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

From Kent Lee, CEO of Perfect Resumé

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

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

The truth is, a resumé’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 resumé content that relates to the job description for the position they are trying to fill.

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

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

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

When hiring managers look at resumés, 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 resumé’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 resumé becomes more important.

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


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