How to Set Up Your Résumé

It’s important to set up your resume and format your text and font correctly.  Your font selection won’t make or break your resume.  However, a good font can indeed help your resume look professional and clean overall.

Having a clean overall format with enough spacing between sections is imperative in resume writing. Don’t try to place as much content as you can on your resume. Often times I have seen them stuffed with as much content as humanly possible.  When it comes to one’s career documents sometimes less is better!

There is a bit of leeway when choosing your font. Assuming everything else checks with your overall career background, experience and education, a pleasant looking font certainly can’t hurt.  Helvetica is a nice clean font that’s easy on the reader’s eyes. I haven’t come across too many resumes that use it.  There are other fonts that would work nicely as well.  Book Antiqua and Calibri are great ones to try out and there is nothing wrong with Times New Roman.

Make sure you place the proper size of the font, regardless of which one you choose.  I would not suggest any smaller than 10.5 font. I’d be would not recommend going any smaller than that.  You don’t want to over stuff the resume with extra words so you will be forced to make the font smaller.


You can utilize different fonts for several parts of your career documents, but limit it to two different fonts.  Utilize the bold and italicized feature instead of shifting between the fonts.  Your header font should be a size larger, but otherwise you shouldn’t use a huge font.  When typing your resume, your text should always be in showed in black.  Many times job seekers leave the hyperlinks to their email in blue.  Just make sure you leave it a solid black color.

Your header should be centered at the top of your page and your resume should be aligned to the left margin.  When you are setting up your page it should have one inch margins with two point line spacing. When you are creating your heading ensure this section includes your contact information to include your name, address, phone number and email.

There are three main formats for creating a resume.  Depending on your career background and the type of position your targeting will determine the type of format you should utilize.

Chronological resumes are used for presenting a steady growth in a specific career sector. These formats are best when used for a job seeker applying to a position in their career field and showing increased responsibility.

Functional resumes are always focused on skills rather than work history.  These types of resumes are best used for people who have gaps in their work history.

The third resume type is a Combination resume and is basically a combination of both a chronological and functional resume.  If you have grown a particular skill set from working in a range of fields, then this is the best format for you to use.

If this is a chronological resume, your positions should be listed in a chronological format and listing your recent position first.   Ensure you include the name of the organization, its location, your job title and your duties while working there, accomplishments and the dates you were employed there. In order to showcase your position in each job, list your title first.  At any rate, be consistent in listing your job positions. Ensure you write a major career highlight with a concise description of what your accomplishment was in the position.

Next you will provide your education history.  Just like your jobs, you should list all of your education in a chronological order.  List all your college degrees or trade schools you may have completed.  If you graduated and have a degree, ensure you list the year, type and name of the degree you earned.  If you haven’t graduated yet, purely state the program and the expected graduation date.

After you’ve listed the most important information such as your career background and education, you can then list the other important fields.  Construct a section title “Skills” with a list of important special skills you may possess.

Maybe you’re bilingual and speak more than one language, place those languages here. Also make sure to note if you have an intermediate or advanced level of knowledge. Maybe you’re well versed in a particular area of work that other job seekers may not be, list it here.

This is just a general overview of how to set up your resume.  I will go in more depth at a later date on each section and how to set it up.


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