Why Formatting Your Resume is Important

November 18 2014

By Julia Richardson – Picture if you will, you’re an employer or a recruiter and in front of you are two resumes. One is wall to wall text that contains a variety of fonts, bold words and even underlined words. The second contains a lot of information but you can read through it quickly because of the clear, crisp formatting. Of these two, which would you choose first?

Many of employers are evaluating multitudes of resumes each week and are more than likely going to go for that second resume to read first. This is because the second resume is easy on the eyes and can be read quickly. The first resume is the opposite.

If you want your resume to be ready by prospective employers and recruiters, then your best bet is to take the time and energy to revamp your resume or if you’re creating a resume for the first time, the below design tips will help you land an interview and ultimately a job.

Picture if you will, you're an employer or a recruiter and in front of you are two resumes.

Use White Space Liberally

You should use at least one-inch margins on your resume and be sure to leave a blank space between sections of text. This will allow for distinctive sets of information to be seen by the reader. As this article states, “White space is your friend.”

Use Two Fonts Maximum

It may be tempting to use a variety of fonts in a resume, but you should only use a max of 2. Using more can take away from your resume’s readability. Really you should stick to one font but if you want to use 2 then you should be sure that they correspond well together.

Also, avoid using playful fonts (think comic sans). Here is a list of the best resume fonts for reference.

Use Bold and Italics rarely and avoid Underlining

Yes bolding previous job titles and italicizing subheading in each document section is fine. However, avoid using underlining as studies have found that underlined text can be difficult to read.

Use Bullet Points

You should use bullet points in order to emphasize your skills and accomplishments. This also helps the reader of your resume be able to skim through it quickly and notice your key points you’re making.

Be Consistent

Above all, be consistent when formatting your resume. For example, if you choose to use all caps when presenting previous places of employment, be sure that all company titles are in all caps. Being consistent in your resume helps to establish an easy reading pattern for potential employers and will give your resume the attention that it deserves.

By following these key tips, you will be able to create a solid resume that will help you to sell it’s content to employers. Remember, you want your resume to be easily scannable. If an employer has to look too hard to find your information, he or she likely will not bother looking at all.

Picture if you will, you're an employer or a recruiter and in front of you are two resumes.

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