Designing A Better Resume

When designing your resume, the most important thing to remember is that information must be presented clearly and highlight your strengths to secure you an interview.

There are four basic formats to choose from when designing your resume:

  1. Personal profile
    A personal profile is a brief “flier” or “teaser” designed to introduce your key relevant skills and to attract the attention of the reader. It usually consists of one page listing your credentials and establishing your credibility. This is commonly used in a tender situation or to accompany a project proposal.
  2. Generic resume
    A generic resume is the most common type of resume used. This resume provides a detailed listing of your skills, employment history and personal details. Your age and experience determine the contents, and the most important aspect of creating this document is to decide what information to include and what is superfluous. A generic resume is suitable for a wide variety of positions when used in conjunction with a covering letter. This is probably the most straightforward resume to write and use, as you can follow a chronological structure.
  3. Specific Application
    A specific application is a document containing data tailored specifically to a job advertisement or a position profile. This type of resume gives you the opportunity to present your case. A specific applications lets you state why you would be an excellent choice to fill the position. In order to do this, you must look at the skills required and work out how you fit the requirements.
  4. Functional Resume
    A functional resume is similar to a specific application in that it enables you to promote your skills and abilities, as well as listing your previous employers. A functional resume is particularly helpful for job seekers with a long or varied employment history or for those making a major career change.

Other design considerations
Once you have decided on your basic approach, there are other design features to take into consideration. The use of the following will help ensure strength and clarity:

  • Typeface: the Sans Serif family of fonts is currently a popular choice for its clean and modern appearance.
    • This is a Sans Serif font
    • This is a Serif font
  • Capitalisation / italics / underlining: Be consistent and sparing in your use of capital letters, underlining and italicisation for emphasis;
  • Margins and spacing: Leave plenty of space and wide margins.

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