Resume Format

10 Resume Formatting Tips

  1. Choose a format that will best highlight your strengths, yet minimize any shortcomings in your candidacy.
  2. Limit the number of tab stops on the page: more than three will cause the Resume to look too busy. Create a visual pattern. Be consistent in your use of tab sets, fonts, and line spacing from section to section.
  3. Apply whitespace liberally. Learn how to add line space between paragraphs using the Format, Paragraph, Spacing command in MS Word.
  4. Use no more than two fonts on the page: one for your name and perhaps the category headings, and another for body text.
  5. Dates placed on the right margin allow you to shift body text toward the left and gain room for important content and keywords.
  6. Use the same font and point size for every heading; use the same font and point size for all body text.
  7. Use bullets that complement the body-text font: make sure the size of the bullet doesn’t overpower or detract from the text.
  8. Balance the text between top and bottom margins so that there isn’t excessive white space at the bottom of the page.
  9. Divide long paragraphs into two. Lead off each of the smaller paragraphs with a logical category title.
  10. Print the Resume, tack it on a wall, and step back five or six feet. Make sure it has some semblance of form and design.

Variants of the Two Main Resume Formats: chronological and functional

Both chronological and functional Resumes have spawned a number of variations in format, some earning their own titles, such as the accomplishments format, the targeted format, the linear format, and the keyword format. Whether these warrant distinction into separate genus, phylum, and species is debatable. Is it science or semantics?


Alterations to the genetic makeup of a chronological or functional Resume don’t necessarily make a new Resume breed. In the final analysis, it’s not critical what you call the format or how you categorize it. If it works, it’s right. However, for clarification, We’ll give some detail on each format variation, followed by examples. Whenever possible, Before examples are included to show how the candidate’s Resume looked initially.