One of the major concerns that most people have is how to actually begin writing a resume and how to make it look professional, concise and attractive without leaving out something important. There are some easy and simple strategies to use when writing a resume to avoid many common mistakes and blunders. Some of the points may seem very simple, but it is surprising how often they are found on resumes everyday.
Less really is more
Too much text and not enough white space on the page will make even the best resume difficult to read. Since most human resource professionals simply skim the resume for relevant facts, a difficult to read resume will usually end up in the trash. When writing a resume stop and look at the page and ask yourself:
Does the page looked balanced?
Does the text look cramped?
Is there too much on the page?
Would I take the time to read this or does it look easy to read?
Black and white
Although it is tempting to add some color and pizzazz when writing a resume, research indicates that simple black text on a white background is still the most professional in appearance in most business type settings. To set your resume apart consider a heavier weight paper or a slightly off white or cream paper, but never a colored paper or patterned paper. Avoid any types of paper with graphics, borders or heavy watermarks. This is not always a hard and fast rule, but generally for professional positions, unless they are a graphics or art field, it is a safe tip.
Many people like to make their information to stand out and using a unique and decorative font when writing a resume is a common mistake. Fonts should be non-decorative such as Times New Roman, Verdana or Ariel and should be between 10 to 14 in font size. Smaller fonts tend to make the page cluttered and hard to read, whereas larger fonts look like there is little information available and that larger type is being used to fill up space. Stick to one font throughout the resume if at all possible to make it easy for the reader to clearly pick out areas and information of interest.
Keep in mind that avoiding the extras is also important. Judicious use of underlining, bolding or italics is acceptable, but it should be very minimal. Avoid using boxes or paragraph or page borders as this adds to clutter and draws the eye away from the text information. Writing a resume should focus on the information, not on the decoration.