Resume Writing 10 Practical Formatting Tips

Are you trying to put together your resume? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with how to set it out? Formatting your resume can be challenging and can seem like a never-ending task.

Here’s 10 things to consider when formatting your resume:

1. Font style

Choose a standard font that is easy to read and not too cursive or curly. You want to make it easy for the person who is perusing your resume.

2. Font size

11pt or 12pt is standard. Any smaller and it’s too hard to read, and any bigger and you will take up valuable space on the page.

3. Paper quality

If you are printing your resume, be intentional about buying paper that is a nice quality and that feels nice to touch. Cheaper paper will be more scratchy and the pages are more difficult to turn, which is frustrating for the person reading your resume. Remember, you are trying to make this an enjoyable experience for them.

4. Paper colour

Again, if you are printing your resume, white paper is standard and is what most people will prefer. You may like to do a colour cover page but my recommendation is that the bulk of the pages are on good quality white paper.

5. File size

If you are emailing your resume, be aware of the actual file size. Some large documents do not email well and if you are trying to email a large file, it may not reach its intended recipient. Also, larger files take longer to download, which is another reason to keep them small – you don’t want your resume to be ignored because the user can’t download it.

6. Margins

Your left and right margins should not be too small (approx 3cm is standard). If you reduce your margins too much, your resume will look busy and will be harder to read. Keep your text left justified to make it easy to read.

7. Paragraphs and spacing

Leaving ‘white space’ is visually appealing and makes the reader experience more enjoyable. Leave a line space between paragraphs and use subheadings where appropriate.

8. Subheadings

Subheadings are another way to break up the text and make your resume visually appealing to the reader. They also make it easy for the resume to be ‘scanned’ quickly.

9. File name

Choose a file name that includes your first and last name.

10. File format

For electronically submitted resumes, save your file as a PDF. This means that the receiver will be able to read it in its original format and won’t have to navigate through any formatting hitches that might occur due to different software versions.

Remember, formatting your resume is all about making it an enjoyable experience for the reader. Keep this in mind and you will do great.

Enjoy the journey,

And more importantly, enjoy the moments.



P.S. Want to know how to write your resume? In this webinar I will show you how.

QUESTION: What do you find most challenging about writing your resume? You can leave your comments here.