Helpful tips

Resumes are built in logical categories that make it easy for a reader to scan and evaluate, identify, and contact the person presented. It is best to use standard categories and order them in a way that put your most compelling qualifications on the top half of your resume.

The key to formatting is to make adjustments according to how much information you have to make sure you are limiting the document to the minimum amount of pages if it is possible. Here are some tips:

  • Create a good spacing with margins of one inch wide on the top, bottom, and sides of the resume.
  • Use bold type, underlining, and capitalization to highlight information.
  • The resume should be neat. Never make handwritten corrections.
  • Print it with your computer through a laser printer and on professional white paper. The font should be simple and easy to read.
  • The font should be simple and easy to read.
  • The font standard size is 11 or 12 points.
  • Margins can range from 1/2 an inch to 1 inch.
  • Resumes (not curriculum vitae) should typically be confined to one page. However, in some fields, it is okay to have two pages. Put the name and page number on the second page.
  • Paragraphs should be no longer than ten to twelve lines or five to seven bullets.
  • Be brief, concise, and clear.
  • Depict your history honestly.
  • Use only current resumes. Make sure all contact information is up-to-date.
  • Tell the employer what you can do! Highlight content and transferable skills.
  • Quantify and explain why your work was important. Show results and achievements.
  • If a career objective is used, it should be specific and give focus to the resume.
  • Proofread your resume several times.
  • Check for grammar, spelling, and typing errors.
  • Write in a telegraphic style (short phrases). Complete sentences are not necessary.
  • Write objectively – no I’s, me’s, my’s, etc.
  • State present position in present tense and past positions in the past tense.
  • Use action and positive verbs and keywords.
  • Avoid abbreviations when possible.
  • Use consistent formatting.
  • Place the most important material with the greatest amount of details at the beginning of each job description and resume section.
  • Use a format that is uncluttered, organized, and readable.
  • Customize your resume for each position you apply for.
  • List accomplishments for each job (numbers and quantifiable data are important to demonstrate achievements).
  • Include a cover letter with your resume.
  • Include a references page with your resume.
  • Bring several copies of your resume to an interview or job fair.

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