Public Sector and Government

Career development – Is your resume formatted correctly?

Donna Bliss - February 06, 2020

Did you know, the average time a recruiter spends reviewing your resume is 6-10 seconds? In this short period of time you must make sure your unique value proposition jumps out to your recruiter. As your first point of contact, is your resume helping you stand out from competitions? Here is a simple guide on how to best structure the format of your resume.

Firstly consider, is my resume the right length?

Your resume should be kept to two to three pages in length. Four or five pages would be acceptable for a longer career history, if applicable to your application.

Do you have your most important points up the top?

The top third of your resume is the most valuable real estate, so make sure you have included your key selling points on the first page.

Ensure that your most recent role experience is also on your first page. We recommend including experience before skills and education as the recruiter is most interested in your last role.

Have you used your space sensibly?

Make sure you use more space for your recent role and less space for older, less relevant roles. Lay out your resume so that the text from one job doesn’t run over onto the next page.

Does your resume have a consistent formatting?

Once you chose your format – be consistent. If you write the day, month and year for one date, then use that same format throughout the rest of the resume.

Is your resume easy to read with plenty of white space between text?

Try not to make it too wordy. Don’t have dense blocks of text. Make it easy to read and make it visually appealing so that the reader actually wants to read it.

Have you used professional fonts?

Don’t use overly fancy fonts or artwork.

Remove tables, text boxes, images and charts from your resume. Whilst they look impressive on a wide screen – these are hard to read on a tablet or mobile device, and also confuse Applicant Tracking Systems.

Test your resume to see if it can be read easily on a mobile device.

Have you used a photo?

Photographs can elicit unconscious bias towards the applicant. According to one statistic, there is an 88% of rejection rate for those that have a photo on their resume!

Have you done a grammar and spell check?

Statistics shown one grammar or spelling mistake can cost the job.

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