5 Expert Tips To Modernize The 'Look And Feel' Of Your Resume

While a direct cause has yet to be proved, the research is clear. Humans’ attention spans are getting shorter. Just eight seconds or less according to recent research conducted by Microsoft, and this was more than 30% less than similar research had found ten years prior. Related: 7 Tips To Help Dust Off The Old Resume And Get It Ready For Your Job Search Now Realizing that, it isn’t shocking that a study conducted by The Ladders found that on average, recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing each resume. As we move deeper and deeper into the digital age, it is increasingly important that your resume is written and designed to account for these facts. Your resume should be written tightly, the content succinct. But graphics play a big role as well. Some frequently quoted statistics from a variety of researchers tell us that the human brain can see images that last for a mere 13 milliseconds and that our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour. Further, people retain a memory of the information they have learned through a graphic far more effectively than information learned through words. It is for these reasons that infographic resumes are so popular now, and a handful of professional resume writers, myself included, have started offering the development of infographic resumes as an option. Of course, infographic resumes are not right for everyone. But, infographic elements can be used to greatly enhance the eye appeal of even the most traditional resumes. Here are some tips to help you incorporate infographic elements in your own resume.

1. Charts, Graphs & Tables

If you have a lot of numbers to include, especially numbers that show an increase or improvement of some sort, consider presenting the data in an easy-to-read table format. Or, it can be very impactful to create a graphical chart or graph to present the data. Microsoft Word has powerful tools to help you with this, or you can create the graph in Excel and import it into your resume.

2. Graphical Elements

The Shapes and SmartArt features in Microsoft Word is easy to use and provide the tools to create all sorts of graphical elements in your resume. The standards offered are highly customizable and are great ways to showcase a list of key qualifications or other information and data pieces that can be presented as a process, a cycle, hierarchy, matrix, or more.

3. Callout Boxes

Callout boxes are another way to draw attention to key information. Microsoft Word’s Text Box feature can be used for this, or depending on the layout you can use a single cell table. This is a great technique to showcase signature accomplishments, a personal branding statement, or even a quote from a reference letter.

4. Traditional Design Options

In many cases, even simple design elements such as selective shading, page borders, paragraph borders, ruling lines, designer bullets, monograms, strategically applied white space, and drop caps can give your resume the extra visual pop that it needs to stand out from the masses.

5. Coordinated Styles, Themes & Color Schemes

After 20 years of resume writing, I consider myself an advanced user of Microsoft Word. However, it wasn’t until I sat down and made a concerted effort to learn how to use Word’s Themes, Styles, and Color Schemes features that I realized how incredibly powerful and helpful they are when designing a resume. If you aren’t sure what these features are and what they can do for you, it is worth spending an hour or two learning. Using these features as you develop your resume gives you instantly coordinated color and design schemes to choose from, with so many customizable options that you are sure to create a unique and eye appealing resume design. Finally, remember that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Inappropriately or excessively applied design can make your resume look gaudy or flashy. This is not the first impression you want to make. Think strategically and have a reason for your design choices. With a few exceptions for clients in more creative or trendy industries, my rule of thumb is to use muted rather than bright colors very selectively and to shoot for a distinctively understated and sophisticated look. Some inspiring examples can be found in my resume samples portfolio and if you want expert help and advice, I am happy to meet with you. Just book an appointment for a consultation with me..

Related Posts

How To Customize Your Resume 3 Tips For Flaunting Your Value On Your Resume How To Make Dates On A Resume Work For You

About the author

Michelle Dumas founded Distinctive Career Services, LLC (formerly Distinctive Documents) in 1996, one of the Internet's longest-standing resume writing, personal branding, and career marketing firms. As one of only a handful of multiple certified professional resume writers, including the prestigious NCRW, CPRW, CPBS, CEIP, and JCTC credentials, Michelle is widely respected as an authority in the resume writing and employment services industries. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!