Resume formats, by and large, are a personal preference. While that is true, once one has developed an “eye” for the development and critiquing, certain characteristics seem to have universal acceptance among those in the business.
Let us take the use of bulleting, for example. Most practioners lean towards the standard solid circular dot. I have also seen the use of the black and white triangular arrow style, but, regardless of your choice, consistency of use throughout the resume gives the most visual appeal.
The skill sets need to be targeted but can be hidden in the blur of bullet designs. For some reason even the use of the dash appears to minimalize or weaken the impact of skill strength.
The dash, despite even in bold, does nothing to attract the eye to the separation of the skill sets creating an overall “wordy” impression. Computer programs also offer numerical bulleting as another option. As a personal choice, I would hesitate here, because the act of numbering makes your skill sets appear few in number. It stares out at the employer as only “6” statements regardless what the quality of the strengths/experience these statements highlight.
Of the other options is the 4 diamond, diamond shape. Using this type, like the black and white triangular arrow, creates a visual busyness one should consider avoiding.
The hollow circular dot also lacks the impact that draws employer or recruiter attention, by being barely visible. The check mark has its place in the bulleting world but should be attributed to more advertising or flyer type use. Another option available if you are using colour on your resume is the various three color tones with a black cross running through it. It too, would be best left for other media applications. Finally, it is absolutely correct to use nothing at all with spacing between skills sets.
In the end, it is up to you as an individual to make your bulleting choice. Choose carefully and sparingly remembering it is the very first impression or contact the employer has with you and you want him to see you in the best possible light.
Jackie Fulton is a Continuing Education Student currently studying within the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, www.mcaces.ca or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at Lidia.email@example.com.