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076. 5 Resume Style Tips You Need to Know

The content of your resume is the most important aspect, but be sure to pay close attention to your resume format. There’s a hard line between making your resume stand out, and over styling it to the point of being distracting. On average, recruiters spend about six seconds looking at your resume. If they’re distracted in any way or can’t find what they’re looking for easily, there’s a good chance your resume is going in the trash. Let’s discuss some key styling and formatting tips.


Keep your font simple, avoid using fancy texts. Yes, these might be super cute with the extra flair but could you imagine reading an entire resume in curlz? The best fonts to use are serif fonts that are stylish, easy to read and are perceived as reliable and authoritative. Examples are serif fonts are Times New Roman, Bell MT, Bodoni MT, Bookman Old Style, Cambria, Goudy Old Style, Calibri, Garamond, and Georgia. San-serif fonts can also be used and are characterized as being simpler, clean, universal, modern, and objective. Examples of san-serif fonts are Helvetica, Verdana, Trebuchet MS, Century Gothic, Gill Sans MT, Lucida Sans, Tahoma, and Arial. Font size will depend on what font you use, however, body of the resume should be between 10 and 12 point font.


Keep margins between half an inch and 1 inch on all sides of the paper. Be mindful the recipient of your resume may decide to print it out and the last thing you want is the printer to cut off key information on your resume. Also, keep in mind that ATS systems have set frames and guidelines too.

File Format

How you save your resume may not seem like a big deal, but you would be surprised at some of the file names or formats I’ve seen resumes (mom’s resume is not cool). First when saving your resume chose a file name that identifies your name and what the document is. For example, ‘Amy Applebum Resume’ or ‘A Applebum Resume,’ that way the recipient know exactly what it is. In addition to the file name pay attention to the type of file you are saving your resume as. Always save your resume as a text document in DOC, TXT, ODF or HTML. PDF format is also acceptable. Read the company’s submission guidelines before submitting any documents to make sure you have the appropriate file format.


One of the most frequent questions I get about resumes is how long y our resume should be or not be. Some will argue your resume should be one page or at most no more than two pages. I am going to tell you this: your resume should be as long as you need to highlight your education and experience. If your resume is more than one page, be sure your name and page number is on any additional pages. Also, please keep in mind, federal resumes require much more information and are typically three to five pages in length on average.


You’re applying for a job – not a beauty pageant. Including your photo on your resume is a big no-no! According to Career Builder, 88% of resumes with a photo are trashed immediately. Including a photo is distracting, there is virtually no reason that your recruiter needs to know what you look like.

I know you want to stand out among the pile, but you want to stand out in a GOOD way… not a WTH moment. The best way to stand out is to realize your resume is a marketing tool that showcases your value, make sure the content of your resume is strong and apply these simple, yet effective styling tips and voila!

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