- Topics Mentioned
- Microsoft Office 2010
Resume Writing for IT Professionals
A note from the author: Over the past year, this series of resume writing articles has focused mostly on resumes from a large-scale perspective, taking a conceptual rather than how-to approach. For this series, though, we deal with step-by-step technical matters that will simplify your resume writing process. This article, and others in the series, assumes that you’re using MS Word 2010. We hope you find it useful.
When formatting a resume, sometimes you need to move beyond bulleted lists. Certain situations, like a breakdown of technology certifications or areas of expertise, might be better suited to a table rather than a list. Tables, after all, allow for easy comparison of data and background in a way that bulleted lists do not. Fortunately, MS Word has a feature that can easily embed tables directly into your resume.
Directions for Inserting and Formatting a Table
- Right-Click on the Insert tab on the MS Word ribbon.
- Right-Click on the Tables section, located second from the right. This will bring up a local interface with a number of options for inserting or customizing various tables. The most relevant to our purposes is the grid of squares at the top of the local interface.
- Hover your mouse over the grid to highlight the desired number of rows and columns. A preview of your selected table will appear in the document. NOTE: Be sure to turn off bulleted or numbered lists, unless you want the bullets or numbers to appear in the table itself.
- With the appropriate range of cells selected, right-click the mouse. This will insert the table into your document.
Once you’ve created your table, any editing of cells and formatting will be managed under the conditional Table Tools design tab, usually located on the far right of the MS Word ribbon. There are two subtabs on the Table Tools tab: Design and Layout. Much of the functionality is very similar to working with tables in MS Excel (also a part of the Office package), and only a bit of it is relevant to working with a table in a resume. Having said that, here is a partial list of the features available in these two subtabs.
From the Design subtab you can:
- Adjust the style of the table from a variety of preformatted templates using the Table Styles section.
- Customize your table by conditionally formatting the first and last row or column or by adding banded columns of particular colors or shading using the Table Styles Options section.
- Adjust the border or shading options for an individual cell or range of selections by first selecting the cell(s) and then using the dropdown interfaces for shading and borders found in the Table Styles section.
From the Layout subtab you can:
- Delete or add rows and columns to your heart’s content using the Rows and Columns section.
- Merge or split cells using the Merge section. Merging is especially useful for creating table headers. If you want to split your table into multiple sections, that can also be accomplished via the Merge section.
- Customize the size of either individual cells or all of the cells, using the Cell Size section.
- Adjust the appearance of your entire document by formatting the table using the alignment and text-wrapping features found in the Alignment section. This section also allows you to customize the alignment of text within individual cells, provided that those cells are first selected in the table itself.
Much of this functionality can also be accessed by left-clicking an individual cell or by selecting a range of cells and then left-clicking. Either action will bring up a secondary window with access to many of the table features described above.
Working with tables can greatly enhance the appearance and accessibility of your resume, or many other kinds of technical documents for that matter. So play around with some of the features, and have fun considering their impact.
The fifth entry in our MS Word Resume blog series will come out in one week and will focus on inserting lines and borders as a means of increasing your resumes professional appearance and accessibility.