How Should A Resume Be Formatted

published on 21 November 2022

A resume is a professional document that describes you as a person, not just your career goals. It should be tailored to each position you are applying for and should emphasize your achievements, skills, and qualities.

Your personal style will influence how people perceive you. For example, if your goal is to work in an office setting, then a very formal tone of language can match the workplace environment.

On the other hand, if you want to convey leadership qualities, then use plain, direct language instead. This way, the reader does not have to add decorations or context to understand what you are trying to say.

This article will talk about some tips and tricks for designing your own unique style.

Use white space


When formatting your resume, make sure to use enough white space. This includes having adequate margins, using color schemes that are strong and vibrant, and ensuring that it is easy to read.

It can be difficult trying to determine how much white space you need in a given area of your resume. We have some tips for you here!

General rules about adding white space apply when doing so in your resume. Make sure to leave an appropriate amount of room around your bullet points, body content, and headings.

When placing bullets (and their related drop-outs) and supporting material under them, ensure they do not collide with each other or the bullet before it. This could look messy or confusing.

Tailor your resume


Even though there are some general rules about how resumes should be organized, what format is best depends heavily on which position you are seeking employment for and what skills and experiences you have that make you stand out from the crowd.

If your goal is to get an entry level position, then using a simple chronological style resume may work better. For these positions, including more generalized keywords and descriptions can help ensure you match what the employers are looking for.

For higher level positions, creating a professional profile is needed. This includes detailing your education history, career achievements, and relevant skill sets such as writing or marketing.

By having appropriate content in your resume, you will shine above others. Make sure to do your research and find examples of well done ones to use as templates.

Include your work experience


When creating your resume, you should include your work experience first! This is usually organized by position or job title, then city, state, and date followed by a short summary of what you did and how well you performed these tasks.

Your employment history can be formatted into different sections such as education, training, professional milestones, and career developments. These can all be placed in the “Experience” section of the resume. Make sure to only include past five years of experiences unless it directly relates to what you are seeking for employment.

If possible, try to organize your experience chronologically. For example, if you worked at a company from 2013-2015, move down time frames (such as 2014 and 2015) until you get to the year 2016 when you start organizing by positions.

Organize it into sections based on skills


Your resume is like a sales pitch. You want to make sure that everything you include is designed to attract attention and show off how qualified you are for the position.

Your personal life experience can sometimes get in the way of that. If there’s something significant about yourself that you don’t want people to know, go ahead and leave it out until later. But if you’re willing to be honest about who you are, then why not just put it all in?

The most important thing to remember when designing your own career marketing tool is to be real and clear. Don’t try to fake your personality or conceal things that you might think could hurt you.

Personalize and update


Even though you may have designed your current resume to be very polished, that doesn’t mean people won’t look at it with new eyes. When employers review resumes, they will probably do so online or via an app such as LinkedIn.

This can be tricky if you re-format your resume every time you edit it. If you are using one of the pre-designed templates, make sure you update those first!

By having someone else design yours, you risk ruining the overall appeal of your resume. You don’t want to waste your hard work by investing in creating and editing it then finding out it’s not effective anymore.

If you feel like your resume is starting to show signs of wear and tear, take some time off and create another one. Re-designing your own resume takes a lot of time, but this is definitely worth the effort.

Narrow down your list of skills


Now that you have an understanding of what types of experiences are needed to prove yourself, how these experiences should be organized onto a resume, and what keywords apply to those experiences, it is time to narrow down your skill sets!

Many times in interviews, employers will ask about skills that you did not include on your resume. This happens because they do not see them anywhere else or believe that you do not possess them fully.

By including appropriate levels of detail when answering questions about your career, you will prevent yourself from being questioned later on whether you really do have those things or not.

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