Formatting Your Resume

The content of your resume comprises the essence of what makes you hirable, but the overall look of your resume is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Human Resource personnel and other recruiters, who often skim through dozens of resumes in a given week, are likely to judge the formatting of a resume whether they do it consciously or not.

Whether you’re building a resume from scratch or simply updating it for a new application, you should keep the following tips in mind.

Never use more than two fonts. It can be tempting to get overly creative with your resume, but using more than two fonts can greatly reduce its readability factor. One font is usually ideal, but if you use two, use one font for the headings and the second font for the paragraph/bullet text.

Make smart use of space. Have margins of at least one inch bordering your resume. Also, leave some blank space between various sections of the resume’s text, so that the different sections have distinct start and end points. It is never a good idea to stuff too much text onto one page – If it begins to look cramped, consider removing a couple of the less important items to free up some space.

Use bullet points to emphasize key ideas. Bullets allow recruiters to scan your resume more effectively since this acts to grab the reader’s eye and outline the key statements you want to make about yourself. Use bullet points wherever it makes sense, for example when you’re highlighting skills that are directly related to the position you are applying for. On the other hand, if you want to list countries you’ve visited (for a travel-related role), use a sentence or short paragraph instead of bullet points.

If you keep the above tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to creating a resume that showcases your strengths and looks great too!

By Dan McDonald

Dan is a Sales and Marketing Development Associate at Baxter Media. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2011.