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Color Me Working

Using color to enhance your resume

➔ There is little doubt that looking for work in the computer age is a different animal from the one most of us faced when we first entered the workforce. There are some dynamic and dramatic changes such as LinkedIn, online jobs boards, ATS - applicant tracking systems, online interviews, AI, etc., etc. That list never stops growing.

On the other hand, the computer age has made the entire job seeking process a lot easier – for some of the same reasons listed above. In addition, your ability to email your resume, cover letter and follow-up thank you speeds the process much in your favor. Video interviews make it easier to pursue jobs in different cities without the burden of travel.

Enter technology

The availability of smart phones also make you reachable at almost anytime, anywhere – meaning it’s unlikely that you’ll ever miss an important call. Couple that with your ability to read and send emails from your phone and your job search truly has become mobile.

On a more personal level think of how much easier it is to create a resume – and not just any resume, but one that can help you stand out and be noticed by recruiters and hiring managers alike.

The word processor makes it incredibly easy to highlight aspects of your resume using bold and italic text with split-second speed. Design techniques such as indented paragraphs and lines separating sections are just as simple.

There is another highly unutilized capability of the word processor that can be a boon if used appropriately, or a detriment if misused. With your word processor, you easily can add colored text to any part of your resume. Used correctly, this can make your name stand out, highlight your contact information, call attention to your past employers, etc. Colored lines can separate resume sections clearly and boldly.

The trick is to use color correctly – which is to say not to over use it. Virtually all resume experts stress the importance of using only one font throughout your resume. Color can be viewed the same way. Strategic use of color is certainly a benefit, but using too much color – and certainly more than one color – can make your resume unreadable and turn off any hiring manager.

Softer colors – such as blues or darker greens – can dress up any resume. Bold and brash colors – such as red, orange or purple – can be a shock to the visual image you send to a hiring manager.

If you're not sure about your use of color, ask a spouse, friend, or colleague for their honest opinions, and look online for sample resumes that use color to determine how to use it effectively.


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