STYLE OR SUBSTANCE: WHICH IS BEST FOR YOUR RESUME?

by Marcia Hancock on December 3, 2013

Which is more important for your resume, style or substance?  You might be surprised with the answer.

‘Style’ or ‘presentation’ is as if not more important to your landing an interview than substance.  If your resume is eye-catching and unique in presentation, you are well ahead of the competition in being noticed.

Recruiters and hiring managers will naturally gravitate to a creative, out-of-the ordinary formatted resume ahead of more traditional resume submissions.

The ‘style’ and format create a framework to showcase your Skills and Accomplishments.imagesTQSWLOPC

Your resume is a work sample.  Your resume is an indicator of your work-style, what your future presentations and work products will look like.  Employers will choose to interview an applicant whose resume structure is original and imaginative in anticipation of hiring an employee whose work will be the same.

SO WHAT ABOUT SUBSTANCE?

‘Content’ loses value and meaning in the framework of a less than original presentation and resume style.   A synergy exists between resume ‘style’ and ‘substance’ as presentation highlights content and adds to subject matter creativity.

Presentation and format enhance and deepen word usage and the type and choice of words.  How to use words in a written resume is a very individual choice.  Job seekers and career counselors often disagree as to which words to use where and when.  Agree on which words are uncommon yet relevant, highlight Skills and Accomplishments.

Technical resumes are not exempt from the need for creativity especially for applications to start-ups or companies with an unusual market niche.  A technical applicant with a unique and imaginative resume style would be a much sought-after candidate.

The younger the company, the greater the need for singular-thinking yet technically-oriented employees.  The ability to compete and succeed relies heavily on employee-inspired innovation.  The more imaginative yet professional your resume presentation, the greater your chance of being interviewed and hired.

Caution: do not equate creativity and imagination with the bizarre.  Always be professional in your ‘style’ and ‘substance’.  Write outside your comfort zone and dare to be a tad different, but always be professional.

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