If the first page of your resume doesn't impress a hiring manager, he likely won't even read the rest. In fact, you might want to consider keeping your resume down to a single page. The career center at Lawrence University recommends limiting it to one page, noting that a single page resume is a sign of confidence, conveying to the recruiter that you don't need several pages to demonstrate that you're the best candidate for the job. Also keep in mind that your resume is a sales pitch for your professional experience, so don't let a ho-hum one blow your dream job. Ensure that the layout and content are attention-grabbers.
Center your name at the top of your resume in a font that's slightly different and bolder than the fonts you use for the rest of your resume. You can insert your contact information under your name; include your address, phone number, email and website if it's pertinent.
Arrange the front page of your resume so the layout appears balanced. Purdue University recommends the quadrant test. Print out the page and divide it into four quadrants by drawing a vertical and horizontal line crossing at the center of the page. There should be an equal amount of text in each quadrant. Don't let you resume portray you as unbalanced.
Choose your fonts carefully -- and don't get "font-happy," using too large a variety of fonts, or hard-to-read fonts. Use a bold font to set off various sections and/or important information. You should also include enough white space around information that you want to highlight. For example, if a particular degree is key to a position, make sure the reader will notice this information at a quick glance. You can set other information, such as the title of your honors thesis or your intern responsibilities, in blocks of text, using the same fonts for all your text blocks.
Keep your most essential information in the quadrants aligned to the left. The reader's eye is drawn to the left quadrants. Reserve the right quadrants for dates.
Use bulleted lists with no more than two lines per bullet. Short statements are easier to read than long paragraphs.
Ask a friend to read over your resume and time her for 20 seconds. See what information about you she takes away. In the digital age, a job posting can generate thousands of responses. A few seconds may be all the attention you'll get from a hiring manager. Designing your resume to make key information visible, grabs attention and keeps hiring managers reading.
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