Resume Editing and Formatting Tips

  • Avoid long, wordy paragraphs. White space is desirable and gives the eye a rest.
  • Remove words that don’t add value to statement.
  • Don’t use first-person.
  • Use bullets, numbers in numeric form, symbols (i.e. %) to highlight information.
  • Use bullets to organize information and show results.
  • Try to keep resume to 1-2 pages, but don’t cram just to adhere to this guideline.
  • Use 10-12 point font for body of resume. Anything under 9pt font is too difficult to read.
  • Use a professional email address.
  • Use headers, footers and page numbers for a polished, professional look.
  • Put contact info in header to save space and allow contact info to carryover to next page.
  • Make sure your name “pops” by using bold and larger font (but not too big!). Address, email, and phone can be in a smaller but readable font.
  • Don’t force your resume into a template. Templates are guides only.
  • Remember that excellent grammar is essential:
    • Use past tense and action verbs consistently
    • Avoid passive verbs
    • Use commas consistently when listing items
    • Use ending punctuation consistently, especially with bullets
    • Proof read by reading out loud. Then have a trusted friend or two proof again.
    • Use spell check but be aware that it won’t catch everything
  • Limit number of bullets. Try 3-6, depending on job.  Not all jobs need bullets or text.
  • Group like items into one bullet. For example:  “Reconciled cash accounts, performed month-end closeouts, and invoiced clients . . .”
  • Omit unnecessary information:
    • Details for jobs > 15 years old
    • “References Available Upon Request”
    • Personal information such as interests, hobbies, children
    • Trainings or certifications that lack substance or relevance or are outdated
  • If resume is more than 1 page, make sure the page break is in the right place.
  • Use a standard font type, and test by viewing on another person’s (older) computer.
  • Preview your resume online, if possible.