Resume Writing and Design

I recently 'met' Amy Adler through a business networking group on LinkedIn. Amy is is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries.

She's written this great article on "6 Strategies for Success" for Resume Content and Design, which I'd like to share with you.

Here are Amy's tips:

When you apply for a job, you could be 1 of 400 women and men vying for that spot. In other words, you have about 1/400 chance of being noticed—unless you take the initiative to captivate your audience with amazing content and clever design.

Content: Show You’re the Best Fit for the Position

1.Target your resume to the specific job description.
Read the job description for the position. Then read it again. Use the words you find there to enhance your resume and cover letter. You’ll target your resume more effectively for the job.

2.Write about your accomplishments, not your duties.
By far, this is the toughest aspect of resume writing for women. Woman or man, be shamelessly self-promoting. Show you can do your job better than every other candidate, man or woman. Evaluate yourself the way your hiring manager, your employees, and even your customers do.

3.Use results whenever possible.
Which of these sounds like it belongs to the resume of a more capable candidate:

Responsible for new application installation. Took two weeks for large team to complete.
Spearheaded major multi-site application installation mobilizing cross-functional team of 20+. Completed with 20% fewer person-hours than projected.

Be colorful; be concise. But most of all be specific about your successes.

Design: Make Your Resume Easy to Read
4.Emphasize important resume text with bold, underline, or italics.
Make your resume easy to read by showing recruiters exactly where to look for your best accomplishments.

5.Don’t use a fancy typeface.
To make your resume stand out, don’t use an offbeat typeface or font color (or paper color). Stick to a common typeface that your reader’s computer is likely to have. Use black.

6.Use color judiciously.
Color in your resume design (headings, lines, text boxes) can draw a recruiter’s attention. If you’re in a creative industry, showcase your artistic talents. If you’re not, and you’re in doubt, don’t use any color but black.

In summary, the job market is tough, and you need to stand out among the men and women applying for the same positions as you are. By tweaking your content and your design, you can help the recruiter put your resume in the “YES” pile.

You can contact Amy at or check out her blog at

This is all valuable advice. Thanks Amy - I'm in awe at the great people you can meet on the internet!

Use the tips!


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