Formatting Your Resume

On average, employers spend 20 to 30 seconds skimming a resume to decide if they want to contact you for an interview.

The following guidelines can help ensure that your resume is easy to read and provides a positive impression upon first glance:

  • Maintain one-inch margins. If you must use smaller margins in order to keep your resume within one page, they should never be less than one-half-inch.
  • Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial at a 10- or 12-point font size.
  • Highlight different parts of your resume using different styles, such as underline, bold, italics, and capital letters. Be consistent in using the same style for recurring elements (e.g., put each employer name in bold, or each position title in italics).
  • When describing your experiences and activities, choose either paragraph form or bullet form. In both cases, each sentence or bullet should consist of a short phrase that begins with an action verb.
  • Less is more. A resume should not be a summary of all your experiences, but a profile targeting your experiences, accomplishments and achievements rthat are most directly related to the position you are applying for.