How To Pick A Font For Your Resume

Have you ever considered highway signs when writing your resume? Don’t worry, there is a logic to this madness. How long does the average driver have to look at a highway sign? The answer is: 6 seconds. There are reports that suggest the average recruiter consumes a resume in 7 seconds. Luckily, for most resume writers, employers spend a little more time looking over a resume. In the hands of an employer, a resume typically gets 15 seconds to shine.

Clearview Signs

Photo by Don Meeker

So, comparing your resume to a highway sign may be a good way to approach your font choice. Think about your resume as the highway sign for your future employer. You want to make sure that you direct the reader to the most relevant information as efficiently as possible.

Before delving into all the options available for the resume, consider another parallel between highway signs and resumes. Arguably, the most revolutionary moment for the Federal Highway Administration may have been the shift from Highway Gothic to Clearview. The FHA took over half a century to realize that drivers needed to be able to clearly read the signs. But, with the assistance and persistence of Don Meeker and James Montalbano (the genius minds behind Clearview), the FHA took the leap.

The subtle changes in the font of highway signs created a dramatic improvement in visibility, particularly at night, much to every driver’s benefit. Tests conducted between Clearview  and Highway Gothic indicate there is a 16 percent improvement in recognition with the new font, giving drivers an extra second or two to read a sign. With one fell swoop in the form of Clearview, a design that took Meeker and Montalbano over 10 years to create, America’s highway signs entered the modern world.

While there is certainly a lesson to be learned from Meeker and Montalbano’s persistence, the more relevant parallel is that a contemporary resume must have a clear and readable font. If you can get a prospective employer to glance one or two seconds longer, that maybe the difference between you and the next person in line for the job.

Here are some basic fonts that work with almost any resume: Arial, Times New Roman, or Helvetica. Times New Roman is a distinguished serif font that almost everyone, including your future employer, can easily access. It’s the favored font for school papers and other scholarly pursuits. Arial and Helvetica (and Clearview) are sans-serif fonts that don’t have any ornamentation. They’re considered more clean and slightly futuristic. Any of these are great options for your modern resume.

Should you have any doubts about which font is write for you, consider using the experts at Write In Color to help you craft your sleek, cutting-edge resume. Don’t get left behind in the job market with a Highway Gothic resume.

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Cover Letters: The Tips You Need To Know

Here at Write In Color, we understand the importance of a strong cover letter. It’s an opportunity to not only illustrate your professional experience, but also provide a potential employer insight into your voice and your brand. Having read over 500 cover letters for entry-level media jobs, Slate’s Innovation’s Editor, Katherine Goldstein, provides 12 valuable tips for crafting the ideal cover letter.

nycreativeinterns.com

nycreativeinterns.com

Goldstein focuses on the importance of keeping a cover letter short, revealing that she gives no more than 30 seconds to look over an applicant’s cover letter. She encourages applicants to familiarize themselves with the company or website, explaining that “detailed flattery will get you further, because it shows you’ve done your homework.” And despite what academic advisors have spent years convincing us, Goldstein reveals that her eyes glaze over details pertaining to an applicant’s GPA, college coursework or thesis.

To read more of Goldstein’s insightful tips, click here

Still need help drafting the perfect resume or cover letter? Write In Color is here to help. Visit our Los Angeles resume service at writeincolor.com.

When You Should List Volunteer Work On Your Resume

There’s one section of your resume that usually gets left behind or de-emphasized: unpaid work experience. However, perhaps it’s time to take a new look at all the volunteer work that you do. According to the latest research, corporations and other employers may be very interested in what you’re doing to make your life meaningful outside of the workplace.

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A researcher and professor of organizational psychology at Wharton, Adam Grant has some thoughts on this topic that are causing companies and employers to reconsider their position on extracurricular activities. Adam regularly advises companies like Google on how to maximize their employees’ job experience and how to get the most from their employees in terms of efficiency and productivity. His latest book, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success,” argues that the biggest unused motivator for people is their sense of service to others. In other words, framing the work we do in terms of service, rather than our personal gain, actually boosts productivity. If companies can redirect their employees’ outlook from “How much am I making” to “How much am I helping the community,” then they will have more productive and efficient employees who are happier in their jobs. Volunteer work is a great way to cultivate this mentality.

Now, how does this research fit into your resume? Not only should you feel good about your altruism, you should highlight these contributions on your resume. Volunteer work lets your employer know that you’re able to give back while presenting an opportunity for you to discuss how you plan to apply the same kind of meaning to your work in the office. In addition, for those with large gaps in their resume, such as stay-at-home moms who are trying to get back into the workforce, volunteer work is a great way to showcase how you developed your skills outside the traditional work realm.

So if you aren’t volunteering, get out there and give back. Your resume and employer will thank you for it. And if you already more, make sure your resume reflects your good deeds. Chances are your next employer will value you more for it.

Be The Lightning Bolt – Job Search Cartoon

los angeles career services

Lately, we’ve been helping a lot of clients prepare for the big job interview, both through our resume services and coaching sessions that get them comfortable talking about their professional experience. Although verbal is key, nonverbal cues can also mean the difference between getting the gig and being passed up for it.

One word of advice: make it clear you’re excited about the position. Sure, a green tie is great, but unless you package it with a warm-yet-professional demeanor (and a smile), your future boss could be left less than enthused. In a recent study, 38% of execs said not smiling will hurt a job candidate’s chances of landing the gig.

In an increasingly competitive job market, a strong resume, a killer cover letter and a knack for articulating your skills and talents will go a long way. But a smile every now and then doesn’t hurt, either!

Job Interview Secrets, Straight From The Boss – An Infographic For Job Seekers

For many job seekers, the only thing scarier than drafting a resume is deciding how to act in the job interview. How much should I divulge about the job I got fired from? How many questions can I ask them without seeming too eager? Can I show enthusiasm for the job but still seem professional? These are just some of the questions we commonly hear from our career services clients.

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That’s why we were thrilled to stumble upon this job interview infographic during our blogosphere surfing this morning. There’s no be all, end all guide to performing well in a job interview, but this graphic portrays some of the biggest employer trends in the world of job seeking. Here’s what 2000 bosses told surveyors about their experience conducting job interviews.

What are the most common nonverbal mistakes made at a job interview?

67% – Failure to make eye contact
47% – Lack of smile
33% – Fidgeting
33% – Bad posture

What are the most common overall mistakes made at a job interview?

#1 – Failing to ask for the job
# 2 – Failing to set yourself apart from other candidates
#3 – “Winging” the interview

What questions are you most likely to be asked?

#1 – Tell me about yourself.
#2 – Why did you leave your last job?
#3 – What do you know about our company?

The infographic drives home a few major points: know about the company you’re interviewing with, and know about yourself! Usually, researching your prospective employer is the easy part. What’s more difficult for many job hunters is revisiting years of work history and distilling how previous positions have prepared them for their future gig.

Whether you enlist a resume professional like Write In Color or prepare for your interview on your own, take the time to really think about what your work experience offers your future employer. Yes, it might take some digging through files to remember what you did at Job X eight years ago, but that extra legwork will ensure you’re prepared when the interviewer asks you the dreaded, “Why should I give you the job?”

Ask (For A Raise) And You Shall Receive – Job Tip of the Day

los angeles career advice job resume cover letter consultants

Hey you! Yes, you. Have you asked for a raise lately?

Asking for a raise isn’t easy. Even if you’re on great terms with your boss, money is a difficult topic to bring up. Maybe that explains why, according to recent research, only 1 in 4 employed women in the U.S. have asked for a raise lately.

The researchers, from Citi and LinkedIn, set out to find out the biggest gripes of women in the U.S. workforce. One of the three most common frustrations was not earning enough money, yet only 1 in 4 women said they had asked their employer for a raise in the last 12 months. What good does it do to ask? More than you think.

Of the 25% of women who asked for a raise, 75% got one. And better yet, half of them either got the raise they wanted or more than they asked for.

Let’s recap the math: A lot of us want to make more money. Very few of us ask for a raise. But those of us who do ask for a raise have a pretty good chance of getting one. The moral? Ask!

Attention, Fashion Junkies: How to Land a Fashion Industry Job

career advice fashion industry jobs los angeles

Whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York City, or in one of the thousands of small towns in between, fashion jobs are a hot commodity. With more people wanting to break into the fashion industry, it’s more important than ever to set yourself apart from the other fashion junkies out there during your job search.

Elle recently offered fashion job seekers some pretty concrete career advice, straight from  industry movers and shakers. Here’s what they had to say:

If you want to be a fashion exec:

Network, network, network. Go to as many fashion events as possible, take every business card you can, and make sure you understand as many aspects of the industry as possible.

If you want to be a fashion designer:

how to get a fashion industry job

Remember that fashion is a business. Aka, don’t expect summer vacations and lots of lazy Sundays. Being a designer is a lot of hard work.

And, according to Rachel Roy, the cover letter is key. Says the high-profile designer, “I’m looking for experience on a résumé, but also a true interest in the industry. I read cover letters. That’s your opportunity to tell me your story, so I can look past just the words on a résumé and see who you are as a person. I’ve interviewed people who have had little experience, but a truly great story on their cover letter.”

If you want to be a fashion show producer:

Take the unpaid internship. Correction: take many of them.

If you want to be a fashion editor:

advice for fashion industry job seekers

Don’t just know fashion. Educate yourself on the history of music, movies and politics so that you can understand the true relevance of the today’s fashion. In other words, be a modern-day Renaissance man (or woman) like legendary editor Diana Vreeland.

If you want to be a fashion publicist:

Be passionate about the job you’re applying for. Don’t say you want to work in PR; if that’s the case, then go for PR! To snag a competitive, high-pressure position like a fashion publicist, passion is key.

And job seeker, this tip applies across the board. In your interview, make sure your employer knows exactly why you want the particular job you’re vying for. No one wants to hire someone unenthusiastic and apathetic toward their work, especially in an industry like fashion, where people are lining up around the block for an entry-level gig.

Want more job-seeking advice? Write In Color will help you get prepared to land your dream job, whether it’s in fashion or finance. We offer comprehensive resume services, cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile overhauls and coaching sessions to help you feel comfortable talking about your work history in your job interview. With clients in fields such as fashion, entertainment, law, media and tech, we know what it takes to make you appealing to an employer at any stage in your career.