CV TIPS - 5 formatting mistakes turning your résumé into a confusing mess
Given that it’s your first chance to make a concrete impression with a potential employer, it’s crucial that your resume is designed and formatted to highlight your skills and qualifications.
From complicated designs to crowded pages crammed with unreadable text, there are a number of reasons your resume might be letting you down. If you’re finding it difficult to get interviews despite being highly qualified, a poorly formatted résumé might be to blame.
Here are some of the leading mistakes I see in résumé formatting. To avoid each, I’ll explain how to structure a winning résumé that will help you secure that lucrative first interview.
When it comes to writing your resume, the most important thing to remember is that it must be easy to read. Recruiters are tasked with reading hundreds of resumes every day, so you can be guaranteed that anything difficult to read, or crammed with lots of crowded text, will be skipped over.
It’s also best to avoid wacky designs.
UNNECESSARY PERSONAL INFORMATION
Keep in mind as a candidate, your potential employer doesn’t need to know your date of birth, marital status, or blood type. What matters most to a recruiter is knowing that you’re capable of doing the job they’re offering.
Ensuring that your résumé is readable should be your key priority when it comes to formatting. This means breaking up large chunks of text into bite-sizes, easy-to-read information.
You should separate each section of your résumé with clear headings and borders, and the information you add to each section should be to the point and serve a clear purpose. Keep your sentences short, never going over two lines.
TOO MANY PAGES
In today’s job market, a résumé that is far too long won’t be read at in full. When it comes to length, you should be aiming for around two pages.
POOR PAGE ORGANIZATION
Having a badly structured résumé is going to confuse recruiters and reflect poorly on your overall organizational skills. Whether it’s sections missing headings or poorly structured job descriptions, bad page organization can seriously hamper your chances.
To ensure that your résumé is readable, make sure you use clear headings, divide each section with space and borders, and break up any large blocks of text with bullet points. You should also order the information logically, starting with a summary at the top of your résumé to draw readers in, and then continuing with your work experience in reverse chronological order.
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