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Your Resume's Look Is as Important as Its Content

Your Resume's Look Is as Important as Its Content

Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

September 04, 2009

Imagine you’re an employer and you have two resumes in front of you. One is filled wall-to-wall with text and uses four different fonts. It’s also peppered with dozens of bolded, italicized and underlined words and phrases.

The second resume also offers a lot of information, but you can quickly scan the document, because it makes good use of white space, features clear and consistent section headings and uses bullets to make important items stand out.

Which resume would you look at first?

If you’re like most employers who may have to evaluate hundreds of resumes each week, you’ll proceed directly to the second resume. Why? Because it’s inviting to your eyes and your attention span, while the first resume is just the opposite.

If you want your resume to have a good chance of being read by prospective employers, you must invest time and energy not only in its content, but also in its look. Whether you’re creating your resume for the first time or in the process of revising it, keep the following design tips in mind:

Use White Space Liberally

Create at least one-inch margins on your resume. Also, leave some blank space between various sections of the resume’s text, so several distinct chunks of information can be seen.

Stick with Two Fonts at Most

It’s tempting to use all of the typefaces at your disposal, but having more than two fonts in any document only lessens its readability. One font is all you really need. If you use two, make sure they complement each other. For example, use one font for the headings and the second font for the body text.