Written by: Jason

May 14, 2014

We get a lot of questions about resume formatting from candidates, so I thought we’d talk a little about them…

How many pages, fonts, boxes, tables, lists, bullets, spacing, bolding, etc, all normal questions around creating a resume. It’s safe to assume that the resume is going to be the first impression that a manager has of you. Let’s start with the most important thing in my opinion, spelling. No matter what position you are applying for, no matter how many years of experience you have, spelling errors show a lack of attention. So correct the red and green lines in Word and you’ll already be on the right track.

Length of the resume, depending on the number of years, some candidates could write a small novel. In today’s world, we know people want things as soon as possible. Most managers are not going to want to read a 5 page resume, which is why we try to keep most resumes down to 2 pages. If you have 20 years of experience or a number of consulting projects, list the most recent in detail and then possibly list prior clients/titles and 1-2 lines about the role under for the work that is older and possibly not as relevant. Also, another way to cut down on the length is to use summary statements and skills inventories. Its a great way to introduce your qualifications in a condensed manner. And you instantly give your reader a sense for what you bring that is unique and different.

When it comes to fonts, bolding, tables, bullets and spacing, we leave this up to the candidate to do as they like. There isn’t a right or wrong way, but we do recommend that whatever method you use, be consistent! Keep the document looking as clean and consistently formatted as possible.

Just remember, a resume is a legal document that most HR departments keep, so make sure all of the dates, titles, clients, and responsibilities are correct.