Resume Formating Checklist

Fancy resumes get rejected. While it’s tempting to include headshots and multiple columns with pretty fonts, resumes with unusual formatting cannot easily be parsed by applicant tracking systems (ATS), resulting in an automatic rejection. If you want to make sure your resume is well-designed and gets read by a real human, follow this checklist.

Font Family: San-Serif

Use a black, easy-to-read, sans-serif font with a white background. Why sans-serif instead of a more traditional serif? While serif fonts look great on printed paper, they can look blurry when read online. Sans-serif fonts will be easier to read on the recruiter’s computer screen–Most resumes are read online today, making sans-serif the better option in our opinion. Microsoft Word even uses sans-serif as their standard font today. Sans-serif fonts are also perceived as more modern and approachable, which is a top priority for networking job-seekers

Font Size: 10-12 pts

Body font should be 10-12 pts. Use only 1 or 2 font styles total. Section headings should be bolded and 2 pts bigger than the body font.

Order: Reverse Chronological

Use reverse-chronological order. Put the most relevant experience and information toward the top. Less relevant experience should be put toward the bottom or removed altogether.

Layout: 1 Column

Your resume should be 1 full page in length, all in 1 single column. Use a minimum of .5″ margins on all sides. Your spacing should be consistent throughout, meaning no unusual spacing between section headers and body text.

Images: Avoid at all costs!

You should have no borders, graphs, or photos. While it may be tempting to include a headshot or logos, these will not be easily parsed by the ATS, resulting in an automatic rejection.

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