Your resume’s content is crucial in securing a job interview. But it’s equally important to have the right format to ensure your resume is both attractive to a human reader and passes the applicant tracking system (ATS).
Around 60% of resumes are overlooked because of incorrect formatting choices. Don’t be one of those job seekers.
Stand out by having an attractive Australian resume by following these five easy steps:
Make sure your resume is software compatible
Large organisations recruiters and major job board websites manage applications using software systems. This software is called Applicant Tracking System (or ATS).
ATS doesn’t understand text boxes, tables, columns, clipart and graphics. Specifically, ATS is not able to read words placed inside text boxes and tables, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Choose the right font
Select a font for your resume that looks good both when viewed on a computer and in the printed copy. That said, many are still using Times New Roman or Arial. But both are already overused.
Pick easy to read, alternative fonts such as Garamond, Helvetica, Georgia, Cambria or Calibri.
Avoid any handwriting or funky font. These are difficult to read by ATS and would make your resume unprofessional.
Make sure your font is consistent throughout the entire resume. Mixing up two or more fonts is a big no-no.
Select the right font size
Generally, we advise choosing a font size that’s between 10 to 12 points. Start by using a size 10 font and try sizing it up if you think you have enough space.
Don’t try to reduce your font size to anything below size 10 as ATS generally don’t recognise smaller text. Alternatively, don’t try to use any font that’s more than 12 in size just to fill your resume as you might across as screaming for attention.
Make your headings stand out
Your resume headings (Professional Profile, Key Skills, Education, Professional Experience) need to give a consistent style in the entire document.
These are usually formatted in all capitals and bold, or bigger in font size. Your headings can be set in between 12 and 16 points so that they stand out and the reader can easily get an overview of your resume.
You can use horizontal lines or borders to accentuate your headings to improve your resume readability.
Alignment and text justifications
Make sure that all headings and texts are aligned in the same way. Use the ruler tool of MS Word to make sure all parts of your resume are in line.
You can also align your text to left, right, centre or justified.
Generally, we don’t advise using the ‘Justify Text’ function to format your resume as this might create strange gaps and spacing between words and letters.
It’s advisable to use ‘Align to Left’ instead so that the text looks more consistent and space is the same between all formatted words.
You can then use ‘Centre Text’ for all resume headings.
To sum up
At the end of the day, make sure your resume is simple, clear and will satisfy both ATS and human reader.
Not sure if your resume is attractive enough after applying these steps? Print it out and read it.
Better yet, have someone else read it and tell you what looks off.
Before you send your resume, be sure to: