How to Format a Resume

Format a Resume

How to make your resume stand out while maintaining your brand?

Are you trying to stand out from the crowd with your resume? Using Curlz MT font coupled with boldface on a hot pink background will certainly make your application stand out among others; in a bad way. So in addition to ensuring that your resume is relevant and targeted to your desired position, make it eye-pleasing, or, at the very least, readable. As a professional resume writing service, we recommend finding a balance between catching the readers attention and presenting a professional brand,

Professional Resume Writers “Rule of Two” for easy to read resume formatting

Our certified professional resume writers suggest using this rule to maintain formatting that is pleasant to the eye. Unlike in flower arranging were odd numbers rule, in resume writing, we use “two” as the magic number. Unless you are a professional graphic designer, go by the “Rule of Two or less”:

  • No more than 2 fonts.– Defaults like Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are a safe bet, while Georgia and Cambria are great for headers. And don’t go lower than 10 pt in font size. Use the same font for all headlines or other sections that are repeated throughout the resume.
  • No more than 2 colors.– Aside from black or dark grey for the text, you may safely use light blue, grass green, or some other neutral color to embellish section headers. Take care not to pick hues that are too bright, as these are distracting. Now of course there are some exceptions, our executive resume writers can brand a client with a more dynamic presentation but it must be created using a professional designer. Here is a couple of resume examples created by our award-winning resume team. Chief Financial Officer Resume Example, VP of IT Resume Example, and Chief Technology Officer Resume Example.
  • No more than 2 types of bullets.– And only one of them should be fancy (i.e. a checkbox or an arrow). There are a lot of new options available so take some time to really match every element in the resume to your brand. This may seem like a minor detail but you only have one chance to make a first impression. Having a perfect resume might be the one thing that pushes you to the head of the line over the hundreds of other candidates.
  • Boldfacing, italicizing, underlining, and using small caps in a phrase all at once is overdoing it. Combining any two of the above-mentioned formatting tools is okay. We use boldfacing to drive the eye to the results of your achievements. Each of these formattings is used for specific reasons. We know that using all caps and boldfacing while texting is like screaming at your audience, so be careful to use them correctly. We emphasis certain words that we want the reader to remember. Even punctuation is a powerful tool to guide the reader!

And here are a couple of other helpful tips on resume formatting:

  • Regardless of how much (or how little) formatting you decide to apply, make sure you leave enough white space. Again it is about making your resume easy to read while guiding the reader to important sections.
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs. Opt for bulleted lists and clearly defined sections instead. As stated before, this allows the reader to quickly scan your resume for information. Most recruiters only spend a few seconds to review your resume and will not read the entire document, unless they are very interested.
  • Make sure your formatting is consistent. That means the same design of headers, same font, and size for the main text, same intervals between sections, and so on. A messy resume represents an unreliable candidate. If you cannot take the time to have a perfect resume, then will you take the time to do my job successfully?

A well-formatted resume can help you get an interview!

So just like a spelling mistake on your resume can harm your chances of getting that dream job so will a poorly formatted resume. Take the time to make your resume perfect. If you are struggling reach out to a professional to assist you. Hiring a professional resume writing service can be the best money you spend on your career! For a free resume consultation, contact iCareerSolutions award-winning resume service use this booking link.


Arno Markus Resume Writer

About the author

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW

Arno Markus Resume Writer

Arno Markus ​BA, MSc., CPRW
iCareerSolutions CEO and Founder

Arno Markus is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of iCareerSolutions. Arno has helped $50K to $2M salary employees through their entire job search, including creating a resume that got them noticed and landing interviews for the position they wanted. 

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iCareerSolutions is one of the Top Professional Resume & LinkedIn Profile Writing Services and Career Counseling Services in the US. The iCS team possesses Industry Certifications and Awards, including the Certified Professional Resume Writer Certification and the 2019 Best Project Manager Resume Writing Award from Career Directors International and the 2018 Best Analyst Resume from the National Resume Writing Association.

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