As someone on the more creative side, I took pride in the fact that the first draft of my resume was organized to be aesthetically appealing with a small pop of color. My cousin offered to help me edit the resume, and after a first glance, she did everything just short of tearing the whole thing to pieces.
First of all, she told me to remove the color. "No one cares if it has color or not, and you're just distracting people."
She also redid my whole system of organization. "Everything should be listed as lines or bullet points from top to bottom," she said. "Make the margins as small as you possibly can, and use 10-point Calibri light font." I was confused — "Calibri light? That's the font all my professors scoffed at because they associated it with lazy students." My cousin shrugged. "Calibri is easy to read, so use it. And none of this Times New Roman or Arial stuff either."
In addition to reformatting my draft, she gave me some helpful pointers: add a LinkedIn link at the top and a link to a Google Drive portfolio containing all of my best writing samples and published articles. Get rid of your high school information and GPA, since no one cares about that anyway. Order work experience by both significance and date started. For example:
Journalist, Poland Today, June 2018 - Present
-See portfolio above for published articles
-Write articles on a variety of topics including politics, real estate, and sports surrounding Polish current events
-Conduct interviews with a range of Polish nationals (athletes, entrepreneurs, government workers) living in and outside of Poland
-Other responsibilities include event networking, attending local innovation conferences, editing, proofreading, and online research
Education Consultant, Hermiona Education, November 2017 - Present
-Work with clients on long-term application plans (including applications, insurance, financial issues, passport/visa assistance, Russian-to-English translation, and travel itineraries) to various universities, boarding schools, and summer programs
-Write, edit, and proofread proposals for potential incoming clients
-Meet with students to assist them with application essay writing or tutoring for standardized tests
-Other responsibilities include online research, blog writing, social media strategies, and data and statistical analysis
Research Intern, University of Sussex Synaesthesia Lab, June 2016 - August 2016, June 2017 - August 2017
-Interned at a lab in Brighton, UK at the University of Sussex under Jamie Ward, a world-leading researcher in the field of synesthesia
-Published an article in the journal Memory and submitted another for publication (see portfolio above for published articles)
-Responsibilities included designing and conducting experiments, data and statistical analysis, survey writing, academic writing, scientific writing, online research, and testing various hypotheses and reporting results
The main lesson to take away from these nit-picky formatting rules is that employers read your resume quickly, and you want to condense your qualifications into something that is digestible in only a matter of seconds. If you can be impressive in only a few sentences, your chances of getting an interview offer will increase significantly.