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Are you hoping your resume will make a good enough impression to land you an interview for a job position? So are the MANY other eligible applicants!

Here are 3 often overlooked ways to ensure your resume is the stand-out favorite in any batch.

Add an Effective Header

The Header is a simple, effective statement that clearly defines you but is still in keeping with the position you are applying for and the requisite skills listed in the job post. It comes right after your name and contact information and serves as a kind of confident handshake as you introduce yourself. Here’s an example:

ELOQUENT, EXPRESSIVE WRITER and PROFESSIONAL TEACHER

The Header has largely replaced the Objective on the modern resume. The Objective speaks to what you are hoping to accomplish if hired for the position. The Header says how you can contribute to the company’s success.

So, save the Objective as an inclusion for your cover letter and start thinking of those few precious words which will let the recruiter know you have exactly what they are looking for.

Format for Easy Reading

A resume with paragraphs set to justify generally has more eye-appeal than aligning left (or right). Just be sure, however, to keep each paragraph down to three or four lines to avoid that “block of text” impression.

It’s okay to mix paragraph settings but not in a distracting way. For example, your name and contact information can be centered at the top of the page and the rest of the layout set to justify. You can search through a collection of resume templates for more ideas.

It’s okay to mix paragraph settings but not in a distracting way. For example, your name and contact information can be centered at the top of the page and the rest of the layout set to justify. You can search through a collection of resume templates for more ideas.

Use bullet points to condense information it would normally take a few sentences to get across. Go through the available bullet designs and choose one other than the round dot everyone uses. Better yet, if creativity is a plus factor in your field and in the job you are applying for, then go right ahead and create your own bullet.  

Use (Don’t Overuse) Fonts and Color

When it comes to fonts and color it is best to use them for emphasis and not overdo them. The headings for the different sections of your resume, for example, can be in a larger font size and bold face, then you may choose to use italics to highlight the most appropriate skills, qualifications and experience.

Your header, too, should be larger and bold, plus you can change the font but just not to something glaringly distracting. Here’s the example again:

ELOQUENT, EXPRESSIVE WRITER and PROFESSIONAL TEACHER

When it comes to color, you can stand out from all the plain black-on-white resumes by using a simple, solid, colored page border. A band of color to highlight each heading is also a good idea. Don’t go with overly bright colors or busy border patterns, however, since they will take away from the body of the resume.

The content of your resume will let recruiters know how well-suited you are for the job, but it’s your resume’s appearance which controls whether or not that content actually gets read. Add a few eye-catching details to your resume then start prepping for that interview!