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Resume Formatting Guidelines

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DENVER - SEPTEMBER 02: An employer (R), looks over the resume of an unemployed man at a career fair on September 2, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. Hundreds of unemployed and underemployed Coloradans turned out for the event to try and find work. The federal government will announce its monthly national unemployment figures on Friday.
John Moore / Getty Images

How you format your resume is important for several reasons. First of all, your resume needs to make a strong visual impression on the reader. Secondly, your resume may first be read by software rather than a person, so it needs to be in a format that will easily upload, but still retain it's visual appearance without the text or font getting garbled.

Finally, in some cases you will still need to deliver a paper resume - at a career or job fair or to a connection who is helping your job search. In all cases, your resume needs to make the best possible impression on the reader and how your resume is formatted is as important as the words that describe your employment history.

Margins, spacing, font size and style, and the other elements of resume formatting are all important when creating resumes that are professional and engaging. Here are guidelines for writing resumes that will work to showcase your skills and qualifications to potential employers.

Resume Formatting Guidelines

Resume Font Size and Type
Guidelines for choosing a resume font size.

Resume Text
Advice on formatting the text of your resume, including margins, section headings, and readability.

Resume Margins
Resume margin guidelines, including standard resume margins, text alignment, and how to reduce margins if you need extra space.

Resume Spacing
Resume spacing guidelines including how to space margins, paragraphs, and each section of your resume.

Sections of Your Resume
Here's information on what to include in each section of your resume, including contact information, experience, education, skills, objective and career summary (if you use them), as well as advice on adding keywords to your resume so it gets picked up by recruiting management software.

How to Format the Sections of Your Resume

When you write a resume you can either write your descriptions in paragraphs or use a bulleted list, here's information on both options:

Resume Keywords
Resume keywords are the words that those hiring managers search for when going through their database of resumes. Here's how to work keywords into your position descriptions.

Resume Length
How long should your resume be? The answer is that the length of your resume depends - on how much experience you have and what level candidate you are. Here's how to choose an appropriate length for your resume.

Resume File Name
When you name your resume, create a file name that includes your own last name. Here's how to select a resume file name.

Sample Resume Format
Review a sample resume format to use when writing your resume.

Resume Examples
Review resume examples for a variety of different jobs so you can see what a properly formatted resume looks like.

Resume Articles and Advice

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