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Simple Formatting Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out to Hiring Managers

A resume is the most vital document you’ll use in the job searching process. But, crafting the perfect resume can be a daunting task. Communicating all of your relevant skills in an easy-to-read and aesthetically pleasing way can be difficult. To help you create a clean and interview-worthy resume, here are four simple formatting tips.

1. Left & right-align on the same line

This is a tip that can literally save you hours. Many people (Career Productions included) love the way dates look right-aligned on a resume, but trying to achieve this clean style has resulted in one too many painful formatting disasters. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘A’ to select everything in your document.

2. Click on the pop out selection in the ‘Paragraph’ editing frame on the home

navigation bar of Microsoft Word.

3. Click the bottom left ‘Tab’ button.

4. Complete the selections to match the image below. The length of the ‘Tab stop

position’ will be equivalent to your text length of the page (8.5” minus the margin

length on both sides). Be sure to click ‘Right’ align and ‘Set’ before clicking ‘OK’.

5. Anytime you’d like something aligned on the right line just hit the ‘Tab’ key and all of

your dates will be magically right aligned.

2. Bookend your document

Keep your resume sleek and professional by ending it with a smaller section that allows you to summarize and tie the document up neatly. Add a section such as skills, additional experience, certifications or education at the end to add a personal touch. Connect with Career Productions for personalized advice on what you should include.

3. Simplify your contact info

Make it easy for the recruiter by including these things in your header: your name, one phone number (your personal line), a professional email (not your work email) and your current city and state. Providing too many contact details is confusing for the recruiter and for you when you’re trying to remember which communications to check regarding your job search. This also keeps some of your more personal information (like street address) from getting into the wrong hands. If the recruiter needs more information, they will follow up.

4. Keep it consistent

A major key to a clean resume is consistency, regardless of how you decide to organize the information. Take a look at your document with fresh eyes. Is your work history formatted consistently? Do all of your bullet points align? Are you using the same font throughout? Keep the same format across your resume and avoid straying from your layout. It’s easier for the recruiter to follow along and makes it easy for you to update as you gain more experience.


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