Resume Design Do's and Don'ts: Fonts, Layouts, and Structure
The way your resume looks at a glance is just as important as the content it contains. Clear and simple is the way to go. Try not to stray from the standard. Innovative could just spell irritating to the employer. The design should project professionalism and direct the eye to the most important skills and related job titles.
Resume Design and Layout:
Standard typeface like Arial and Times New Roman are universal, but take note that there may be different versions. It’s sometimes considered somewhat drab and taboo to use Times New Roman since it’s a default font in Word. Georgia, Trebuchet, Helvetica and Verdana are popular fonts that are email and web-friendly. Avoid sloppy or choppy fonts like Comic Sans or Courier. Try to stick to one typeface throughout the document (although in some cases, people apply a newspaper model to their resume with a serif font (e.g. Georgia) to break up content and a sans serif font (e.g. Verdana) to emphasize sections and subsections).
Start off with a bang! Bullets make it easier for the employer to skim through content. Take note that bullets are not universal. For this reason, choose the typical round bullets over squares or arrows.
Templates are great time savers when you're putting your resume together. You can create a table to plug in content but hide the gridlines when you send it. Try not to stack too much data into each section. A little white space is good. It’s common to see your name and contact info at the top of the page and your dates of employment in a column along the side. Though there are infinite ways to arrange copy, it’s advised to keep the layout clear and simple.
Name and Contact Info
Your name should be slightly larger than the rest of your resume. If applicable, include attractive credentials such as MBA or B.Sc. Hospitality and Tourism Management. Your complete address, contact numbers and email address go below. If you don’t have a company email, create one that sounds business-like. For example, use your first initial and last name followed by the domain of your email provider.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Put the most important information first. If you’ve got a whack of Education, put that section first. If you’ve got an impressive Employment History, put that first. And don’t say it, if you can’t prove it.
While objectives are generally thought of as out-dated, if you do choose to include a one-liner that explains your career goal or purpose with that company, keep it short and clear.
For example, “To obtain a position in restaurant management and to retain cooperative, content kitchen staff.”
Skills or Assets or Summary of Qualifications
Highlight what makes you qualified for the position, such as proficiency in hospitality-related computer programs.
Education or Training
List your certificates, diplomas, degrees or completed courses. Include the name and location of the institution, title of the program/course, and the completion date.
Experience or Employment History
In reverse chronological order include the most recent dates of employment. Clearly mark the dates, perhaps in a separate column. Don’t add months if you have many short-term jobs. As a rule of thumb, stick to years. Display the name of the company, your job title and a brief list of your responsibilities.
Include locations, whether you want to show stability or a willingness to travel. International employers will look for cultural adaptability and multilingual skills. Volunteer work or internships are significant if they relate to the desired position/industry.
Awards or Accomplishments
If you’re a chef, include a great restaurant review from a newspaper. If you’re a sales manager, include record-breaking deals. If you’re a server or customer service representative, include positive testimonials.
Personal Interests or Hobbies
Omit this section, unless your hobbies directly apply to the industry or position you’re looking to fill. For example, if you want to be a travel agent, include your interest in scuba diving or whitewater rafting. If not, save these details for the interview. You’ll need an ice-breaker!
References available upon request? Make sure they are, if you write this. Although nowdays it's a given that your references are available if needed, so you may want to leave this sentence out. To include references depends on whether the job ad or employer has requested them. If you must include a list of references, include the name, job title, company and contact information. Find out if you need a reference letter. Otherwise, verbal references are quite common.