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On May 24th, 2017

Say What? Enhancing Your Resume’s Readability

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Blog

Your resume is often the first impression that a potential employer gets of you, therefore you want it to come across as professional yet intriguing. You want employers to see your competency and potential so they invite you for an interview to learn more. In an effort to make themselves sound more impressive, many people fill their resumes with fancy words and industry jargon. While this may work in limited cases, in many instances it can be a turnoff. If the employer has difficulty understanding what you’re trying to say, they’ll be quick to move on.

Remember: The person reading your resume – at least initially – may not work in your field. It could be a human resources professional tasked with finding someone who checks all of the right boxes, but they don’t necessarily have experience in the area they’re hiring for. Therefore, you want your resume to be a good balance between technical content that shows your expertise, and plain English that is understood by all.

Limit Technical Jargon

You certainly want your resume to contain keywords that are directly related to your industry and the work you are expected to do. Employers should be left with the impression that you understand current trends and technology. At the same time, your resume shouldn’t be weighed down by jargon.

  • Make sure to spell out acronyms upon first use so there is no confusion. Acronyms can mean different things in different fields.
  • Use terms in context to bring more clarity. Don’t just assume the person reading your resume knows what you mean.
  • Don’t use technical terms just for the sake of using them. Make sure they have purpose and value.

Get a Second Opinion

Once you’ve written your resume, give it to someone else to read who does not work in the same area you do. Someone who may not be familiar with what your job entails. Have them read your resume and highlight any sentences they found confusing or did not understand. It can be helpful to talk these points through and determine a more effective way of writing them so that they make more sense.

Polish the Style and Format

Readability can also be affected by the actual style and format of your resume. Pick a font that is simple and easy to read – and make sure to keep the font size between 10 and 12 point. Avoid long blocks of text; break them up by using bullet points to highlight key points that you want to emphasize. Also, be consistent with formatting and how you present information to avoid confusion.

Having a resume that is clear, concise, and visually appealing can improve your chances of catching a hiring manager’s eye. The team at Grammar Chic can help you stand out for all the right reasons. Contact us today at (803) 831-7444 or resumewriting@grammarchic.net to get started crafting your new resume and cover letter.

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