By Sherrie Madia
Chances are you will have only have one opportunity to make a first impression in job search. With a social media resume, you’re trying to impress many people, so it’s crucial to follow key design and layout principles to ensure your first impression gets it right.
Graphic artists, web designers, interior designers, clothes designers, and landscapers all deal with design concepts, colors, and layouts, so those professionals have it relatively easy. Professionals who are less astute in these areas may have the best of intentions when it comes to resume design….but their efforts don’t always come off well.
Below are the top three tips for creating an effective social media resume:
1. Make It Easy to Read
- Use a sans serif typeface/font like this one in a 10 or 12 point font. It’s far easier to scan through than a serif typeface.
- Use a solid, lighter color background (no deep purple background with white type, no bright green or screaming orange backgrounds)
- Black type color-this copies best if your resume is printed and passed around.
- Use a color wheel to help you look at and choose the most readable, and easy-on-the-eye color combination.
- Keep graphics small and to a minimum. No distracting background images or wallpaper.
- Avoid animation, unless you’re in a unique field (e.g., video game programmer) where this would be an asset as opposed to a. distraction. Even then less is more. You can always show off your portfolio/creations in separate attached links or files for those who want to see more of your work.
- Make it easy to ‘navigate’ and find different ‘parts’ of your social media resume. Try to use the three-click rule: If someone has to use more than three clicks to get from the main page to where they want to go, that’s too many (too frustrating and time-consuming). Make it EASY and FAST for the viewer to get around.
2. Use a Clean, Simple Layout
- Don’t get too fancy or complex.
- Use “bullets” like this, textual bolding, italicizing, and section headings appropriately. Make it easy on the eyes and easy to follow.
- Remember to keep it simple
3. Use Consistent Formatting
- Keep your font style the same throughout for easy reading/scanning.
- Use selective bolding, italicizing, underlining where appropriate and with the same areas (e.g., like these section headings-bold and italicized to set the off, or introduce a new thought)
A clean, simple design, layout and formatted social media resume-just like with your paper resume-are far more preferred by recruiters and HR staffers than something really fancy. Remember, they’re concerned with finding the right skills for a certain job. They could care less about the coolest Flash-enabled animation you put together, and it makes their job tougher. That’s NOT how you want to impress. Know your audience and design accordingly for job search success.
Cut and Paste into Unique, Impact Designs…
Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author, and trainer. Her most recent books include The Social Media Survival Guide (Also available in Spanish), The Online Job Search Survival Guide, and S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP: The Secrets of Repeatable Business Success. She is frequently cited by the national media as an expert in social media. She is Director of Communications, External Affairs, and a Lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
To schedule an individual consultation or group workshop on online job-search, visit http://www.onlinejobsearchbook.com/.
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