Resume Tips: 15 minute resumé makeovers- Basic aesthetics

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This article is the first in a series on 15 minute resumé makeovers that will help you ensure your resumé is organized, easy to read, well written and error proof.

Your resumé is often the first chance you have to make a good impression on an employer. Ensuring the overall look of your resumé reflects the great content you have to include in your resumé is the first step towards getting the job you want.

Employers typically spend about 10 to 15 seconds looking at your resumé for the first time. If your resumé doesn’t pass the “15 second test,” it’s unlikely that a potential employer will give it a second look.

To pass the “15 second test,” your resumé should be balanced, consistent and have attractive, easy-to-read headings.

Balance

Name and contact information

When creating the header of your resumé (the section that includes your name and contact information), space out the information across the page, rather than listing it vertically on the left side of the page.

Another easy way to create balance is to insert a line underneath your header and other section headings in your resumé. Inserting a line breaks up the page and draws the reader’s attention from the left to the right side of the page. Experiment with different types of line styles to find something professional, but reflective of your resumé.

Here is a very simple example of what that might look like:

headerwide

Dates

That same horizontal balance should be maintained throughout the rest of the document. On an attractive resumé, the left side of the page does not outweigh the right. An easy way to balance the left and right sides of your resumé is to right-align all the dates of your education, job and volunteer positions.

headlinewithdatesontheright

The dates will mirror the heavy headings on the left side and fill the large white spaces.

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