You’ve finally done it: you’ve distilled your years of education and experience into one or two pages of resume content. Now it’s on to formatting. Sure, you could use a standard resume template, but those designs are sure to get buried in the stack. If you’re designing your own resume, here’s a quick formatting checklist to ensure your final product is clean, modern and, above all else, easy to read.
1. Create a clear visual hierarchy.
Be kind to the potential employer reading your resume: keep your design simple. Have clear headings, and make sure your subheadings follow a logical visual pattern. Using different font sizes or styles is an easy way to create a clear visual hierarchy that displays your important information clearly to the reader.
2. Keep it clean.
Leave the bells and whistles at the door. If you’ve established a clear hierarchy of information, you shouldn’t need many other elements to ensure your potential employer is taking away the desired information. Too many boxes and/or columns confuse the eye, overwhelming the reader and making it a lot more likely for your resume to get tossed aside before its information is fully digested.
3. Choose modern-yet-modest fonts.
Once you’ve created a clean resume design, incorporate an interesting display font into your header to give your resume a touch of “you.” However, if you use an atypical font, make sure it’s easy to read and limited to headers. Don’t go too crazy; a condensed, narrow san serif, or a strong serif in a large point size will let your style shine through without looking comical or outdated. Never use a font that you wouldn’t take seriously.
4. Never use fonts smaller than size 10.
If your resume isn’t easy to read, chances are it won’t get read at all. Resist the urge to make your body font smaller than size 10, even if you’re having trouble fitting your content onto one or two pages. Don’t make your future employer pull out a magnifying glass!
5. Use a pop of color.
When it comes to personalization, a little bit goes a long way. Although we love color, choose a single area in which to incorporate a hue that speaks to you. Think pop of color rather than technicolor. Your main header or section headers are often good places to incorporate color without reducing readability or increasing tackiness.
When it comes to resumes, it’s a story of form and function. Your writing could be the most compelling stuff in the world, but if it’s presented in a visually confusing way, the reader will never fall under its spell. It goes the other way, as well: if your design is clean, modern and easy on the eyes, but your content falls flat, your formatting prowess won’t save you. That’s why Write In Color writes content and creates a custom design for each of our resume clients. We’ll ensure that your resume’s writing and format create a compelling whole package your future employers won’t be able to deny.
If you’re looking for a resume, CV and/or cover letter in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills or beyond, contact Write In Color. Our Los Angeles-based writing agency provides personalized resumes for local clients and job-seekers in all time zones.