Your resume is often the first impression that a potential employer will have of you, so it’s important to make it count. One of the most critical aspects of creating a strong resume is designing an effective layout. A well-designed layout makes it easier for a busy hiring manager (or recruiter) to see your skills and experience in a way that is visually appealing and easy to read.
Here are five simple but essential tips on how to design the perfect resume layout, so you can make a great first impression and increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
Keep it simple
Don’t get overly creative when it comes to your resume layout. Recruiters want to be able to quickly get a sense of your experience, and fancy resume layouts make it hard for them to do that. It’s the content that’s important, not your design, don’t ever get that mixed up. If you need a starting point, we highly recommend using one of the free google doc resume templates at Resume Worded.
Only add a Summary section if you need one!
Your resume is already meant to be a concise summary of your achievements. There’s no need to re-summarize it in a paragraph form. The only exception is if you need to add important information that is not already in another section on your resume. This is key — don’t duplicate achievements from the rest of your resume into your summary.
Use the right section titles
Make sure you include your experience and education sections. Don’t name your section titles anything fancy — instead, just use something simple like ‘Experience’ to ensure it can be processed by resume screeners. You can use this tool to check if your resume’s section titles are read correctly.
Reverse chronological order
In each section, make sure your most recent experience is listed first.
No longer than 2 pages
A good rule of thumb is to keep your resume to one page if you have less than 5-10 years of relevant experience or two pages if you have more than 10 years of experience.
Ensure consistency in:
- Font: use a simple font (Times New Roman or Arial), and font size (use a font size between 10-12)
- Date formats
- Alignment & spacing of bullets
- Use of bold, italics and underlines
If a recruiter was to pick up your resume right now, how easy would it be for them to skim it in 30 seconds and get a sense of your experiences and accomplishments? Read our article on ‘3 Tips For Writing The Most Effective Resume Content‘ to understand how to express your qualities and improve your resume’s readability.