It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Resume: Step One

Spring is here…the season of new blooms, bright colors, and fresh starts; so are you feeling the itch when it comes to your job?  Do you want to put a coat of fresh paint on your career and land a new job by summer?  Well, this is the perfect time of year to start planting those seeds of change, but where do you begin?  That’s where the team at Professional Staffing Group, LLC, (PSG) comes in.

As temperatures rise, just look around your neighborhood.  People are busy sweeping the remnants of winter from their porches, planting colorful flowers or putting fresh coats of paint on their front doors.  Soon, the humming of lawn mowers in the late afternoon is the norm.  Aside from enjoying the warmer weather, have you ever wondered why people work so hard this time of year?  Well, it’s pretty simple.  People take pride in their homes, especially in their front yards.  But why?  Again, the answer is pretty simple.  When a person walks or drives by a home, what’s the first thing they see?  They see the flowers, the fresh paint, the freshly-cut grass, and a good impression is made without the passersby ever stepping foot in the house.

Now, think of your resume as your front yard.  It’s the first thing a potential employer will see; therefore, it’s the first impression he or she will have of you.  You get the picture.  If you want to begin a new career, the first thing you must do is dust off, clean and polish your resume to give potential employers the best first impression of you and your talents.  Here at PSG, we want to provide you with some easy steps to help you in this process.  In today’s post, we’ll cover Step One.

STEP ONE:  FRESHEN UP THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR RESUME

So, your resume has been sitting on a desk or old computer in your house somewhere.  You haven’t touched it because, quite frankly, you don’t want or haven’t needed to revise it.  But, even if you aren’t looking for a job, it’s good to have that resume ready to go, so you can be prepared for anything.  A complete overhaul is NOT necessary; for you can make simple aesthetic changes that will make your resume look newer, sharper, modern and more focused.  If you’ve been at the same job for years, your resume is most likely visually outdated.

So, grab your duster and start your Resume Spring Cleaning by simply changing the typography, i.e. the fonts you use.  This is super easy to do, but you have to be cautious.  Choosing the wrong font(s) can send the wrong message to the hiring manager and can land your resume at the bottom of the trash can, despite your skills and experience.  To avoid that, let’s begin with a mini-design tutorial.

TYPOGRAPHY BASICS:  HOW TO USE FONTS TO MAKE YOUR RESUME IMPOSSIBLE TO PASS OVER

A font is a specific type of lettering and numbering design used in typing a document.  Fonts come in distinct families and differ in terms of look, size, weight, spacing and, most importantly, readability.

You may have heard of a serif font or a sans-serif font, but what exactly does that mean?  Serifs refer to the little lines at the end of each stroke in a letter; so, if a font has these little lines, they are called serif fonts.  These fonts are slightly easier to read.  Sans-serif fonts do not have the lines at the end of each stroke; and because of that, many designers consider them fresh, modern and good for resumes.  So, which kind of font do you use?  How do you choose between a font that is safe and boring and a font that is contemporary, exciting and could make your resume stand out?  Well, with this information, you can have the best of both worlds, and you can do it on your own!

There’s no rule that says you have to stick to one font, so try experimenting with two (don’t go overboard) of your favorites.  The best font pairs agree with each other, complement each other and don’t fight the reader for attention. Try using a serif font with a sans-serif font.  One of our favorite pairings is Helvetica with Garamond.  One font should be used for the main content, and the other for larger elements, such as name and section titles.  If you question whether two fonts pair well, just choose a serif or sans-serif font you like and use a search engine like Google to find out what fonts pair well with it.  It’s THAT simple and can be a lot of fun!

Keep in mind though that many if not most hiring managers will be viewing your resume on a computer screen.  You may be tempted to use a different, more unique font, but, beware, readability is CRUCIAL to avoid having your resume passed over.  We highly encourage you to use fonts to stamp your personality on your resume, but be careful what you choose.

FONTS WE RECOMMEND

  1. Avenir Next – Sans-Serif – Characterized by its minimal and modular look, this font gives a sleek and scientific look to the document.
  2. Calibri – Sans-Serif – This font has replaced Times New Roman as the default font in Microsoft programs and is a safe, clean and modern choice.
  3. Cambria – Serif – This font is another Microsoft Word staple. Cambria was designed specifically to work well both on screen and in printed form.  You can use this font for both resumes and cover letters.
  4. Garamond – Serif – If you’re looking for an older-style look for your resume, try using Garamond. This font is an excellent choice for job seekers who have years’-worth of experience or who want a more academic look.
  5. Didot – Serif – This font is ideal for those looking for a more distinctive, upscale look. Didot looks very classy on paper and on the screen.
  6. Georgia – Serif – If you want a traditional-looking alternative to the outdated and overused Times New Roman, consider switching to Georgia. This font was specifically designed to be read on screens and is available on any computer.
  7. Helvetica – Sans-Serif – One of our favorites, this clean, modern font appears in numerous corporate brand logos (Panasonic and Jeep to name a few). In a Bloomberg Business article, typography expert Brian Hoff described it as “professional, lighthearted and honest,” noting that it reads as “business-y.”

OTHER IMPORTANT RULES

The size of the body text of your resume should be NO BIGGER THAN 12 and NO SMALLER THAN 10.5.  Make headlines stand out by increasing the type size UP TO 16, subject to the size of your main text.  Be very careful not to use too much formatting (i.e. underlining, all caps, italicizing) and try to keep the resume to ONE PAGE.  Also, try to avoid colored typography and use dark grey or black.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Not as hard as you thought, huh?  Here’s the bottom line for choosing good resume fonts:

  • Make sure your resume is legible and easy on the eyes of whoever is reading it.
  • Use a universal AND readable font that will open on every computer.
  • Differentiate headings and section titles from the main resume content by tastefully increasing the text size, using bold, and pairing fonts together.
  • Keep the resume to one page if AT ALL possible.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

Professional Staffing Group, LLC, in Mississippi is here to help you find a better career and, ultimately, a better life.  We are here to inform, empower and guide you, so you can land the job of your dreams.  So, if you have any questions, just give us a call at 601-981-1658 or click the button below to contact us TODAY.  We will be more than happy to help in any way.

Be sure to follow us on social media or go to our website, https://www.prostaffgroup.com, so you can be the FIRST to read all about the second step to getting your resume ready for your spring job hunt. You don’t want to miss it!

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