Steer Clear of Going Crazy with Formatting

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.

Unless you are a professional graphic designer, go by the “Rule of 2 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.
  • 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.
  • No more than 2 types of bullets. – And only one of them should be fancy (i.e. a checkbox or an arrow).
  • 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.

And here are a couple of other helpful tips:

  • Regardless of how much (or how little) formatting you decide to apply, make sure you leave enough white space.
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs. Opt for bulleted lists and clearly defined sections instead.
  • 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.