Putting a resume together can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
Kate Smith, a recruitment marketing executive at Futures — a U.K.-based international recruitment service that offers interim and permanent job placement — told Fox News Digital that job seekers can craft a "perfect resume" if they take time to consider what it is they’re actually trying to achieve.
"When thinking about your resume, be clear, concise and keep it relevant," Smith said.
Here are some quick writing and design tips you should keep in mind if you’re creating a new job resume in 2022.
FILE - A job seeker hands a resume to a recruiter at a National Career Fairs event in Dearborn, Michigan, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Anthony Lanzilote/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
What should or shouldn’t be included in a resume?
Keep it short
As the old saying goes, brevity is the soul of wit. The same apparently holds true for resumes.
"When it comes to writing the perfect resume, the best resumes are the simple ones," Smith said.
Single-page resumes are ideal, but in some circumstances, a job seeker can go over that. However, Smith said these extended resumes should be "no longer than two pages and [be] relevant to the position you’re going for."
Nix the old job titles
Taking pride in past work is a good thing in general, but job seekers don’t have to mention everything they’ve done.
"Don’t keep information on your resume from years ago," Smith said. "If you’re applying for a job in finance, don’t include the retail position you held seven years ago."
Demonstrate your results
Job candidates who show an employer that they’re capable of supplying favorable results generally get a competitive edge.
"On your resume, explain the results and value you have brought to the business," Smith said.
She continued, "This should be in hard facts and numbers, such as, ‘During my three years at X, I have supported the company through strategic X to achieve their goal of increasing its turnover to X.’"
Highlight transferable skills
Job seekers who are looking to make a move into a different industry will need to demonstrate how they’ll be a good fit for the role they want.
"If you are moving industries, add information on your transferable skills and how they’re relevant to the industry you’re moving into," Smith said.
Remove irrelevance and redundancies
There’s only so much that can fit on a resume, which is why Smith recommends removing all irrelevant and redundant information.
For example, "having ‘references available on request’ isn’t needed as most companies will already assume this and will need a reference from your previous company," Smith said.
Keep your hobbies out
While some job seekers might want to show a little personality on a resume, Smith reiterated that resumes should focus on relevant career history.
"Aside from [providing] information on volunteering for your local community, etc., there is no need to include information about your personal life," Smith said. "They don’t need to know that you enjoy going to the gym or cooking."
Headshots aren’t usually necessary
For most people and industries, professional headshots aren’t necessary.
"There isn't a need to include a headshot on your resume. This can open the door to companies focusing more on what you look like than your relevant experience and skillset," Smith said.
She added, "The focus should be solely on your career and not on your appearance."
In some creative or public-facing roles, an employer might require a headshot, according to Indeed, an American employment website and job board. If an employer requests a photo, it’s acceptable to provide one.
Providing a link to a LinkedIn profile or business card could potentially work as an alternative, according to Indeed.
What about the design?
Font, spacing and margins
Professional resume and cover letter builder Zety said job seekers should make their resumes as easy to read as possible.
This includes using neat font styles such as Cambria, Calibri, Helvetica and Bookman Old Style, and keeping them at a legible 10-point or 12-point size. Choosing between serif and sans-serif fonts is up to the individual, but Zety recommends job seekers stick to using one font to keep the document consistent.
For spacing, Zety said resume makers can use double-spacing before and after headings and in between work experience entries and education sections. The rest of the resume can be left in single-space or a 1.15-line space. Margins should be equal on all four sides and can range between a half-inch and one inch, depending on how much space you need.
Job resume and cover letter template company Resume Genius said the color of a resume ultimately depends on the industry a job seeker is pursuing.
"Buttoned-up professions" in job fields such as law, medicine, civil service, finance and administration might not look fondly on bright colors, according to Resume Genius. Black, gray and white are safe colors.
However, in some cases, deep colors like navy blue, burgundy or dark green might be "acceptable" when used on a "simple resume template."
In some cases, a person can use color to mirror the branding of a company, which often shows a job candidate’s "enthusiasm" and compatibility.
Format for conciseness
Resume and cover letter writing guide Resume Lab said job seekers should format their resumes in a way that highlights "top strengths and achievements."
For section headings, Resume Lab recommends starting with contact information and following up with a summary or objective before working through work experience, education and skills. Other sections worth consideration include courses, certifications, publications and conferences.
Resume Lab also recommends listing work experience and education using reverse-chronological order. This means the most recent job title and school are listed up top while previous places of employment or schooling are referenced in descending order.
The resource notes that "strategic use of bullet points" can help resume makers "save space" and get their "message across concisely."