Your resume is arguably the most important document in your overall application. Consider it to be a key element in marketing yourself during your job search. The style and format of your resume is particularly important. While content is critical, making sure your resume is easy to read and searchable will ensure your name isn’t lost in the applicant pile. Today’s article will discuss what you can do to prepare your resume for both recruiters and applicant tracking systems to make sure you get the attention you deserve.


Resumes are a very unique type of document. The best resumes are clear, concise and able to communicate the most applicable experience, and highlight accomplishments within the space of one or two pages. Formatting can play an important role in how successful your resume is at communicating your value to prospective employers. If your document is difficult to follow, or distracting due to poor formatting, you will lose the attention of the reviewer.

It is important to format your resume for easy reading. Be smart in your use of white space. Too much makes your resume look empty, but too little will discourage hiring managers who are pressed for time. Keep fonts simple and clean, and make good use of headings and bullets to keep things organized. Be consistent in your spacing and limit use of colors as much as possible. Finally, it’s always good to keep a plain text (free of formatting) copy of your resume on hand for digital submissions.


Similarly, careful use of keywords can mean the difference between a successful resume and one that is simply overlooked. Look to the job description as it will give you an excellent idea of the specific wording employers are looking for from their applicants. Keep in mind industry keywords that will make your resume especially impactful. Once you have a strong list of keywords, make a conscious effort to incorporate them throughout the document. While a summary of qualifications is a nice way to front load your resume with keywords, make sure you are still writing for a human audience as well as the applicant tracking systems.

While the design of traditional resumes has been heavily influenced by the digital age, remember it’s still a hiring manager who will make the decision about whether to make you an offer or not. For more advice on how to present your qualifications in a way that is effective with computer hiring systems and employers, our team of highly skilled recruiters is an excellent resource. Our in-depth understanding and familiarity with the job market in the greater Portland and Vancouver areas positions our candidates for job search success. Call us today and let us help you jumpstart your career!