Recruiters and employers wade through loads of our wonderful resumes, so they don't care about your 'professional objective' or 'design commandments'. They just want the crucial info fast. Impress them by making this as easy for them as possible. Keep it short, clear, concise, factual and leave them wanting to see more. Here's four steps to maximising impact with minimised content.
1. Minimise your copy
keep less than five words, keep as impact statements, not whole sentences
Once you’ve written your previous job summaries, reread and rewrite stripping out any fluff or unnecessary wording.
Keep any self-marketing statements (e.g. Innovative, creative) to a minimum. If you have quotes from clients, or validated data that shows the benefit your work did for the company/client, then use these s quotes your resume. Quite from others are powerful and generate trust, far more than any self-marketing blah blah.
No one cares about your commandments, unless you created them as a resource for your staff to follow. Otherwise it’s just hype obviously done for a resume. Let client quotes do the marketing for you.
2. Using graphics in your resume
3. The Reader’s Journey - keep the reader wanting more
Put just a couple of design samples in your resume as a teaser. They should make them want to go to your website after reading your resume.
Look at this journey. How does the design sample page of your resume work as a tease, and leave them wanting more, and what do does the reader see when they go from your resume to your website – is there some sense of visual and style consistency? This will show your understanding of branding.
4. Cover Letter
You need to keep your cover letter as text in your email. Some people don’t open all attachments and you might never even be read, so don’t get try to get fancy with some graphical version of this part of your application.
A sample three-page resume
Watch what content your layout highlights. For example, time periods of your previous roles – this is not the most important info about your roles. Don’t have them stand alone, as this will visually highlight this information, instead of things like the title or the achievements in each role. Highlight your achievements in pull-outs, as a summary of your summary.
Page 2: Design samples and feedback – this is all about what the client got from you
Combine work samples with client quote/feedback and/or validated data that shows how you work benefits the client/company.
Page 3 (Optional): Case Study
Highlight one key project that best showcases your abilities
Keep the text to a minimum.
Finish Page 2 or 3 with your contact details again, and links to email and web.
Impress with less
Look at the journey from your resume to your website, and make consistent. Let the story about you evolve, while constantly weaving it back to how you benefit the client and/or company.