Writing a Bulletproof Resumé - part I.
Nowadays, graphic design is accessible to everyone, and everything you need can be done within hours. Everybody with only basic knowledge can create a flier, business card, instagram post or a good looking resume! But there are still some rules to follow.
In this article we will show you how Canva works, what to include in your resume and what to skip. How is graphic design important for presenting yourself, what picture to use, and how to re-edit your resume for each applied position. We will also go over personal branding, how to impress an HR worker and what contact information is important to see in your resume.
Canva for an Eye Catching Resume
Canva is an online graphic design program with a lot of tools and is easy to use for everyone. We like to use Canva on a daily basis for marketing purposes, but you can also use it to create a bulletproof resume within a few hours!
Choosing the right template
In Canva there are over 11 thousand templates to choose from, but that doesn't always mean all of them are relevant and presentable enough. You definitely should avoid anything that looks more like a children's color book than a document holding your future in it. Of course, you can always change colors and elements, so choose the one that is simple, but is organized and has enough topics you need to cover in the resume, so you don't need to waste time with creating titles.
The topics you want to include are: education, expertise, experience, skills, reference, contact information and it should have a space where you can briefly describe your vision, strengths, values and why this working field/company. You can, but don’t have to upload a headshot, but if you do, make sure it’s professional and appropriate. Do not write an essay, your resume shouldn’t be longer than 1 page of an A4 paper format.
Start editing to your needs
Once you have picked your template, you can start customizing it with your unique background. Move things around to make it yours. Put the important information to the head of the resume and secondary information to the bottom. Make it look authentic and signature to your own personality, but don't overdo it graphically and with elements that are not supporting the information you are trying to point out.
Colors and graphic design
Keep your colors neutral, if you really want to use a color (maybe because you're a freelancer and you are trying to promote your personal brand) you can use one color that's not interruptive.
Make sure all your fonts are simple (roboto,open sans, telegraf, Thai..) and readable. Use tools like “bold, underline, italic and size” to highlight titles and subtitles.The size of the text should always be a whole number, try to avoid sizing as: 10.2, 9.7, or so, because it’s hard to keep it the same in the whole document.
When it comes to elements, Canva has some nice additional elements that can separate, highlight or organize important information. Use some of those, but again, less is more. Canva also offers icons that can target contact information, for example email, phone number or social media, if you need to refer to them as well.
Include or Not to Include?
In the world of resumes we see a lot of things. For example, a ten page essay, or a resume with name, phone number and high school address only. Or a Resume with a selfie picture that was meant for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Generally there are a lot of mistakes especially young people make, so let’s dive into “what information is actually important and what is not”.
Focus on your professional career
Think about a resume as being a summary of your career related achievements. Employers don’t need to know what city you were born in, what elementary school you attended and that you like dogs and playing tennis. Even though dogs are cute.
Stay focused on the highlights of your professional life as the important job that gave you major experience, the highest education and your most unique superpower.
Use your portfolio of previous work, even if it’s a school project if you just graduated. Refer to your vision and mindset and why you would be a good addition to the company. Show your key values, differences and don't forget to mention what you like about your past jobs or project, what you enjoy the most about your working field and why you picked this company.
Remember, you don't need to include all your jobs, only the important ones.
For example, the fact you worked at a retail store while you were in college isn’t gonna boost your career in law, instead you can include your school projects, volunteer work in a law firm, or even what intrigued you about becoming a lawyer.
Don't forget to include certifications, languages and computer skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying to a law office, the fact you learned Shopify in your online store job, doesn’t really matter. But if you have learned some google workplace skills, that could be your ticket.
Most companies write in their hiring ad what software they use. Read it carefully and point out in your resume those you have in common or those that can take theirs to another level and somehow compliments it.Try to comment every requirement whatever you meet their needs or not. It shows a genuine interest.
Any interesting charity work, exchange student abroad or work and travel experience, it can definitely separate you from a lot of candidates. Especially if it's related to your career field.
Don't forget about social media
Social media gives an amazing opportunity to introduce ourselves in a form of personal portfolio. If you set up your social media as a presentation of your work and core values, you can help your future employers create a better idea of you and if you are a good fit for the company. Of course, depending on your working field, different platforms may vary. You can go from tik tok, through Instagram to LinkedIn.
So, don’t forget to include links for your social media profile, that’s presenting your work, if you have any.
If not, we recommend at least being on LinkedIn, so your employer can get at least some idea of your personality. A guide to a successful LinkedIn profile is below the article.
Speaking of social media, we are getting into personal branding and its importance. Resume is a form of promoting yourself, your skills, values and extraordinary traits you are bringing to the table.
Before you write your resume, learn who you are, what you follow, what is describing you and what is authentic to you. You can even ask your family or close friends to clarify that.
As you establish your core values, you will be able to brand your work not only by its content but also by repetitive look (logo,color,text style, the way you organize it and the way you write..of course it all depends) that will become signature to you. Again your personal branding can appear and repeat on social media as much as on your resume.
...and how about LinkedIn? Coming soon. Stay tuned.
Author: Nicole Kleinova