The first step to creating an outstanding and effective resume is ensuring that it looks visually appealing. You want to make sure that the reader knows you are a mature and respectable individual who will be an asset to their school district.
The appearance of your resume and cover letter speaks immensely about the person writing it. Use a crisp, appealing design that looks like its rightful place should be in an employer or hiring manager’s hand. Ask, “Just by looking at these documents, would I hire myself?”
1. Don’t Use a Basic Resume Template
Do not use a regular old Microsoft Word resume template!
Many people get caught in this trap. Yes, it may contain a good basic outline to start with, but if everyone uses the same resume template, no one will stand out from the crowd, including you. There is nothing wrong with using a template, but find an uncommon (yet correct) one and make it your own. Play with the font, borders, spacing, etc., to make it eye-catching.
2. Incorporate Borders to Draw Positive Attention
This is an excellent way to make your resume and cover letter stand out above the rest. Use a solid, double, or triple line to go around your entire document. If you like, use a dashed (- – -) border or something a bit fancier.
Don’t incorporate a childish or immature border (i.e., palm trees, pieces of cake, film strip) or one that does not suit the job you are applying for. If you apply for a teaching job, you can get a bit more creative while still keeping it professional.
3. Use Shading to Emphasize Certain Areas
Like borders, you can utilize background shading to draw attention to specific sections such as the resume profile or summary of qualifications or a testimonial/quote in either document. Shading needs to be light enough to see through and will look amazing when printed.
If you are using colored shading for your testimonial, ensure it doesn’t clash with any other colors used in the document and still looks appropriate. Don’t overuse shading, though, as this will take away from the initial intended effect. Take the time to review the different sample resumes and cover letters on our website to see what I mean.
4. Integrate Color if You Like
Use this tip with caution. If you are going to use color, use it sparingly and incorporate an appropriate color, for example, dark blue or dark green. Utilize color in the borders, shading, your name, or professional title/the title of the job you are applying for. If you are submitting your resume for a more “creative” position, such as art teacher or graphic designer, you can play with color and layout a bit more than other professions.
5. Consistency with the resume and cover letter is vital
If you decide to use a border in one document, you must use it in the other. The same goes for any matters about formatting – layout, design, color, font style, font size, etc. Make sure all job application documents have the same overall layout; uniformity is imperative. Consistently will help to ensure your job search documents will stay together and attract the employer’s eye. Furthermore, it demonstrates your keen eye for detail and ability to remain consistent.