Resume Format – General Guidelines

A resume is a representation of you in a 2-D, rich-text, underlined, bolded, and bulleted format. It is a professional document used universally to assess applicant’s skills and qualifications. As such, there are norms and certain resume etiquette we must abide by.

I know that resume formats are generally pretty boring. If you’re like me, you will probably try to make your resume stand out by adding small details. But remember not to go overboard! There is nothing more unappealing that a resume you cannot concentrate on, because of different font styles, sizes, colours, tables, bullets, and numbering.

Whatever layout/design template you decide upon, make sure that everything is consistent! This means check all of your headings, sub-headings, title and descriptions – if each category has a different size/style used, make sure all entries that fall under that category are consistent with the style.

In general:

– Stick to the standard 1” margins. The person on the receiving end of your application may have different printer settings than you – you don’t want the formatting you put in place to get misaligned!
– Stick to one font style. No funky fonts like Forte or Comic Sans unless you are a graphic designer. The standard fonts are Arial and Times New Roman.
If you wish, you can vary the size or typography (bold, italicize) for emphasis.
– Content in the body of your resume should be written in black! Do not switch colours in between sentences

How to begin?

Take a look at some resume templates online.

Start at the top, with a heading stating:
– Your name
– Phone number
– Email
– Address (optional in this day and age)




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