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Is Your Resume Formatted Correctly for Today’s Hiring Market?

Resume Formatting is Critical in Today’s Hiring Market.

Do you know that your resume only has 10-15 seconds to make a good first impression?

Hiring managers get lots of resumes for their open job postings. And they want to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly. So, you better make sure that your resume formatting will allow it to be scanned in record time.

How do you make your resume scannable? Easy. Set it up in a way that highlights the key points the hiring manager is looking for.

And what is she looking for you might ask?

The hiring manager is generally looking at just 2 sections of your resume when she first scans through it. She wants to know how long you worked at ABC Company and in what XYZ position? And what is your educational background? Therefore, you need to make sure that this information is easy for her to find.

WORK EXPERIENCE. You can use employment history, relevant work experience, etc. Make sure that this section title appears in all capital letters. It should also be in bold text and left justified.

Why? Two reasons.

First, this is a headline in your resume. And you want to make sure it can be found quickly and easily. Capitalization and the bold text will draw her eye right to it.

Second, we read from left to right in the English language. And having your resume left justified causes less eye strain to the reader.

Now you might be thinking does it really make that big a difference? Making everything left justified?

Well if your resume is the first she’s seen on the day maybe not. But what if it’s the 50th. Do you really want to take chance? Meaning, her putting your resume in the look at it later pile because you’ve made it difficult to scan through?

Under work experience you should list your employment dates and the companies you’ve worked for. Followed by job titles and a few key accomplishments. Once again everything should be left justified.

Employment dates should be in regular text. The company name in bold text. And your job title underlined. Key accomplishments should be indented one tab to the right.

For example;

WORK EXPERIENCE
January 2015 – Present
ABC Company, City, Province
Title of the Position You Held

  • Key Accomplishment
  • 2nd accomplishment
  • 3rd accomplishment, etc.

EDUCATION. Again, this a section title. Make sure this headline appears in all capital letters and is in bold text. And make sure it’s left justified just like work experience is.

Under education you should list your school dates and the schools you went to.  Your completed degrees (diplomas or certificates) should follow. And then add a few key accomplishments, that are indented one tab to the right.

Something like the following;

EDUCATION
September 2000 – May 2004
ABC University, City, Province
XYZ Degree

  • Key Accomplishment
  • 2nd accomplishment
  • 3rd accomplishment, etc.

I’m sure by now you’re seeing a pattern forming. And can picture how this style of resume formatting will help you reach your goal.

By making your resume left justified you’ve made it scannable. And now the hiring manager can get a good overview of your skill sets within 10-15 seconds. Mission accomplished.

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