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Formatting Essentials

Yes, you’re going to have to make decisions about what to include and how you present yourself.

7 Tips for Formatting to help make your resume writing process a little easier:

  • Don’t use a microsoft or adobe resume template. Cookie-cutter resumes don’t work. They send the message that you can’t format a document on your own, and they can limit what you choose to include. They're also very difficult to change and customize.
  • Use bullets instead of writing in paragraphs. Bullets help your reader skim more quickly and guide them through the page.
  • Stick to one page. Most college undergraduates don’t have the range of relevant experience that warrants more space.
  • Leave some "white space." One-inch margins are standard. White space not only gives your reader’s eyes a break, but it also leaves room for notes.
  • Be consistent with format. Use the same spacing, font, sizes, placement of headers, etc.Avoid italics and underlining since both can be misread by scanners or electronic systems. Use ALL CAPS and bold instead.
  • Choose a standard font that is easy to read—like Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, Tahoma, or Verdana. Use no less than 11 points for smaller fonts; larger fonts can be easily read at 10 or even 9 points.
  • Make headers larger than body text. Use them to organize your content and make it easier to find relevant information.