Three Formatting Tips To Make Your Resume Appealing Online
Via Forbes : People don’t read like they used to. Thanks to the technology at our fingertips, candidates shouldn’t expect their resumes to get printed out by recruiters, hiring managers or decision makers until the fourth or fifth read — if at all.
Furthermore, people have grown increasingly comfortable reading resumes and LinkedIn profiles on alternative devices like cell phones and tablets. According to a 2015 DMR article, 50 percent of LinkedIn’s unique users came from mobile devices. Any of these viewers could be recruiters or contacts who could lead you to your next career opportunity.
As an executive resume writer and career strategist, I stress to my clients the importance of writing career documents that appeal to screens both big and small, as well as explain the fundamental differences between online vs. print reading. If you’re planning on securing a new job, here’s what to keep in mind as you prepare your credentials for the screen:
1. Avoid Big Blocks of Text
Challenge: Readers who skim have little problem reading a quick paragraph that is five or more lines long when printed out in front of them. The opposite occurs, however, when online reading.
The eye tends to glaze over long blocks of text or skip them altogether (especially when the reader is pressed for time, as many recruiters are). For those developing their resume for an online audience, it’s important to keep in mind that text which appears short on a big screen will grow in size on a smaller screen.
Solution: Keep your achievements, paragraphs or bullets to one to two lines max on a large screen to facilitate skimming on screens of all sizes.
2. Bring Back The White Space
Challenge: Online reading is a lot tougher on the eye than print reading, and small screen reading is even rougher than on the big screen. The reason behind this goes back to the big blocks of text issue discussed above. When faced with something tough to read, you risk the chance that the hurried reader will skip it altogether — something a job seeker can’t afford.
Solution: Incorporate a half-inch of white space between each and every paragraph or bullet. This small bit of space allows the online reader to more easily digest the information quickly.
3. Write For The Wandering Eye
Challenge: When we read in print, our eyes tend to track from left to right super smoothly. When reading on a screen, the eye tends to start left, then jumps about depending on what catches the reader’s attention.
Solution: Skip the adjectives, qualifiers and lead-ins. Make sure each bullet or sentence starts out with the most powerful part of the achievement, so it’s the first thing the reader sees.
Here’s an example:
“Saved client $15M via vendor contract negotiations.”
“Led vendor contract negotiations that saved the client $15M.”
In this case, numbers speak louder than words. The fact that the candidate saved a client $15 million is more compelling than the idea that he was engaged in contract negotiations.
Remember, the biggest killer to an online read is death by wordiness. Too many words translate into text that’s too dense for skimming. I advise clients to think of their resume and LinkedIn profiles as their brochure and not their blueprint.
The goal is to catch the reader’s eye by making a persuasive case as to how you are a great fit for a role. To accomplish this, focus on high-level achievements and quantifiable moments — not a laundry list of responsibilities.
Your time to delve into the nitty-gritty details is during your first phone interview.
New Times – New Techniques
Advancements in technology continue to influence and, in some cases, transform trends, styles, and the way we go about our business. It is clear that reading is no exception.
Maintain a competitive advantage during your job search by running your resume and LinkedIn profile on both a large screen and a smaller mobile device.
If the critical points do not come through loud in clear in, say in 10 seconds — go back to the drawing board with these formatting tips and revamp your resume to one that will win you the job you want.
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