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Resume Tips: Is it Easy to Look at?

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We continue our look at the standard principles behind writing resumes, principles that should be applied in most, if not all, cases, especially as you polish your resume before sending out an application. Once again, we found these Resume Tips in an article titled “5 Quick Fixes for Physician CVs” over on the American College of Radiology website. (The article was originally printed on thedoctorjob.com/careercorner.)

This time around, we turn to the subject of appearance. Is your resume easy to look at?

The article makes an important point: “A CV that’s appealing to the eye is not necessarily the same thing as a CV that’s eye-catching.”

The mistake most people make, the article continues, is to rely on peculiar formatting choices to grab the attention of the interviewer. This could include colors, graphics, fonts, and symbols that may look pretty in an art show or on a website, but “will only aggravate the busy person who is trying to quickly asses your qualifications.”

And aggravating that busy person, who determines whether the organization talks to you or not, certainly isn’t the kind of eye-catching maneuver you were planning when you spent your valuable time attempting to get in front of them for a job interview.

Sometimes, boring and traditional is better. Here are three ways to achieve that:

1. Stick to traditional fonts.

Yes, this means Times New Roman or Garamond. Why? Because people are used to reading these fonts, the article states, and “they won’t have trouble adjusting to a new one.”

Furthermore, with the exception of category headings, stick to 11- or 12-point font.

2. Employ white space effectively.

What the article means is to “use white space to adequately separate each item in your CV. This will make it easy to scan and pick out information. A laundry list is hard on the eyes, and it also can obscure important information.”

3. Keep your headings clear.

Your headings will catch and direct their eyes possibly more than any other formatting choice in your resume. According to the article, making the headings clear will enable them to “stand out from the other text in your resume, so that it’s easy to pick out each category.”

In our final installment tomorrow, we’ll ask the question, “Is the formatting consistent?”

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