“It’s all about presentation.” I’m sure you’ve heard that before. You may have heard it in reference to how a chef carefully and artistically places food on the plate. Or maybe it was on a makeover show where some clueless person is ambushed and given a brand new polished look. The takeaway is that appearances matter and even more so when you’re trying to make a great first impression. Now, how does this apply to finding a job or landing an interview?

Well, you make your first impression on employers when you submit your resume. Commonly (and unfortunately) your resume isn’t the only one up for consideration. It can be literally one in hundreds- if not thousands- of resumes. At this point the recruiter must sift through all of these resumes to get this pile down to a manageable number. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to do a quick 30 second review based on- you guessed it- appearance.

Now, you might be saying, “That’s not fair! They should look beyond just looks and pay attention to what’s actually on there!” The reality is that most employers don’t have the capacity to give each and every candidate a fighting chance. So how do you make sure you get your application into the ring?

The first step is to focus on the format of your resume.

There are a ton of ways to format your resume. Some are wildly creative and unforgettable, but our advice is to stick with traditional templates for most business careers, and consider unorthodox options for creative careers - e.g. graphic design, web development, and social media.

Regardless of the format of your resume, it should be clean, consistent, and punchy. Make sure your resume format follows these rules and you’ll be one step closer to making sure your application gets the attention it deserves.  

Luckily, the Careerly Resume Guide offers specific guidelines on formatting, in particular on visuals, resume length, structure, font, and much, much more (like what to actually write once you’ve made it look good!). We’ve also taken the guesswork out of the equation by creating the Careerly Resume Templates. Just plug in your content and you’re good to go!

We're all guilty of judging a book by its cover, but with your smarts and our guidance we can get you on the fast track to make it to the next round!