Resume Bells - Hold The Whistles
you draw the line between effective and over-the-top
when it comes to designing your resume?
You've seen it all - page border, shading, boxes,
headliners, taglines, keywords lists, logos, arrow
bullets, and even color.
There's a growing pressure these days to give a resume
the WOW factor. But what does that mean exactly?
In short, it means doing something visually exciting to
make the resume seem spectacular. This does not always
mean graphic elements. It can be as simple as the way
the resume information is sectioned, bolded, and
Design aside, accomplishments - as in the actual
information - triumph when it comes to the WOW factor.
That is not to say you shouldn't add a few design
elements. In fact, it is essential to grab the reader's
attention and bring their eyes to your most important
So what is appropriate to add to a resume to give it the
WOW factor without going over board? It really depends
on what your career level and field are.
If you are an executive or are in a technical or
scientific field, your resume should have minimal eye
candy. If you are an executive, the resume should not
have a page border, as that is more staff level. These
types of resumes should not use too much shading because
it looks less professional.
If you are non-executive, you can use boxes around text
with drop down shadows, page borders and shading in the
same resume. Just go easy.
One of the most overlooked opportunities to add impact
to a resume is the top third of the resume. This is the
first section that is read, and is your introduction.
You can bold the entire first line of a paragraph,
create a chart and bold or shade the sub categories and
add a box around the entire summary of qualifications
Using graphics in any resume is not a good idea unless
you are using logos of credentials such IT
certifications. A photograph is okay if your field is
entertainment, news anchor or even real estate sales.
If you do use a photo, make sure it is a headshot and
either done by a professional photographer or someone
who has good photography skills.
To get better ideas, look at resume samples online or
resume books from the bookstore or library. When
considering a style, pay close attention to the career
level and field, and consider both why and how the
design elements are used. For example, are the
enhancements used just to make the resume attractive or
to highlight certain sections?
Whatever you decide, use your discretion. When in doubt,
less is more.