Resume Boot Camp – Visual Readability

Alright, so by now you’ve written your first draft, you’ve cut unnecessary content, and you’ve changed repetitive verbs. The next step is to check on visual readability and all that refers to is how easily someone can read through and find specific information in your resume. We can accomplish this in a couple different ways.

Headings

These guys are there to mark different sections in your resume (or a blog post – oh, the irony). For example, if someone wants to find out where you went to school and what degree(s) you hold, they’re going to look for a heading like “Education”. It’s all about making it easier for them to hire you and headings are a simple way to get you closer to that goal.

Bullet Points

Let’s touch on bullet points again – they can be pesky little devils. In our previous entry, we covered three things about bullet points:

  1. Only the most important content should be represented.
  2. Combine bullet points if they have similar content to save space.
  3. Keep your bullets short and sweet. Paragraphs are not needed.

Now we’re going to add one more piece onto that – consistent indentation. It’s important that all your bullets are lined up, the same distance away from the margin edge. And I do mean all bullets, every single bullet in the entire document should be sitting at the same indentation. This presents a more professional, polished look and makes your information easier to visually digest.

Margins/Line Spacing

It’s imperative that you make the most of the white space on the page. A full one-page resume is better than a two-page resume with tons of white space on the page. We recommend 0.5” margins and single-spaced font. This maximizes the amount of space you have to play with without overfilling the page.

Top Header/Title

This one is very straightforward. Your name should have the biggest font size and should be in bold. It should be at the very top of the page, the first thing potential employers read. This is yours! Make sure they know it.

Right below that, in smaller type (probably similar in size to your heading font size – 12pt font), should be the personal information we covered in our first entry: email, phone number, and address (at least your city and state, if not the whole thing).

Align it center, left, or right, doesn’t matter. But both lines should have the same alignment on the page. If your personal information doesn’t all fit on one line of the page, separate contact info and your address onto two different lines.

The “Experience” Section

There are a couple key components to include here, but for the most part this is very simple, too. For each job that you’re putting on your resume, make sure these pieces are all represented:

  1. Company name
  2. Job Title
  3. Location
  4. Dates you worked

Once you’ve got those pieces, your experience section should be looking very clean and professional (since you’ve already gone back and edited your bullets)! Below, you can find a few examples for how this could get organized on the page.

Example #1:
The New York Times—New York City, NY                      May 2010 – December 2018
Columnist

  • Bullet #1
  • Bullet #2, etc

Example #2:
The New York Times—New York City, NY – Columnist    May 2010 – December 2018

  • Bullet #1
  • Bullet #2, etc

Example #3:
Columnist                                                                                      05/2010 – 12/2018
The New York Times                                                                             New York City, NY

  • Bullet #1
  • Bullet #2, etc

Play around with which format works best for your information and what looks best for you! Whichever set up you choose, just make sure you use the same one for all your jobs.

See you soon!

We’ll be back soon with the last few lessons in this series. Our next entry is going to cover personalizing your resume and using templates. But in the meantime, if you’re in the job market head over to our Open Jobs page! We have all our open positions listed there and you can apply directly to our recruiters with your resume. And as always, even if your resume isn’t in top form, our recruiters have decades of experience between them editing and polishing resumes. We’d love to hear from you!

Have a great rest of your MLK Day and we’ll be back soon!

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