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General Resume Formatting Tips
There are many ways to format your resume but some principles remain the same. It's important that your resume remain uncluttered. Many people try to jam as much information into their resume as they can fit onto one page but it ends up just making people dizzy when they look at it. Who wants to take the time to read all that clutter? I can tell you that employers won't want to. If your resume is intimidatingly cluttered it won't be impressive. On the other hand, you don't want it to be too simple either. You don't want it to look as if you have nothing to offer or that you didn't take the time to make your resume look interesting. Give your resume some white space, but not too much.
The most important thing for the best resume format is to capture the employers attention... and then keep her attention.
Your headline is, in some ways, the most important part of your resume. It is the part your future boss will see first when they glance at your resume. You want him to remember your name don't you? So make it big and central. Don't forget your name and contact information too. You can experiment with text boxes if you want or divider lines. I personally like having a divider line between my headline and the beginning of the rest of my resume.
Here are a few examples of good headlines. Keep it simple. If you use color, use it sparingly. Too much color looks unprofessional. Use your colorful artistic talents somewhere else. Your resume should look clean and professional.
The Body of your Resume
Just like an essay (yes I did just say Essay... I'm an English teacher remember?) your best resume format should have an "introduction" a "body" and a "conclusion."
The body of your resume is the trickiest to format because it depends on the information in it. Essentially, like I said before, you have to find a good balance between too much white space and not enough. Make your resume not too cluttered and not too simple.
This first example is probably the most common of all best resume format styles. It is concise and uncluttered. I like this format. For someone with the experience level of this person, this format is attractive and easy to create. For someone who has a lot more experience this format might be hard to fit all the information. There are other formats that are better at filling the space for those who have a lot to fit onto one page.
This second style is my current favorite. I really like the clean look of it. It moves your eye down the page without looking too cluttered and it has an interesting look. Professional but interesting. That's what we're going for!
Try using columns or an invisible table in Word to create this look. The table method would be easier to make the columns line up properly.
This third kind can be easily modified to fit your resume. It utilizes text boxes which helps to easily separate and identify the different parts of your resume. You could also use textboxes with columns inside them if you like that. Just remember to keep it from getting too complicated. You don't want your resume to look intimidating!
I personally like to end my resume with my skills. Partially because I think it's more relevant than an interests section, and also because I'm usually out of room on the page before I get to an interests section. The interests section that some people like to add at the end is often so irrelevant to the resume that I don't know why people waste valuable resume space on it. Your employer really doesn't need to know about your passion for cats or knitting. You can go over that in your interview if your employer is really interested.
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