, but we've included a bonus chapter that shows you how to recreate the same designs in Microsoft Word or the software of your choice.
- Understanding general resume layout and design principles
- Setting up InDesign for resume designs
- Building the layouts
- Styling the text
- Introducing color
- Outputting your resume to PDF