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Resume Writing Myth: Your Resume Needs an Exciting Format to Get a Hiring Manager’s Attention

January 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Resume Tips

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From Kent Lee, CEO of Perfect Resume

I’d like to take a moment to talk about one of the biggest resume writing myths. We’ve talked to several people this week who think their resumes look “boring.” Almost all of these people say they want “a resume format that looks exciting and gets a hiring manager’s attention.”

Hiring Managers Focus on Content, Not a Resume’s Appearance

The truth is, a resume’s format has little to do with getting a hiring manager’s attention. What truly gets the attention of a hiring manager, recruiter, or HR manager is resume content that relates to the job description for the position they are trying to fill.

Yes, having a resume format that looks professional is important, but it does not have to look flashy or be filled with colors and pictures to get a hiring manager’s attention. Recruiters and HR managers don’t care about aesthetics nearly as much as people think they do. They want to see relevant resume content presented in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to read. That’s it.

Standing Out Visually Isn’t Necessary in Today’s Electronic World

The resume writing myth of “needing to stand out from the crowd” was much more relevant two decades ago, when resume applications weren’t submitted electronically. The thinking was that if your resume was in a stack of papers on a desk along with dozens of others, you needed to have a resume that stood out to ensure it got read.

But today’s resume review process doesn’t work like this. Resumes are received electronically, and each resume is reviewed one at a time. In many cases, resumes are scanned by computer software for keywords, and a resume’s format isn’t a factor at all.

Does Your Resume Meet the Job Requirements? That’s What Hiring Managers Are Looking For

When hiring managers look at resumes, they will notice the document’s overall look and feel — but only fleetingly. Really, they’re trying to decide very quickly if a candidate meets their job requirements, and the resume’s format has little, if anything, to do with that. Again, they’re looking for content that relates to their job description, and that’s what will get their attention.

As a side note, it is important for me to mention that there are some rare exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you have a degree in graphic design or another creative industry, the format and overall presentation of the resume becomes more important.

Do you live in the DFW area and need help with your resume? Perfect Resume would be happy to help. Give us a call today at 214-431-5296.

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