By J.M. Auron

Nov 1, 2018 11:59 AM PT

In my profession as an IT resume author, I’ve seen quite a lot of IT resumes cross my desk, and I might prefer to share some frequent of the most typical formatting issues that I see frequently. After all, an IT resume requires greater than nice formatting. It requires well-written, focused content material, and a transparent story of profession development. It wants to speak your distinctive model and worth proposition.

Nonetheless, if the formatting is off, that may derail the remainder of the doc and stop your story being learn by the hiring authority.

I will begin with just a few IT resume formatting “don’ts.”

1. Do not Use Headers

That is a simple repair. Headers and footers made quite a lot of sense when an IT resume was more likely to be learn as a printed sheet of paper.

In 2018, how possible is it {that a} busy hiring authority goes to take the time or the hassle to print out the a whole lot of resumes which can be submitted for each place?

Not terribly.

Your IT resume goes to be learn on-line.

That is why utilizing a header in your contact info is a nasty concept.

It takes just a few seconds to click on on the header, copy and paste your electronic mail and telephone quantity, after which click on once more within the physique of the resume to learn the textual content.

A couple of seconds would not appear to be a lot, however for somebody who’s trying by way of quite a lot of resumes, each second actually does depend. A hiring authority who’s REALLY busy could determine it is an excessive amount of bother to get your contact info from the header.

Meaning your resume could effectively find yourself within the “learn later” folder.

That is not an excellent final result.

There’s one other downside with utilizing the header, associated to the one I simply mentioned.

Headers simply look quaint. Old-fashioned.

Quaint just isn’t the model you wish to current in case you’re on the lookout for a job in expertise — whether or not you are a CIO, an IT director, or a senior developer.

Once more, that is a simple repair. Simply put your identify and call info within the physique of the resume. I recommend utilizing a bigger font in daring caps in your identify. You wish to make sure that your identify will stick within the reminiscence of the reader.

2. Do not Over-Bullet

That is in all probability the most typical mistake I see within the IT resumes that cross my desk.

In my commerce, we name it “loss of life by bullets.” The job seeker has bulleted every little thing.

All the pieces.

That is actually laborious to learn. Past the truth that it is simply not clear, there’s one other huge downside with over-bulleting.

To paraphrase The Incredibles, if every little thing is bulleted, nothing is.

The aim of utilizing bullets — sparingly — is to attract the reader’s eye and a spotlight to your main accomplishments.

For those who’ve bulleted every little thing, the reader would not know what’s important and what’s not, which defeats the aim of utilizing bullets in your resume.

In my very own work as an IT resume author, I make a transparent distinction between duties and tasks and laborious, quantifiable accomplishments. I write the duties in paragraph format, and bullet solely the accomplishments that show what my IT resume purchasers actually have delivered.

It is a clear, easy method that I like to recommend.

3. Do not Get Colourful

Fortunately, this specific downside would not appear as frequent because it was just a few years in the past, however each every so often, I will nonetheless see a resume with numerous shade.

The thought behind that, in fact, is to make the resume “eye-catching.”

Reasonably than catching the reader’s eye, nevertheless, quite a lot of shade is simply complicated.

“Why is that this part blue? Is blue telling me it is actually necessary? And yellow? Why is that this particular person utilizing yellow? As a result of it is mighty laborious to learn…”

I am positive you see my level. The colours, fairly than giving the reader a map of what to take a look at first — what to prioritize — simply find yourself trying, effectively, busy.

That makes your resume tougher to learn. And if it is tougher to learn?

Yeah. As I discussed above: It is possible to enter the “learn later” folder.

You actually don’t need that to occur.

4. Do not Lead With Schooling

That is one other straightforward repair, but it surely’s necessary.

The one time you wish to lead with training is if you’re a brand new grad. For those who’re an expert — whether or not senior, mid-career or junior — you wish to spotlight your expertise on web page one, and never take up that precious area along with your levels or certifications.

After all, levels, coaching and certifications are necessary, however they belong on the finish of the resume, on the backside of web page two or three.

5. Do not Use Arial or Occasions New Roman

I will finish the “don’ts” with one other easy one.

Arial and Occasions New Roman are, effectively, so 1990s. Sure, they’re good, clear, readable fonts, which is why they’ve develop into so standard.

Most likely 90 % of all IT resumes are written in these two fonts. There’s nothing adverse in that, but it surely’s a bit of boring.

Now, I am not suggesting you employ Comedian Sans or Magneto, however there are some nice, clear fonts that are not as frequent within the IT resume world.

Personally? I like Calibri for physique and Cambria for headings.

So, that provides you various issues to keep away from in formatting your IT resume. I will now recommend just a few “dos” to focus on to make sure that your doc is as readable as attainable.

1. Maintain Issues Easy

I am a robust believer that an IT resume wants to inform a narrative. The formatting of the doc ought to serve solely to make clear that story, and never get in the best way.

When the doc is completed, have a look. Does the formatting lead your eye to an important factors? Is the formatting clear and clear? Or does it distract from the story you are attempting to inform?

2. Suppose Cellular

This level will get extra necessary with every passing yr. Lately, the percentages are that the hiring authority shall be studying your story on a telephone, pill, or different cell system.

That is modified the best way I’ve formatted the IT resumes I write for my purchasers.

I’ve by no means gone past minimal design, however I’ve scaled issues again. For instance, I used to make use of shading to attract consideration to important sections of the doc.

However now? I believe that may be laborious to learn on a cell — and readability, to repeat a theme, is the one aim of resume formatting.

3. Use Daring and Italics Sparingly

This level follows instantly from the earlier one. We do not wish to daring or italicize every little thing. Daring and italics, used persistently and sparingly, might help sign to the reader what’s most necessary in your IT resume, and supply a framework for a fast read-through.

That permits the hiring authority to get the gist of your profession quick, with out distracting from a deeper second learn.

4. Use Onerous Web page Breaks

That is fairly easy, however it is crucial. I all the time insert laborious web page breaks in each completed IT resume I write. That helps be sure that the doc goes to look constant throughout gadgets and throughout platforms.

It isn’t 100 % foolproof — Phrase is a less-than-perfect software. With laborious web page breaks, although, the percentages are excellent that your resume will look the identical to every reader — and to the identical reader when reviewing the doc on completely different gadgets. That consistency reinforces the sense of professionalism you are striving to convey.

5. Write First, Format Later

Skilled IT resume writers disagree on this, however I will recommend what I’ve discovered efficient in my follow.

I all the time write the resume first. I personally use a plain textual content editor, to make sure that Microsoft Phrase would not add something that I will must battle to take away later.

It is solely after I’ve obtained the textual content utterly completed that I copy and paste into Phrase, after which add the formatting that I believe greatest helps the shopper story I am attempting to inform.

If I attempt to format as I am writing, the formatting could take over. It is tempting to insist on retaining the formatting constant, even when it is not greatest supporting the story.

So give it some thought. I might strongly suggest writing first, and formatting later, if you’re utterly clear on the story you are attempting to inform.

I do know that many individuals wrestle with formatting their IT resume, so I hope that these easy concepts will assist make the method a bit of simpler and fewer painful.

Keep tuned for future articles that may dig a bit deeper into the IT resume course of, protecting content material construction, writing model, and branding.

J.M. Auron is an expert resume author who focuses completely on crafting
the very best IT resume for purchasers from C-level leaders to hands-on IT professionals. When he isn’t working, he practices Fujian Shaolin Kung Fu and Solar Model Tai Chi. He additionally writes detective fiction and the occasional metrical poem.

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