Resume Format

First impressions are very important. Use a reliable word processing program to type your resume. Never turn in a resume with misspelled words - it's the fastest route to the wastebasket! And print your resume on high quality, light colored paper, like white or ivory. Finally, do not be afraid to use the following items to help your resume look more visually appealing.

  • White space - balance white space with the text. Margins should be as close to 1 inch as possible, leaving a white frame around the entire document.
  • CAPITALIZATION - can draw attention, making it appropriate to capitalize the first letter of each statement and the beginning of important words.
  • Underline and Boldface - can focus the reader's attention on important items. Use these elements to emphasize position titles, outstanding accomplishments, or specific skills and knowledge you offer to a potential employer.

Indentation and Bullets - indenting tells the reader that details follow; bullets keep the reader from overlooking information. Use tabs instead of the space bar to align material - spaces may not translate well when sending your document electronically.

  • Incomplete sentences - are easier to scan than complete sentences. With resume writing, it is appropriate to avoid using "I" and other personal pronouns.
  • Length - for most college students, your resume should not be longer than 1 page. If you had extensive work experience before attending college, are majoring in Education, or have completed many extra-curricular experiences that are related to your chosen field, two pages are appropriate. Consult a Career Advisor concerning specific questions about resume length.
  • Graphics - in some cases, graphics can be used sparingly for emphasis, especially if you are applying for a highly creative position. Generally speaking, graphics, and especially personal pictures, are inappropriate for the resume document.
  • Paper - use a good quality resume paper in a light color, like buff, white, or ivory. Light colored paper is easier to read and easier to copy.
  • Font - Use an easy to read font, 11 point or larger for the body text of your resume. Your name can be larger. You may also wish to use a larger font to emphasize your resume headings.