A Formatted Resume: Moving Ahead of 90% of the Crowd

Nathan Parcells
A Formatted Resume: Moving Ahead of 90% of the Crowd

When looking at the majority of resumes, there is a lot of room for improvement (if you are banging your head against the wall trying to figure out formatting, content, etc you are not alone)! This document reflects not only your qualifications, but it is a personal marketing piece: it announces to employers how detail oriented, how resourceful, and how professional you are. Do not settle for a resume that has great content but which you have not taken the time to properly format — many recruiters unfortunately will judge a resume by the cover.

Formatting can be one of the most frustrating components of resume creation (especially for the not so tech savvy), but it is a great way to put yourself ahead of the majority of candidates. First, nearly all recruiters state they prefer something that is clean and professional vs. lavish or stylized. Use a traditional font like Times New Roman or Arial and no colors please! Second, your resume will look better if you separate each section with a line. Bolded headers (and italicized sub headers), consistent indentation, and clearly delineated sections all help make the resume more intuitive in reviewing. Third, as undergraduates the goal should ALWAYS be to stick to one page unless you have done superhuman things in your undergraduate career. Even if you have a wealth of great experience, keeping it all to one page will make it punchy and that much more impressive.

This is a basic start, but we realize the time it takes to learn how to properly format a resume document and the frustration involved may force some students into taking breathing classes. So we have created a professional template which everyone can download and use. It is based on the ideal traits recruiters look for in student interns, and we are excited to offer this free help!

Here are great resume tips for you to take a look at!