Since moving out of my place, I've been working hard core on my resume (it all started with this post). Seriously. I should add "working my ass off on InDesign" on my resume because I have been. So, instead of letting it all go, glutinously into my own bank of smart ass knowledge, I decided to share it with you. Now, I know there are real professionals out there that might tear this thing apart, but I'm pretty proud of myself. I am not a Graphic Designer (although I would love to take some classes!), I just worked really hard to create something that I loved. Don't take my words as strict gospel.
In FIVE (5) key steps, you can transform your resume from chaotic and hard to read into a well-thought-out machine. I used Adobe Indesign CS3 to create my new resume, however, I have a little tip for you... Use Microsoft POWERPOINT! :) A lot of people don't think about using it for anything other than a powerpoint, but hey, get in there, change the Page Setup to portrait and there you go. You can set up all sorts of beautiful things, just like on InDesign, without spending a ton of money for the program. Jeez. I'm a nerd. Now. Onto the good stuff!
1. Create a Hierarchy. The more important the information, the higher it goes. Name, contact information, etc. should always go at the top. You can have an objective, personal statement, education, skills, etc. I've chosen to focus on my previous experience and the skills I've gained there instead of separating it all out... In fact, I've always had a running list in a word document of all the things I've done, so that when I update my resume I don't ever have to try and go back and remember all the things I've done. I pull up the list, take the things that apply to the job that I'm going for, and plug them in or change the layout to better apply to the job. Easy peasy.
2. Pick a color scheme that's easy on the eyes. According to a graphic designer friend of mine, don't ever use straight black on a resume. That's what everyone else uses; even just by lightening it to a 90% gray, it'll make your resume pop because it's easier on the eyes and it's out of the norm. I picked a lighter color (easier on the eyes again and creates a little comfort, but energizes the page) to bring attention to the top half of the page with my name and contact info.
3. Alignment is key. Don't hodge podge it together, or it's gonna look a little crazy. Balance everything out by aligning it. On my resume, I chose to center align it because it felt more balanced with my turquoise ribbon across the top. You can use shapes and colors to your advantage to balance the page and help convey your personality, but don't take it too far... They could cause a train wreck.
4. Don't be afraid to leave a little white space. It also creates the comfortable setting for the potential employer reading it. If you have so much crammed onto one page (mine is pretty borderline. I've actually strung mine out into a front and back layout and have a shortened resume specifically for emails and such) potential employers won't know where to start. Give them space to know what's the most important. I added a border on my resume to keep the eye on the middle of the page, where the info is.
5. Think back to the heirarchy and follow through with it in your fonts. Never use more than three (3) types of fonts on the same page, and beware of using overly decorative fonts. I took a risk using this deco font, however, it is clearly easy to read. No problem. To balance the Sans Serif used for my name and titles (It's called Mouse Deco), I used a simple Serif font (don't know the difference? Check this out) called Georgia for the body/detail information on my resume.
A Bonus Tip: Get your resume printed on a thick, professional paper. Don't chinz out on it. Your future could be hanging on that paper choice, so make it a good one. Most bond water-marked ones are wonderful. I love them.
***Disclaimer: I am not a professional Graphic Designer. I simply love design and do a lot of research and interviewing and searching to find the answers that best suit me. I'm not claiming to know all the answers and whatever. Please, don't sue me. I'm not worth much.***
Here are some other resume examples to check out