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Job Seeker Resources - Resume Formatting Tips

Here are some excellent resume formatting rules from Ann Baehr, a Certified Professional Resume Writer and President of Best Resumes


• Bold and enlarge your name at the top.
• Keep the sections lined up and consistent.
• Use an Arial or Times New Roman font (or similar).
• Font size shouldn't be smaller than 11pt or larger than 12pt, except for your Name and Headings.
• Do not include pronouns such as "I," company street addresses, salary, or reasons for leaving.
• Use graphics sparingly unless you are in a creative field. It is safe to use a border and shading.
• Leave out personal data, photos, and unrelated hobbies, unless you are an actor/actress or model.
• If you spell out the state in your address, such as New York, spell out the states for your jobs.
• Proof, proof, and proof again!

- Resume Mistakes
• Lacks industry-specific terminology / Keywords ("speak" the reader's language)
• Too many typos and grammatical errors (read it backwards; have a friend proof-read it!)
• Too much or not enough white space (looks empty, inexperienced)
• Uses the full address for employers (list only the town and state)
• Uses full employment dates such as 12/11/01 (list only the month and year)
• Lists reason for leaving or explains situation (if you must, save it for the letter)
• Includes a 'Professional References Available Upon Request' statement at the bottom of the resume (not wrong, but not necessary. Remember, this is not an option. If the employer wants references, they will ask for them)
• Includes a cover letter / salary information on the resume (use separate sheets)
• Includes unrelated personal interests and hobbies such as "enjoy reading, long walks, music, travel, knitting, and puzzles" (include interests ONLY if it is related to your career Objective)
• Includes personal information such as married, homeowner, two children (Leave off. It is unrelated to the position, and risks possible discrimination)

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