Gone (or at least dwindling) are the days when your resume would be received in the mail, processed by hand, and read by someone sitting at a desk. More often than not, resumes are sent digitally these days—and even more recently, recruiters are not just poring over your accomplishments while sitting quietly at their desks. They could be reading your resume on their phone screens while they commute or multitask.
That means you need to update your resume to account for those who may be reading your resume on the go—but how?
Here are some ways to maximize your resume’s mobile potential in order to get it mobile friendly.
1. Peek at your resume on your own phone.
Before sending it out, download and read the file on your own phone. That way, you can see what recruiters and hiring managers will see. If it looks crowded or otherwise difficult to read at a quick glance, it needs some work.
2. Do some research before you make any changes.
Surf some websites on your phone, especially ones that are text-heavy, like news sites. What works? What doesn’t? Do you notice anything in common among sites that are easy to read.
3. Simplify the design.
If you’ve got text boxes, columns, or other fancypants elements, consider dropping them. You want your resume to stand out, but you also want it to be appealing to a broad range of readers. To do that, content needs to triumph over form. Your accomplishments and skills can and should speak for themselves, and while bells and whistles are nice to have, you don’t want them to get in the way of having your resume speak to the right person.
4. Go short and sweet.
The average recruiter spends 6-ish seconds reading a resume. That alarming tidbit means your info has to be compelling, and it has to be clear. Keep this doubly in mind for mobile resume reading. You may think you’ve edited your novel of a resume down to a lean novella, but it may need to be edited even further so that you don’t have endless blocks of text in a mobile browser.
Keep focusing on the highlights, and make sure you’re conveying info as succinctly as possible. For example, if you take 15 words to say that you have 10 years of experience, that’s a prime target for further editing. Use short bullets whenever possible.
5. Forgo some formatting.
Like with strong visual elements like graphs and text boxes, formatting should also be reviewed closely for need. Only use bold or italics when you want to emphasize a point—don’t use italics just for the heck of it, or to create visual interest on the page. Make the formatting reflect the content, not an arbitrary form.
6. Keep only the most necessary elements.
Adios, “Objectives” section. Goodbye and good luck, “References available upon request.” This editing for mobile clarity is a good excuse to get rid of sections that are taking up space on your resume without adding anything particularly helpful.
These edits are good for modernizing your resume, but also for general resume housekeeping. Again, you want your resume to be a laser-focused document of your most hire-able qualities. And making it so that it can be read, understood, and appreciated in all formats is a great way to move toward that goal.
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