Resume formatting can make the difference between you getting an interview, or not. In today’s digital world resume formatting is vitally important to your job search efforts. Different computer systems, software versions, email programs, etc., can all cause your resume to look very awkward on the receivers end. Many companies now use resume parsing software programs that analyze resumes in bulk and score applicant matches based on computer algorithms. If a resume has too much formatting, it will be difficult or impossible to read sometimes by the intended recipient.

It is therefore vitally important that you keep your resume formatting to a bare minimum. You want your resume to look good, but you need it to be readable. Here are some basics on resume formatting:

  1. Use a common and recent version of a word processing program when writing your resume (MS Word for example).
  2. Don’t use tables and nested tables to separate different sections of your resume. When being scanned or reformatted in other programs, these tables can wreak havoc on the ability to parse information out of your resume.
  3. Use a standard and common font like Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, etc. Don’t make the font size smaller than 10pt, or larger than 12pt for the content of your resume.
  4. Be consistent with the use of bold and italic type. For example, if you choose to write your current job title in bold type, make sure ALL prior job titles are formatted the same way.
  5. Avoid pictures, graphics, or avatars. I don’t see this often, but it’s worth mentioning that graphics don’t belong on your resume.

Check out my earlier post for some other tips on how to put together a great resume here