Resume formatting tips

The resume is the summary of your educational background and work experience presented in a format that is quick and easy to read and understand. The resume is almost always sent with the cover letter while applying for a job. The purpose of your resume is to convince a potential employer that you have got the skills and qualifications necessary for the position you have applied for.

Resume Format Tips

Your resume should be easy to read and understand. It shouldn't contain any elements that would take the reader's eyes off the content. One-page resumes are the general rule but if you are a highly qualified or experienced person you might need more than one page to adequately state all the relevant information. That said, don't make it longer than two or three pages.

Include only information that is relevant for the position you have applied for. For example, if you have applied for a back office position, you don't have to write about your skills in sales and marketing.

Use standard fonts

Do not use decorative fonts in your resume. Instead, use a standard font like Times New Roman. If the resume is going to be read on a computer, Arial or Verdana would look better.

Print your resume on a quality white paper. Leave margins of at least 1 inch on all four sides of the paper. Leave adequate space between sections, but avoid large areas of dead white space.

Use techniques like headings, itemization and indentation to make the resume easy to read or skim. Left aligned headings look better than centered ones. You can make them stand out by using all caps.

Do not send a photograph with your resume. Also avoid any reference to race, religion, sex, marital status, age, height or weight unless such information is necessary.

Organize information in the reverse chronological order. That means the most recent information should come first.

A resume has space constraints so use noun and verb phrases rather than complete sentences. Use parallel structure in itemized lists. For example, here is an itemized list of duties and responsibilities for a sales manager at a textile store:


Proofread the resume before sending it. Look for spelling and grammar mistakes. If it is possible ask a knowledgeable person to proofread it for you. Don't forget that your resume represents you and the impression it leaves on a potential employer is almost permanent. So make it flawless.

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See Also
Letter writing: Formal and informal
Resume writing

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