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Getting back to the basics: the not-so-obvious benefits of a classic resume format

Student reading their resume

Angela Monfleury

by Angela Monfleury

4th-Year Student in Accounting

Times are evolving, and so are our ways of communicating. These new channels have also found their way into our professional life through the resume, which remains an essential part of career development. Simply put, your resumé allows employers to know who you are and what your skills are; it highlights your experience in an attractive manner. Why is it, then, that we have made it so complicated and clustered?

Over the years, multiple resumé formats have emerged, some more complex than others. Although convoluted, creative formats may seem attractive, we must remember that simpler formats also bring an array of benefits. But what exactly is a simple resume format? A simple resume format is designed to showcase your work experience, skills, and education in a neat and uncluttered fashion. Thanks to its basic style, it makes it easier for hiring managers to review your qualifications and experience.

Recruiters are looking for a clean, calming, and easy-to-read layout (remember that they might be reviewing hundreds of these). They are also looking for any reason to discard applicants (that makes the selection process easier). That means that your fancy font or inventive layout might be a deterrent for your reader, not an asset. In the short term, focus on the most important and essential information to put on your resume.

A classic, simple resumé is a direct way to say exactly what the employer wants to know. Many may find the idea of being so direct awkward, but remember that your resumé is not about what you think looks pretty, nor about what your think will stand out, nor about guessing what the employer wants from you. It is about telling the employer what you can do for them. Stop worrying so much about creating a fancy, uber-creative format, and start figuring out how to explain all the ways you have positively impacted your former employers.