Formatting affords you the ability to steer the readers attention. When used effectively, it ensures the important parts are seen, and makes your resume easier to scan. When overused, or used inconsistently, it will confuse the reader. Here are some tips for formatting your resume effectively.
Consistency is key when it comes to formatting your resume. Using consistent formatting for dates, bullet points, and spacing can help to make your resume look clean and professional.
For example, if you use dashes to create bullet points in one section of your resume, be sure to use dashes for all of the bullet points in your resume. This will help to create a sense of cohesion and predictability in your resume, and will make it easier for potential employers to scan and understand the information you've included.
Similarly, if you use a specific date format (e.g. "Jan 2021") in one section of your resume, be sure to use the same format throughout your resume. This will help to avoid confusion and ensure that your resume looks consistent and professional.
Using bold, italics, and underlining are tools to emphasize important information in your resume. These formatting options can help to draw the reader's attention to key words and phrases, and can make it easier for potential employers to quickly scan and understand your resume.
However, it's important not to overdo it with these formatting options. Using too many of them can make your resume look cluttered and hard to read, and can dilute the impact of the formatting you do use. Be selective about which words and phrases you format, and avoid using multiple formatting options in the same sentence or paragraph.
Consistently using capital letters for headings, job titles, and other important words can help to make your resume look organized and professional. By using the same capitalization style throughout your resume, you can create a sense of consistency and predictability that will make it easier to read.
When using capital letters in your resume, be sure to follow the standard rules of capitalization. This means using capital letters for the first word of a sentence, proper nouns (e.g. names of people, places, and organizations), and the first word of a heading or title. Avoid using all caps for entire sentences or paragraphs, as this can make your resume difficult to read.
Predictability through Consistency
The key to effective formatting is consistency and predictability. By following the tips above, you can make your resume look professional and easy to read, which will help to improve your chances of getting an interview.