According to resume guru Barbara Safani, a poorly formatted resume can be a “deal breaker.” When you are asked to submit your resume to potential employers, be sure you avoid the following five pitfalls:
- Stay Away From Bulk–everyone agrees that large chunks of text are boring and a turnoff. Pick your words carefully so that your descriptions are clear, precise, and concise. Safani recommends no more than six lines to describe your responsibilities for a given position. Use graphic highlighting to illustrate your accomplishments, and make use of bullets.
- Tiny Type Is Not Good For The Eyes Or You–trust me, if an HR manager feels the need to pull out a magnifying glass in order to read your resume, your resume won’t get read! The recommended font size ranges from 10 to 12 points. This range has long been the accepted norm for reading material. If you go below this font size, you go at your own risk.
- Save the Fancy Fonts for Friends and Frivolity–the accepted business font types are Times New Roman and Arial or ones that closely resemble these two. The fancy script, or calligraphy fonts, or ones that look as though they should be on a theater program are difficult to read and considered inappropriate for business settings. One other word of caution is not to indulge yourself by bringing on the “bold and italics.” If you must use boldface, use it strategically and sparingly.
- Use White Space to Frame Your Message–if your resume is spread from edge to edge on the paper, the first impression is, “this is too much information, and it’s going to take too much time to read.” So guess where the final resting spot is for these resumes?—that’s right, File 13! Use white space to frame your information attractively and to make it easy for HR managers to quickly spot your key selling points.
- Too Long, So Long–a potential employer isn’t going to “wade through” pages of information to find out about your important experience and skills. If you have lots of experience from a number of positions, Safani recommends that you abbreviate older experience and perhaps put it in a category labeled “additional experience.”
Use these tips to help you fine tune your resume and to compete successfully for that coveted job!
For more information on the BOSS program and how it can help you prepare for a successful career, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 972-238-6215.
If you want to succeed within your current company or with a future employer, you need to have a skill set that reflects both flexibility and know-how. The admin staffing company, Office Team, conducted a study entitled Office of the Future: 2020 that needs to be read by anyone planning to remain in or seeking to become an office professional. One finding of this study revealed that office professionals need to take a dynamic and continuous role in preparing for their own success in today’s, as well as in, future work environments by adopting the following ACTION plan:
Analysis – analyzing information and exercising good judgment
Collaboration – establishing rapport with team members and facilitating team building
Technical aptitude – selecting the best technical tools and using these tools effectively
Intuition – identifying and adapting to the needs and work styles of others
Ongoing education – engaging in continual learning
Negotiation – participating in business discussions that produce positive results
Developing critical thinking and analytical skills, managing time and work tasks effectively, operating in a virtual world, using mobile devices to complete business tasks, and developing specialty “niche” skills are just some of the expectations that have appeared on the horizon, and these employer requirements will continue to play a larger role in the lives of office professionals.
It’s an exciting and yet challenging time, and job titles and roles will definitely change over the next few years. You can download a free copy of this study and others by clicking this Office Team link.
For more information on the BOSS program and how it can help you prepare for success, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, email@example.com 972-238-6215.