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How To Format A Resume

Final Resume Formatting Checklist

How to Format a Resume for Success in 5 Easy Steps | Indeed Career Tips

Before you send off your application, heres a final checklist to make sure your resume formatting is correct and makes you come off as a professional:

The Resume Genius Resume Formatting Checklist

Is your contact information accurate?

Does your resume NOT include sensitive personal information?

Does your resume fit on one page ?

Is your information easy to read ?

Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?

Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?

Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?

Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?

Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?

Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?

Are all your sections properly aligned ?

Top It Off With Some Skills And Interests

The skills section of a resume gets a bad rap, but its just as important as the rest of the stuff you include. Its a quick list a recruiter can scan to see if your skill set aligns with what theyre hiring for. And its super ATS-friendly because it allows you to add in keywords the machine is scanning for.

Usually this section goes at the bottom of your resume, but in special casessuch as a skills-based resume or when someones switching fieldsyou may place it further up.

What exactly do you throw in here? Youll want to list any hard skills and applications youre familiar with , and, if relevant, your level of expertise. Avoid including soft skills here, like time management or public speakingsave those for your bullet points instead.

Be strategic when filling in your skills. Dont list things you actually couldnt do at a high competence level , and maybe nix skills that are completely irrelevant to the job you want. For example, you may not even need to include Excel if youre applying for say, a design position, unless its listed as a job requirement.

Start By Choosing The Right Resume Format

A format is the style and order in which you display information on your resume. There are three commonly-used resume formats you can choose from depending on which is right for you: Chronological , functional or a combination.

A chronological resume format places the professional history section first and is a good option if you have a rich professional work history with no gaps in employment.

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  • Awards

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    Benefits Of Using Resume Formatting Software

    The main and biggest advantage of using resume formatting software is that it frees your time, allowing you to do much more proactive and rewarding things such as:

  • Spend more quality time with candidates. This will help you understand your clients and their needs, skills, and capabilities better. As a result, you will be able to create better matches and upscale your service.
  • Increase the number of clients. More free time means more time to network, outreach, and as a result, more clients!
  • Create better job descriptions. The job descriptions you release for openings at your firm are one of the most important factors for attracting the right talent.
  • Faster submissions. The earlier you submit the candidates resume, the higher the chances that you will make a placement.
  • Write Your Name And Contact Information At The Top

    Create A Resume Format

    Now that you have the template open, start by editing your resume header at the top of the page:

    At the very least, you should include your:

    • Full name
    • Phone number

    Here is what a properly formatted header looks like in Word:

    Optionally, you can also include your current job title in your resume header to immediately advertise your professional background.

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    Third Choose A Font To Give Your Resume A Professional Finishing Touch

    Choosing the right font for your resume is an essential piece of the layout puzzle. The font you select should be professional and easy to read.

    There are several important aspects to consider when determining the ideal font for your resume, such as:

    • A sans-serif font is easy to read, particularly when dealing with dense blocks of text which may be read in a digital format. You should also select a font which has minimal artistic flourishes, opting instead for one with simple, clean lines.
    • The size of your font is a critical decision for your resume. A font size of at least 10 points should always be selected as this ensures that your resume is easy to read. Keep the font size at 12 points or less, however, as larger sizes may give the impression you are padding for space.
    • Use a consistent format to highlight the headings for each section of your resume. This can be accomplished with the use of emphasis modifications, such as bold, underlined or italicized text, or by increasing the size of the font by 2-4 points.

    How 2022 Job Trends Influence Resume Formatting Choices

    Its no surprise that in 2022 the way we work is changing big time. And that affects everything from the methods of conducting your job search to formatting your resume. With more companies favoring remote teams, flexible hours and specialized candidates, there is a lot to adapt to when it comes to finding a new position or even starting a career from scratch.

    In this chapter, well discuss some of the major trends for work in 2022 and how you can adjust your resume formatting choices to increase your chances of landing your dream job. Heres whats ahead:

  • Work from home: a blessing or a curse?
  • Freelancers role in the market
  • Specialized workers lead the way
  • Breaking into the workforce in 2022
  • How modern technology is shifting hiring practices
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    What Is A General Resume Format

    A general resume format is a traditional format that lists your work experience, education, skills and qualifications in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent job first. In a general resume format, several elements should be included to ensure your resume stands out to employers. These elements include:

    • Your resume summary: General resume formats include a resume summary that details your skills, experience and qualifications in two to three brief sentences.

    • Work history in order: Using a general format also requires listing your work history, with the most recent or current position at the top of this section.

    • Educational experience: Education follows the same reverse-chronological order as your work history, starting with your most recent degree, certification or training program listed first. You may also list related certifications in this section, too, as long as they are connected with your educational training.

    • Skills and qualifications: Your skills and qualifications are listed in the last section of a general resume format, and you can include skills that are relevant to the job as well as keywords from the job description.

    These four sections make up a traditional resume, however, if you have additional awards or accolades, you completed volunteer work or research projects or have publications under your name, you can create a separate resume section to highlight these accomplishments.

    Related:6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

    Attachments Vs Pasting Plain Text

    How to Format a Resume FAST – Example Resume Template

    Keep in mind that some employers do not accept attachments. In such cases, paste your resume into your email message as plain text. However, when there are no instructions, the easiest way to send your resume is as an attachment. That will preserve your resume content and format. Your cover letter can either be attached as well or written in the body of an email message.

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    Which Resume Categories Do I Include

    Organizing your resume is just as important as formatting it. Many resumes are put together by job seekers who arent sure of how to organize their information, resulting in a resume that lacks focus.

    You always want to make sure that your categories are well defined and organized appropriately for not only who you are, but the type of resume that youre using .

    Here are the categories that you need to include on your resume:

    What Are Employers Looking For In A Resume

    Hiring managers look for three things on your resume, What did you do? Why did you do it? And what was the result? says Muse career coach , owner of Career Therapy. If you can answer all three of these questions in…your resume bullet points, youre going to be on the right track.

    Clear, easy-to-understand language is key. The truth is that most resumes make no sense. They are stuffed with jargon, they are too technical, and they are filled with redundancies. Try to read a resume that isnt yours and you will quickly realize that it feels like an alien wrote it, McGovern adds. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter who has no idea how your role workshow can you make your resume accessible to them?

    The hiring manager also cares about more than just you and you alonethey care about you in relation to them. Hiring managers want to see if a candidate matches the requirements of the role theyre hiring for, Yurovsky explains. Your resume should paint this picture so the hiring manager not only knows what day-to-day responsibilities you can handle, but why you, above other, bring value to their organization.

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    Include Your Education In Order

    List your education after your work experience, using reverse-chronological order. Include the name of the college or university, the date of your graduation and the degree you received. If you earned any certifications that were requirements of your educational training, be sure to include those as well.

    What Are Some Examples Of A Good Resume

    Best Resume Format for a Professional Resume in 2021

    Heres the thing: Your resume wont ever look exactly like someone elses, nor should it. How you choose to format it, organize your information, and talk about specific experiences depends not just on your career path, but on your field, the job youre applying for, the company that job is at, and more.

    So there isnt a universal way to do a resume. But there are common themes. To give you some context as to how yours might turn out, here are three examples of different kinds of resumes.

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    The Creative Angle: An Infographic Resume Or Resume Website

    This resume type is characterized by how its formatted visually. You may choose a reverse chronological order or skills-based style to organize your information, but also use graphics, colors, unique fonts, and even multimedia elements to help that information pop. Keep in mind that any creative resume is still likely subject to an ATSand certain elements may be unreadable by a robot. So consider going this route only if you know a human will be reading your resume .

    Who its good for: People applying to creative roles , startups, or fun companies, or to jobs where a creative resume is encouraged, if not required.

    Not a designer but want your resume to look just as pretty as this example? Check out these articles:

    Your resume is a living, breathing document. So while you wont go through this whole process every time you apply for a job, you should be thinking about all these things as you go to update your resume for your next career step. You might decide later on to switch up the order, or remove or add things, or even get creative and try out a whole new format. If youre not getting the calls back you expect, you may decide to scrap it and start overand thats totally OK.

    Fast Company

    Tips For Formatting Your Resume

    In addition to choosing a type of resume, you will also need to select a font and font size and make style choices . Choose a font that’s easy to read and professional. Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, and Tahoma are all good choices for a font.

    Keep the font size large enough to be legible. The body should be a 10-12 point font, but you can use a slightly larger font for headings.

    Its also important to be consistent in your style choices. If you decide to bullet your experience, for example, do so throughout. Similarly, once you choose a font, stick with it for the whole resume.

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    Ireformat: How To Do Automated Resume Formatting

    If you are a recruiter, you are definitely familiar with the pain that comes with formatting resumes manually.

    You are wasting around 20 minutes per resume if you are skilled and experienced, but it is costing you much more than just time. You are cutting down on more important activities that can bring you more profit and strengthen your network. Thats why you should opt for using resume formatting software.

    Resume formatting is simply customizing the candidates resume into a client-presentable format or as per the industry standards. A good hiring manager wants a professional-looking formatted resume. After all, everything depends on the first impression.

    In this article, we will cover the benefits of using resume formatting software, and how to use such software.

    Include A Professional Profile

    How to Make an Easy Resume in Microsoft Word (2020)

    It is essential that the upper portion of your resume is an attention grabber or it may quickly get rejected. Write an opening statement that showcases your most significant achievements, suggests career expert Gary Burnison, writing in CNBC. To create a visual impact, use bullet points. Insert this section directly below your contact information which should be at the very top of the page. Add three to five strong statements regarding your background and expertise profile of who you are and what you are capable of contributing to the company.

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    What Is Apa Style

    The American Psychological Association publishes a style guide widely used by writers and academics. Using APA style standardizes content organization, spelling, abbreviations and citations. APA style is typically the required style guide for writers and students in the social sciences, business and nursing.

    The APA regularly updates its style guide. You can find a copy at most libraries. Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab offers an extensive free guide to APA style to anyone who wants to use it. You do not have to be a student at Purdue to access OWL.

    There is no APA resume format or APA resume template. Within APA writing and formatting guidelines, you can make choices about the content and organization of your resume.

    Format Your Plain Text Resume For Emails

    If you’re sending your plain text resume through email, you’ll need to format your document a bit more so it’s readable for your recipient. Some email services create long lines of text and wrap text in the wrong spots. Here’s how to format your plain text document for high readability:

    • First, open your plain text document in Microsoft Word

    • Next, select all of the text and change the font to Courier, 12 pt.

    • Next, select “Page Layout” from the top toolbar and click on “Margins”

    • Next, select the drop-down menu at the bottom and choose “Custom Margins”

    • Then, in this window change the “Left Margin” at 1 inch and the “Right Margin” at 1.75 inches.

    • Finally, save your document as plain text.

    Changing the margins to these numbers will keep your text lines no longer than 65 characters, which will eliminate long lines of text and other formatting issues in an email.


    Here is a template to show you how a plain text resume may look:


    Mention the type of role you are seeking with brief details about your years of experience, education and impressive work accomplishments related to the job you’re applying to.


    • Include unique, marketable skills related to the job you want

    • Include any additional work accomplishments that show initiative and accountability

    • Choose specific experiences to showcase employable skill sets

    • Use as many keywords from the job description as possible


    Job Title, Company, City, State, Dates of Employment


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    Curriculum Vitae Vs Resume

    Curriculum vitae is Latin for course of life. As such, a curriculum vitae is a multi-page document detailing education, experience, publications, awards and professional memberships. CVs are usually required for jobs in research, academia and high-level positions. CVs are all-inclusive, so they can run as long as 20 pages.

    A resume, on the other hand, provides a synopsis of your relevant education, experience and skills. It’s best if you can confine the information to a single page, but no longer than two pages at most. If you had a job unrelated to the one you’re applying for, you can include it on your resume, so you don’t have a gap in your employment history. When listing responsibilities and accomplishments for the unrelated job, include only those that translate to the new position.

    So-called “soft skills” are almost always transferable from one job to the next, even in vastly different fields. Soft skills are akin to personality traits in that they reflect who a person is rather than focus as much as on what they know how to do. Soft skills include the ability to work independently and as a team member, communications skills, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and time management abilities. Words and phrases such as “dependable,” “punctual,” “detail-oriented” and “multi-tasker” describe qualities that any employer would view as assets.

    What Is The Canadian Resume Format

    Best Resume Formats for 2020 [3+ Professional Templates]

    Whether you are new to the job market, or new to Canada and looking for your first position, it’s essential to know the formatting elements that are unique for Canadian resumes, such as:

    • Leaving out photos

    • Leaving out your age, birth date, gender, or identification

    • Length is ideally one page with a maximum of two pages for senior positions

    • Format is paragraph style, without columns of information

    Related:Resume Format Guide

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