Create an Attractive Rrsume Style

You will create a good impression if your resume is attractive and easy to read. An inviting style draws attention to your qualifications. If you take pity on the reviewer’s eyes, chances are better that he or she will spend more time reviewing your resume—and will remember it better.

To make your resume easier to read and copy, print it on white or lightly colored paper. Loud, garish colors may attract attention, but they risk creating an unprofessional impression. Also, use a laser printer and keep the font size at 10 point or above. The reviewer shouldn’t have to struggle to read your words.


Good resume writers use design elements strategically. Boldface, large type, capital letters, centering, or horizontal lines can be used to make headings stand out on the page. Bullets or italics can draw attention to key accomplishments. One inch margins around the page and blank lines between sections will make all the information easier to see.

Any graphics you use should be consistent with your occupation’s standards. Graphics appropriate for one occupation might be inappropriate for another. As Tom Harris, a manager at a marketing firm in Minneapolis, explains, “Small design elements are nice—a border or a name and address printed in letterhead style. But large graphics are distracting. They make me wonder if the person would rather be a graphic artist instead of an account manager.”

To give your resume a consistent flow, maintain the same style from beginning to end. Every section should have the same design elements. For example, if your education heading is bold and centered, every heading should be bold and centered. In the same way, chose one typeface, such as Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman, and use it throughout.

When you have finished, hold your résumé at arm’s length and examine it. Make sure the type is easy to read and that the material lays out evenly on the page. You may need to experiment with different styles before deciding which you like best.


A long resume is difficult for a reviewer to digest and retain; and, given the volume of resumes many reviewers receive, long resumes are often ignored. Although rules about length are more flexible than they once were, general guidelines still exist. Most students and recent graduates use a onepage resume, other workers use one or two pages, and the very experienced use two or three pages. If your resume doesn’t match this pattern, it probably contains unnecessary words or irrelevant information. Eliminate anything that does not help prove you’re qualified for the job.

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