A Twist on the Old Fashioned Resume: The Two Column Resume Format

I come from a very diverse family (both ethnically and career wise). Between my most immediate family members we’ve got someone in child welfare, special education testing, computer programming, finance, accounting, construction, and fitness. We literally run the gamut of jobs. So, I was lucky enough to find an old post written by my brother-in-law about the two column resume format. Hey, if we’re diverse in the family, why not be diverse with resume options?

Now you’re saying, “the two column resume format? But Lindsay, that goes against everything I’ve ever been taught about writing resumes!” You’re totally right, but I think it has an interesting place in the job market now that it’s becoming much harder to stand out. Here’s a general layout of what it would look like.

Two column resume format sample

Two column resume format sample

Not typical, but still professional in my opinion. This format has two benefits.

  1. It stands out from the crowd. It will immediately be noticed by hiring managers because it’s different, yet still classy, clean, and easy to read. Sometimes, something as simple as using an awful format can cause your resume to be discarded, so this may help you when applying to new positions.
  2. It lets you put all of your relevant experience on the first page. Oftentimes, items like your skills, publications, or licenses are pushed to the bottom of your resume on the second page. These things are important though and help highlight why you’re a good fit for the job! This format provides a way to tell the hiring manager about your experience and your extra skills at one glance.
  3. It’s set up similar to a blog. As my brother-in-law mentioned in his article, this set up is perfect for the computer savvy world we live in today. It’s easy to navigate and read, making it an ideal format, especially for those in the IT field.

Now, just a caution to all you folks who want to jump on the two column bandwagon ASAP. I’ve never actually used this resume format (despite having started creating one) and it really might not be suitable for all fields. However, artistic fields and IT fields could definitely benefit from switching it up and showcasing your creative abilities. Honestly, I think everyone could benefit from switching it up a bit, but I don’t want to be blamed if your resume format doesn’t land you the job.

So here’s my suggestion. Do a little experiment (the research nerd is coming out, sorry!). Try out both formats and see which one you get better results with during your job search. For all you know, you’ve just found the world’s most ingenious way to stand out from the crowd without holding those walking “I need a job” boards!

Really, you probably don't want to be this guy.

Really, you probably don’t want to be this guy.

Now it’s your turn! What do you think of the two column resume format? Is it a hit or a miss?


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