Resume Format - Important Tips!




Your resume format is just as important as preparing to write your resume, and including the appropriate resume sections. All of these components work together in getting the resume basics right.

Here are some of the most important aspects of the resume format...

Resume Templates

If you are confident in your ability to create your resume from scratch, feel free to do so. The other option is to use a resume template.

Although resume templates are useful as a guideline to decide what your resume will look like, I recommend that you type your information into a separate document.

Why?

Because... due to the automatic formatting in many templates, you may have difficulty pasting your resume into the job search engines. This is because the information may not align appropriately.

Besides, you want your resume to look original, not like a template, in which you just filled in the blanks.

Bullet Points

Use bullet points to organize your information. Your bullet points should consist of clear, concise, short sentences. NO LONG PARAGRAPHS. If I am reviewing a resume and have to read long drawn-out paragraphs, I will usually toss it to the side. By using short sentences, the hiring manager can easily see your keywords, which are the most important information.

3-5 bullet points per employer or per topic is ideal. Depending on your experience, you may have more than 5, but just don't over-do it. Include the most important points and the ones that are most relevant to the job you are seeking.

Prioritize the order of your bullet points. This is important because whatever people see first, they remember best. So in the first bullet points of any section, emphasize...

  • Your strengths
  • Your most relevant skills
  • Your most important accomplishments

This strategy will accomplish your most important goal: Get the recruiter's attention. Make them want more.

White space

Use plenty of white space. A hiring manager will scan your resume very quickly. White space makes your text easy to read. Use double spaces between sections headings and jobs to make them stand out.

The strategic use of white space is one of the most important aspects of the resume format because it makes the document easier to read.

Font

Recommended sizes:

  • Name - size 16
  • Section Headings - size 14
  • Other text - size 10 - 12, no smaller than 10
Regardless of what size you choose, your name should be the largest text, followed by section headings, then the remaining text.

You want your name to stand out, so the employer remembers you by name, and you want your section headings larger than the other text so the employer can easily locate each section.

Use bold font to make your name, section headings, and job titles stand out. Or if your previous employers are more relevant than your job titles, bold them instead.

Avoid using Italics or "fancy" fonts. This makes the words difficult to read. If I have to strain my eyes, I will probably not read it.

Use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman.

Margins

In general, margins should be one inch at the top, bottom, left, and right.

Number of pages

If at all possible, trim your resume down to one page. Use 2 pages only if you have many years of experience and all your accomplishments cannot fit on one page.

You never want to use more than two pages. A recruiter or hiring manager will generally not read beyond the second page, and may not read it at all if it seems too long, at a glance.

If you use two pages, type your name on the second page in the exact same size and font as on the 1st page. Type "Page 2" somewhere at the top of the page.

This will ensure that the hiring manager knows to look for the second page if the two become separated.

Paper type

Good quality stock paper. You should always use white, pale, or ivory paper. If you have a cover letter or envelope, make sure the paper is the exact same color and paper quality as your resume.

The above resume formatting tips work hand-in-hand with getting the resume basics right.

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