Dos and Donts of Resume Formatting

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The style, format and design of resumes is something I get asked about a lot from my clients, which is why I wrote an resume writing tips article for

When you look at resume templates on the web, you’ll see a vast of array of resume styles in all manner of formats, colour schemes, and styles.

Clients ask me, can I use different colours in my resume? What kinds of fonts are preferable? Do employers want to see my photo?

Visual impact

There is no doubt that resume styles have changed over the years. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see resumes which employ visual graphics highlighting certain job skills or achievements. Artists and designers employ multimedia or web-based resumes that create a visual impact upon the reader.

Resume Writing Guidelines

In this article, I take a more conservative approach, and set forth a set of resume writing guidelines that one should follow to create a sound resume, one that conveys credibility, competency and professionalism.

Best Fonts for Resumes

For example, I talk about the use of fonts. Admittedly, the use of fonts seems like a straight-forward issue, but it’s still one that I felt should be addressed. I frequently come across resumes that use several different fonts in one document. My suggestion is to use no more that one font.

One might choose to use one type of font for headings, and another for the body of text. That is a reasonable approach. Some ask me, what types of font should one use? I typically stick to traditional font styles such as Times New Roman or Arial or a basic Serif or Sans Serif font.

Amount of negative space

I also talk about the use of negative space. (Negative space refers to the white or non-text space that appears in any document.) I suggest that there be sufficient negative space in every resume. Cramming text together reduces negative space and makes a resume difficult to scan and read.

A skillful resume writer will ensure that all professional achievements and credentials worth noting are set out in a person’s resume; all non-essential information is eliminated to ensure that the resume is succinct and relevant to the job application.

Like all guidelines, my suggestions are not set in stone. They may change over time, due to trends in job search practices. But I believe that these guidelines will survive the test of time; they are practical and have proven useful time and time again for my job candidates applying for competitive job openings.\

Vancouver Resume Writer

As a professional resume writer, I help give applicants a edge in competitive job markets. Learn more about my Vancouver resume writing services, including my resume writing rates, my writing process, and how to contact me for help.