Microsoft Word Resume Formatting Hacks

By Julianne Wallace, Practicum Student

Let’s face it-creating the perfect resume can be frustrating. Not just the content of the resume, which is an art form in and of itself, but also with formatting. Templates can seem like an easy fix but can become troublesome when updating the document to meet your individual needs. How many times have you tried to format your resume template in Word and felt like this?

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To help you out, because, you know, we’ve been there, here are a few Microsoft Word hacks to ease your formatting frustrations.

ADDING A LINE

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Underlining section headers can increase readability. Select the Underline Tool (Ctrl +U). Type your header, then hit tab (space bar will not work) until you reach the end of the line. Bold will increase the line’s thickness.

ADDING BULLETS IN-BETWEEN TEXT ON THE SAME LINE

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Click the space in where you want the bullet. Select the Insert tab at the top of the page.

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Select Symbol, then choose Advanced Symbol. Choose your desired the symbol. To change the size of the symbol, highlight it and change the font size.

ALIGNING DATES TO THE RIGHT

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 Type your date, then click the space before the date. Hit the Space bar until the date hits the next line, then delete one space.

DECREASING THE SPACE BETWEEN LINES

From this…

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To this…

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Highlight the area that needs line spacing reduced. On the Home tab, choose the Character Spacing tab. Choose Line Spacing Options.

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 Set your Before and After Spacing at 0pt. To further reduce line spacing, select Line Spacing: Single.

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Happy resume building!

What’s your competitive advantage?

I find myself saying the same thing over and over again during the feedback portion of QUIC interviews:

“Well, dear student, all of this information is great. But what sets YOU apart from every other business student in this College? In Ohio? In the country? In the WORLD?!?!?”

Ok, I might not get that dramatic. But I do challenge students to GO BEYOND the typical interview fare and look within themselves to find what makes them great. What in the world are you the best at? What is a quality you have that the next guy/gal in line doesn’t have? What are the qualities that people constantly tell you you possess (even if you don’t always recognize it)?

The truth is, these qualities don’t have to be profound, earth-shattering, or life-changing. You don’t have to rescue babies from runaway trains to possess great time-management and critical thinking skills. But the whole point of an interview is to differentiate yourself from your competition. For example, everyone can claim they are hardworking, but how are YOU hardworking? Do you work 40 hours per week, play intramural soccer, maintain a healthy (and safe) social life, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA with only 3 cups of coffee per day? My word, you ARE a superhero!

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, can come up with at least three strengths that are unique, valuable, and relatable to your chosen career field. If you are struggling to come up with these qualities, stop in the Office of Career Management and set up an appointment with a career consultant. We can help you find your competitive advantage. Even if we have to drag it out of you.

Notes from the trenches: Self-Awareness

I recently conducted a QUIC interview with a young man who left an interesting impression on me. When I came out to the lobby to collect him for his interview, my first impression of him was the he was standoffish. He had short, one-worded responses, didn’t smile, and overall I couldn’t tell if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, didn’t eat his Wheaties, or was just a grumpy Gus.

Then the interview began, and this young man’s demeanor completely changed. It was like he secretly slugged a can of Red Bull when my back was turned. He was perky, engaging, interesting, and I was genuinely interested in hearing more about him.

Cue to the end of the interview, and once we were no longer “in character,” Grumpy Gus was back.

Because part of the QUIC interview process is to point out things you might not even realize you do (i.e. saying the word ‘like’, clicking your pen, tapping your fingers on the table), I felt obliged to tell this young man how he came across both before and after the interview, and how it altered my perception of him. He commented back that he’s been told this many times in his life, and I certainly wasn’t the first.

This is an example of self-awareness. For those of you who maybe aren’t aware (haha, the irony), self-awareness, in a nutshell, is the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. What this means in terms of interviewing is that you have to be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, and nuances so that you can you can appear in the interview to be a realistic combination of humble and confident. Able but flexible. Assertive not aggressive. Sounds almost possible right? Nah, not really. Just be yourself. Be the best you.

And how do you be the best you? By being self-aware. This is why the QUIC interview process is so helpful. Sometimes we are so focused on giving the right answer that we neglect to give the answer that’s right for us. It’s been proven time and again that the most memorable and successful interview answers are the ones that are genuine. A made-up answer may work sometimes, but it’s more likely to sound fake (because it is) and won’t leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.

For Grumpy Gus,  since he was very well-aware that he could turn on the charm during the interview, I advised him to make sure that he turned on this charm from minute one. As soon as he walks through the door to a company, he has to have the same enthusiasm he showed during the interview itself, and not to turn it back off until he is safely within the confines of his vehicle and away from company property. I was only conducting a mock interview, but if this had been the real deal, I definitely would have reservations about hiring a candidate that seemed grumpy one minute and happy the next. Employers like predictability, and being two completely different personalities in an interview can backfire.

So to all you Grumpy Gus’s, pen clickers, and “Um, like”ers out there – use constructive criticism to your advantage! The candidates who are self-aware are usually the first to take accountability for their actions, can communicate effectively, and overall are considered more likeable, aka hireable.

If you have no idea where you stand on the self-awareness front, just for fun, here is an online test that rates your level of self-awareness in various settings.

93% of THESE people use the Career Center

Want to increase your chances of getting recruited by top companies, but not sure how to do it?? Don’t fret, my friend – we have a solution for you! Come on over to 150 Gerlach Hall and visit the kind folks in the Office of Career Management.

You see, in a recent survey conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), 93% of recruiters reported using university career centers for recruiting purposes.

93%?? That’s alot of recruiters. (And coincidentally, alot of swag at the career fairs).

As for that other 7%… well, think of it this way: You know how toothpaste is usually recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists? Well, that 1 dentist is either lame or is being intentionally difficult. Regardless, you probably don’t want to work there anyway. That guy probably doesn’t smile very much.

So, get connected with Career Management and the cool kids in the 93% category – you’ll be happy you did.