The Advanced Easy Peasy Resume Guide: Give your resume style

 

Making it personal:

You have chosen one of four templates and created a perfectly acceptable document to send for jobs. Perhaps, however, you want something a bit more personal. You can use your word processor (We used Microsoft Word for the resume You can choose Google Star Office or any other good word processing program. If you don’t have one you can set up a Windows Live account and create or edit your document on line with a full Microsoft Word program.

Some of the things you can do for your resume are

  • Change the Font
  • Add or reduce margins and spacing between lines
  • Underline, manage white space
  • Indent lines, center text

If you put in a little work before you start by placing all of the tools you need to edit your document, your task will be easier. To do this, right click on your tool bar and click  “customize”. In the window that pops up choose the “Toolbars” tab and click the New button. Name your toolbar “Resume” . Drag the little box that appears up to to the top of the toolbars. (It may be hidden behind the customize window – it’s empty and tiny).

Now you can add useful buttons. Choose the Commands tab and click on “Format” in the left hand column. Add the following icons from the right pane by dragging them up to  the new toolbar, which will get larger as you do: Paint ( a little paintbrush), Paragraph, Increase Indent, Decrease Indent, Font and Font Size. There are a lot more nifty tools you can play with, but for the moment this is all you need. The real jewel of the group is the paintbrush. If you look around, you can also find an icon for the thesaurus and spell checker, which I find extremely useful. You might as well add them. Click “OK’ to close the window. (If you click on the [x], all your changes will disappear.)

Click on View and make sure the ruler is checked. You will see a ruler with little triangular  sliders on top of the page. Now you are ready to work. You will use keyboard strokes for a lot of things, and we will use them as you need them.

Save your document before we start. To save it click on Ctrl +S in Word. Do this often as you write it.

First of all press Alt +A, which selects everything, at least in Word.

I heartily suggest you justify your resume to the left rather than centering all of the text, as peoplee read and retain most easily from Left to right. To justify the text so far (and everything from now on) click Ctrl +L

(left) / Ctrl +R = right, Ctrl +E = center..who knows  why?)

Save it with Ctrl +S again (you could accidentally delete everything at this point.)

To determine the font and font size. Click on the font window at the top of the page and you will see a list of all the fonts available. Don’t get carried away. Just because you can use a font that looks like too many tequilas doesn’t mean you should. To change the font on a whole page click Alt +A (Selects everything) and choose any font from the font box.

The easiest to read fonts are “serif” fonts, or fonts with tiny feet. San Serif (footless) fonts like Ariel can be very effective and attractive. You can mix fonts only to a point, but you should start by using the same font throughout.  Try the classic Times New Roman. Play around with the others later.

Save the document  with CTRL+ S. Now save it again (File > Save As) with a different name, so you can experiment without spoiling what you already  have.

Try playing with the paragraphs – tabs and indentation.  Select a paragraph with your mouse. Right click on the selected text and select Paragraph. You will get a little box which you can  use for a lot of things, but for the moment you want to get rid of all the tab marks, so click on Tabs at the bottom Left (or just press T). Change “Default Tab Stops” to 0 (zero) and click clear all Tabs. Now you get to set your own.

You can justify part of your header to the right hand side of the page with a “right tab”.  Type 6″ in the Tab box and click on “right” tab.  You can also let all of your employment dates line up neatly down the right hand side of the page by setting a right tab at six inches. You can use tabs to indent, to separate parts of you job header. You only need to format one line, by the way, as you can “Paint” that formatting onto any line where you need it by double clicking the paintbrush mentioned above with the cursor on the correctly formatted line then double clicking or selecting each line you want to look just the same.

The paragraph interface serves another very useful purpose: It allows you to change the spacing between lines and paragraphs.  Sometimes it looks much better if two lines are a little closer or further apart than the default settings.

Here’s an example.

Georges                         Bistro  Butte Montana                           2/98 – 4/02

Sous Chef for 75 seat bistro style restaurant with 200 seat outside patio and 20 eat bar serving contemporary American Food. Responsibilities: Line production, supervise staff of twelve, expediting, food safety, scheduling.

You can now choose to make it a bit larger (select the text and use the font size window) and you surely want it bold. Select the text and use Ctrl +B and redistribute the content so that it reads more easily:
Georges Bistro                   Butte Montana                           2/98 – 4/02
Sous Chef
75 seat bistro style restaurant with 200 seat outside patio and 20 seat bar serving
contemporary American food.
Responsibilities: line production, supervise staff of twelve, expediting, food safety, scheduling.

Better but:

It’s the resume equivalent of a cinder block house. Serviceable without much form.  Do something with your title. Select it and type Ctrl +I.  it’s Italic. Now select the text below it and click on the square button of  the double triangle slider on the ruler above,  Move it a couple of letters, so the text is indented. You can also  indent the title a little, if you want. Note that you must click on the bottom square below the two triangles  for this to work. You can do a lot with this, but experiment with it yourself.
changed format with italics title. Indent

Much better, but let’s play with space. Right click somewhere in George’s Bistro. Choose Paragraph.Type 3 into the spacing box for spacing after the line. Do the same thing for sous chef, but just move it over two or three spaces.

The final job listing

Again, you don’t need to do this for every paragraph. You simply need to  select the first row, double click  on the paintbrush icon you loaded earlier, then select each line you want to look that way. You still need to click on Tab in front of the date (first) and then the job, to get them to where you want them. Click the paintbrush and choose the title line, repeat by selecting that and double clicking the paintbrush and formatting all title lines. Keep this up.

Pretty good, eh? No magic. Now try playing with your address. Center it with Ctrl +E (who knows why E). Make it bold or increase the font.  Or right justify telephone number and email. Decide how you want to present your education using the same techniques.

This is not your final or only resume. It’s your template. Save it is template (but send is with your name as the title). Add, subtract, edit as you see fit. The chef resume blog will discuss the fine points of  effective resumes as well as what works poorly.  Enjoy.