Let me guess, every résumé you’ve ever made was on Word. Duh, you’re probably thinking to yourself. What else would I be making it on? Aren’t all résumés made like that?
The answer is no. And this week, I’m going to tell you why you should ditch a word processor for a design program.
Why on earth would you do that? The answer is best put by Blue Sky Résumés; you wouldn’t show up unkempt or messy to an interview, so why should your résumé? The design of your résumé is the equivalent to the clothes you wear to an interview.
Sounds like a pretty impossible task for many of you, but using programs like Adobe InDesign isn’t too hard (it’s all drag and drop text boxes, guys! Just like Paint!). While word processor programs present the easy alignment options and columns, there are certain features you can only get when you step outside of the Microsoft Word realm.
Am I saying you need to have a page full of rainbows and decorations? Absolutely not. You don’t want it to be overwhelming and more confusing to look at; a well-designed résumé should be simple to follow and attractive to look at.
Brazen’s “4 Tips for Designing a Résumé That Will Get You Hired” gives really easy to follow tips: use readable fonts, create separation through white space, use your header space wisely, and write in bullet points.
Of course, you could do that on a Word document as well. Why on earth would you bother learning your way around a design program for one little piece of paper?
As The Undercover Recruiter blog says, “It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.” You could write a beautiful résumé about the great accomplishments and work you did, but who’s going to read it if it’s ugly? No one.
We’re in a day and age where we’re surrounded by design; beautiful websites, posters, infographics and Instagram all created to draw us in. You’ve seen the ones that push you away from reading or looking more. When it’s something that employers only glance at for a few minutes at most, you need the combination of great copy and design to hook that employer to remember your name. It also shows you’re willing to go the extra mile, which is a great impression to make on employers.
It also helps if your name is presented in a fun way. My résumé has my name in a bubble. It gets compliments.
Designing your résumé can give it that extra impact it needs to easily stand out from a crowd. Plus, using design gives you a lot more options and ways to include more information and details. Always running out of room when you have to hit enter every time you want to add something? Design lets you use a page’s space in a more effective way.
Some people may disagree with doing more work for something that’s just fine as it is. Why bother when your awesome word processor résumé is still working for you? Why fix what isn’t broken?
In the competition for a job, that’s the wrong attitude to take. You want to be ahead of the game with each impression you make on your employer, and sometimes your résumé is the only shot you get. So don’t waste it, and make it something worth looking at, to make sure they know you’re someone worth hiring.