How to format a resume.

A woman using a laptop computer to format her resume.

Wondering how to format a resume that gets you an interview? Your resume is your first opportunity to make a good impression. The employer may only spend a few minutes reading it, so make sure it stands out.

The first time through a stack of resumes, many employers spend less than a minute with each one. You can survive the first cut if you learn how to format a resume to look appealing and professional. The content of your resume is essential, of course, but its format can help you earn a second look and an interview.

Why is resume formatting important?

Resume formatting is crucial because it establishes a professional image and makes it easier for employers to review your qualifications. A well-formatted resume creates a positive first impression, organizes information effectively, enhances readability, and captures attention, all of which are vital for employers to review your qualifications.

How to format a resume properly.

When it comes to formatting a resume properly, there are a few key elements to consider. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your resume looks polished and professional.

  1. Apply appropriate margins. Set your page margins to around one inch on all sides, creating sufficient white space and maintaining a balanced layout.
  2. Select a professional and readable font. Choose a font that is easy to read and portrays professionalism. Some popular choices include Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, and Helvetica. Avoid using decorative or overly stylized fonts that can be distracting.
  3. Use 10- to 12-point font size. Maintain a consistent font size throughout your resume. A font size of 10 to 12 points is generally considered legible and ensures your content is easily readable.
  4. Add section headers. Clearly distinguish different sections of your resume by using section headers. Examples of common headers include Contact Information, Professional Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills. Using bold or slightly larger font sizes for headers helps them stand out.

Additional resume formatting best practices.

Proper formatting enhances readability, highlights your key strengths, and creates a professional impression. To ensure your resume stands out, consider incorporating the following formatting tips:

Create your own custom resume PDF.

Your resume doesn’t need to look like everyone else’s. It’s good to stand out from the crowd. But there are certain things a hiring manager will look for immediately, so make sure those items stand out. One way to create a professional-looking resume is to use a pre-formatted PDF template.

To make a standardized resume template your own, use an editing tool that can do these things for you:

  1. Add text to enter your experience and education.
  2. Add PDF pages if you need additional space.
  3. Extract pages to remove what you don’t need.

Numerous templates are available online that provide a place for all your information along with a professional look. When you find a PDF resume template that captures your style and presents your education, experience, and accomplishments in the best light, you can use Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat online services to personalize it.

Take a moment to discover everything you can do with Acrobat to quickly and easily convert, share, and send PDFs.