Resume Writing – Is ‘Content King’?

When it comes to writing a good resume sometimes there is confusion on where to put focus during compilation – should emphasis be placed on a stand-out design and format, or is the majority of time best spent on developing stellar content?!


Ultimately a resume is only as good as the content within it – which should include a unique value proposition, career highlights, specific results, and the skills required for the targeted role.


Employers need to know – very explicitly – how a job seeker is a good match for their requirements; this can only be shared in the resume details.   However, how you share content in a resume also matters.  Although it is regularly said that ‘content is king’ in a resume, the look and flow of the document must also be awarded appropriate attention.


Have you ever picked up a book because you were drawn or attracted to its cover?  Have you ever found yourself skimming a handout, brochure, or poster and finding it easy to read AND informative?  A resume needs a similar appeal – it must SELL the job seeker with the right words and stories, but entice the reader with an easy-to-read design that keeps them engaged.


If the format of a resume is displeasing the reader may be turned off before even looking to see what it says, or key content may be buried and overlooked.


The next time you sit down to work on your resume – remember that although the content of your resume is absolutely critical to its success, give the design careful consideration.  Keep the document clean and professional with clear headings and sections, proper white space, suitable design features, and yes even a bit of a unique flair to help it stand apart – all with the target audience in mind.


* Resume design does not matter in an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), but you should always have  a ‘human-eye’ friendly resume for in-person distribution.  Networking is the #1 way to secure new employment! 


Adrienne Tom

Looking to take your executive resume or job search to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? I can help! Visit me online at to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.
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