No Indesign skills? No problem. You can still have a visually attractive CV.
Yet, sometimes job seekers go so above-and-beyond with their CV, they demand attention. Do you remember the CV that was set out like a Facebook profile page; the one that was printed on to fabric handkerchiefs; or the one that resembled a horror movie poster? Someone even turned their resume into one of those paper chatterboxes we all used to make with our friends in primary school.
There’s one thing all of these ‘viral’ CVs have in common: they’re incredibly creative.
How can a humble Word document possibly stand out next to a resume that looks like it should be hanging a gallery?
For many jobs, that level of visual creativity probably isn’t necessary, but a little care with your resume can go a long way. You don’t need to be a design pro or have expensive programmes to nail the basics; even choosing the right font can make all the difference.
I asked Mamamia’s resident design experts to share their key tips for making a clean, readable resume in your average word processor. Here are their thoughts:
1. Choosing your font.
Clean and legible is key here, so it’s generally best to choose a sans serif font over options like Times New Roman. “A sans serif font is a font without the little blobs or ‘feet’ at the end and tips of letters. They look clean, fresh and modern. My first choice for my resume is Helvetica,” explains Carla, one of our creative heads.
Helvetica is enormously popular among designers and businesses, so you can’t go wrong using it. Arial, Verdana and Century Gothic are also easy to read. According to another designer, Caitlin, it’s wise to avoid fonts that are too thin or script-like, because they can be hard on the eye. And, look, it probably goes without saying that Comic Sans is best avoided. We’re all grown-ups here.
2. Keep it simple.
Yes, there are a lot of fun typefaces and functions to play with… but that doesn’t mean you should use them all at once. “Using too many different fonts make your resume look messy and confusing. Stick to one font ‘family’ – within each font is a range of fonts in Italic and Bold combinations. Use those liberally!” Carla says.
Caitlin also recommends using a bold version of your chosen font for key words. Size-wise, graphic designer Cecilia advises keeping your font size between 12 and 16pt, and leading spacing between 1.5-2 for ease of reading.