3. Wording - the vocabulary you use to describe your experiences and attributes
- Target your resume by using keywords from the job posting.
- Use action verbs (e.g. designed, lead, coordinated) to start each point, rather than passive statements (e.g. duties included, responsible for).
Highlight your accomplishments and achievements and quantify your experience, when possible (e.g. Increased enrollment by 25% in three months).
4. Presentation - the visual appearance and overall look of your resume
Although there are no strict rules around how your resume should be presented, you should consider who will be reading your resume and make your design decisions accordingly. Ensure your resume remains easy to read so important information can be found quickly.
If you can, find out if the organization you are applying to uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). If your resume will initially be read by a computer, this will affect how you lay out your resume. In these instances, defer to very simple design avoiding the use of images, lines, text boxes, and so on.
General presentation tips:
- Use type fonts and formatting (e.g. bolding, capitalization, size) to create a consistent hierarchy, but keep it simple using no more than 2-3 fonts and design elements.
- Ensure consistency spacing and text alignments so the reader’s eye is not confused. Optimal line lengths are 50 to 70 characters across.
- Use bulleted points rather than paragraph format.
- Adjust margins to ensure that there is enough white space around the text. Overcrowded pages are difficult and time consuming to read.
- Limit your resume to a maximum of 2 pages., unless industry standards or specific employers request otherwise.
- Proofread yourself many times. Check for errors in names, dates, and contact information, in addition to spelling, grammatical and formatting errors. Then, have at least one other person proofread it for you.