How To Create An Interesting Online Resume
Gone are the days of black-and-white, single-space, one-page documents that served as resumes. With the job market moving online and getting increasingly competitive, resumes need to stand out in a sea of other copy-intensive documents competing for the attention of the hiring manager.
Creating a modern resume that is eye-catching and online-friendly involves a little bit of creativity and a different set of formatting rules from the old resume style. Spark the hiring manager’s interest with these following tips:
Tips on making your resume online friendly
Start by picking fonts that are easy to read on a screen. These generally fall in the sans serif family like Georgia, Arial, Helvetica—serif fonts like Times New Roman tend to be more difficult to read on screen.
If not set as the default, make the line spacing (the space between each horizontal line) 120-percent of the font size.
Try to avoid using too many indentations on the page, as it can look messy and cause the eye to jump around the page. Many resumes feature bullet points with indentations, which should not be a visual problem if the number of indents is kept to a minimum and are consistent.
Rather than starting off with an objective, create a short, keyword-studded professional profile. An easy way to make small tweaks is to tailor your resume for each position you apply to— highlight your accomplishments and skills that would benefit the hiring organization. Using words that show up in their job posting can help you get past resume robots looking for key words.
And finally, be sure to use hyperlinks in the body of your resume, linking to professional blogs, online portfolios, social media profiles, writing samples, presentation samples, etc.
Get creative visually
Modern resumes no longer have to adhere to simple “words-on-a-page” format. Here are some creative alternatives to Word document resumes.
Infographics are extremely popular— and for good reason. By breaking down key points into easy-to-read blurbs and emphasized with eye-catching graphics, infographics are entertaining and effective ways of getting a lot of information across. This format is great for designers looking to highlight creativity and design skills—but should be reserved for more creative fields.
Video resumes are gaining traction as another modern format. A great way to showcase your personality, videos should tell a story about your skills and successes. Keep it short—hiring managers don’t want to spend too much time on any one resume. Use the profile you created for the written version of the resume and expand a little on that material.
If you are going into a field or a position that requires presentation skills, build a PowerPoint, Flash or Prezi presentation. Not only will your work experience be in a visually interesting format, but it also gives you an opportunity to showcase your skills in building a presentation.
Creating a website dedicated to your work experience allows you to create a multilayered resume that capitalizes on SEO and linking. Either create your own from scratch (especially useful if your job requires you to build websites) or use VisualCV.com, ResumeSocial.com, PlanetTelex.net or blogging outlets like WordPress or Tumblr as a starting point.
Things to consider and avoid
While your resume may be initially viewed online, keep in mind that your resume may be printed out to be handed around the office, so make sure you have a version that is visually appealing when printed as well.
Be careful when linking to social networking sites. Your LinkedIn profile is generally a safe social profile to link to your resume. If you are aiming for a position in social media, you may want to link to other outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, etc; however, go through these profiles with a fine tooth comb prior to letting a potential employer view them, as potential candidates have been passed over for less than professional images.
Avoid clichés and vague words—the most overused words in resumes that hiring managers loathe include: “trustworthy,” “team player,” “good communicator,” “problem solver” and “creative.” Try to show these skills in your accomplishments rather than just stating them.
However, even with creative resume solutions, some rules remain the same. Make sure the resume is easy-to-read, and the most important information is in the top third of the document. Include your contact information and always proofread the resume to ensure that it is error-free. Nothing loses a hiring manager’s interest faster than typos, spelling errors and grammar mistakes, regardless of how engaging the resume is.
To make your resume truly stand out, follow these tips and you’ll be right up there with the rest of the best competition.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California whose writing specializes in online marketing, web hosting and SEO. She is also the founder of Gryffin Media and provides guest blogging services.