Basic Guidelines

  • Margins – Keep a one-inch margin on all four sides of the page
  • Setup – Single space within sections. Double space between sections.
  • Name – Biggest thing on the page
  • Easy to scan – Information should be organized and highlighted using capitalizations, headlines, underlining, italics, bold print and marginal descriptions
  • Short sentences – Use incomplete sentences or phrases
  • Abbreviations – Do not use them. Type everything out.
  • Font size – 12 pt (no smaller than 11 pt)
  • Font – Some acceptable fonts are: Arial, Times, Courier, Palatino, New Century Schoolbook, Helvetica
  • Verb structure/tense – Make sure to use past tense verbs for previous jobs and present tense verbs for current jobs.
  • Paper – Print your resume on a laser printer and never send a photocopy. Use good quality bond paper. Use a conservative color of paper – white, ivory, beige, light gray. Have extra for your typed cover letter and follow up letter.
  • Mailing – Do not staple your resume or put it in fancy binders. Do not fold your resume if you have to mail it.
  • Length – Keep to one page. If absolutely necessary you may use a second page, but no more. Ensure that the second page is filled up and there is not a lot of white space.
  • Edit, re-edit, have others edit, edit again.
  • Personal data – Be sure not to include information that may be discriminatory. Federal legislation makes it illegal for employers to request information about age, sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin, date or place of birth, until you are hired.
  • References – Do not include the phrase “References are available upon request” at the end of your resume. It is assumed that you will come to an interview with a prepared list of references.