The path to a great new job is forged with an exceptional resume. While the content of your resume is crucial, the design can also play a significant role in whether or not you are invited for an interview.
A visually pleasing and well-written resume can capture the attention of the employer and make it easier for them to read and understand your qualifications and experience.
You don’t have to be a graphic artist to create a resume design that will get you noticed. In fact, it’s important to avoid elaborate borders, images and other distracting embellishments that take the focus away from your accomplishments.
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What does a resume look like in 2024?
Instead of trying to get the attention of a recruiter through visual bells and whistles, focus on utilizing a professional resume template that focuses attention on your skills and qualifications.
Simplicity is key when it comes to modern resume design. Use clean lines, clear fonts and plenty of white space to make your resume easy to read and visually appealing.
Select a template that catches your eye and use our Resume Builder to add ready-made content from certified professional resume writers.
Ultimately, a well-designed resume is easier to read, appealing to recruiters and more likely to survive applicant tracking systems (ATS).
We recommend scanning your resume with our free ATS resume checker to receive instant feedback on opportunities for improvement.
Professionally designed sample resume
Take a look at the sample resume design below or explore our library of 800+ resume examples for more inspiration.
10 tips on how your resume should look
Below, we outlined ten tips for resume design and writing that will help you showcase your skills, experience and education without compromising your resume’s visual appeal.
#1 Make your header bold and easy to read
In our sample resume, Anna used a larger font to call attention to her name and a double-ruled line to separate her contact information from her resume material.
Each time you create a resume with our resume builder, double-check that all of your contact information is accurate, especially if you are using a draft of an old resume. Old versions of your resume may contain outdated email addresses or phone numbers.
#2 Use a professional font
Choose a font for your resume that is modern and easy to read, such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Courier or Times New Roman. Avoid using outdated or overly decorative fonts, such as Broadway or Magneto. One of the primary goals when writing a resume is to make the document easy to read. You accomplish this by using a classic, clean font.
#3 Use color sparingly
While adding color to your resume can make it stand out, it’s important to use it sparingly and strategically. Stick to a maximum of two or three colors, and use them consistently throughout your resume.
#4 Don’t be afraid of whitespace
When deciding on a resume design, opt for one that utilizes a good amount of white space. In our resume sample above, Anna uses a highly organized resume design that relies heavily on white space. This allows the reader’s eye to rest and easily seek out the information they need.
#5 Simplify your contact information
Modern resume writers omit their physical street addresses on their resumes. The advent of email and telephone communication has largely eradicated the need to provide a recruiter with your physical address. After all, when was the last time you received an interview invitation via snail mail?
Applicants who are looking to relocate for a job often choose to include their current mailing address, but otherwise, it’s up to you whether or not to include an address.
#6 Include a compelling professional summary
A professional summary sits at the top of your resume beneath your header. Its purpose is to offer a recruiter a quick snapshot of your experience and qualifications. A well-written professional summary must explain what you’ll bring to the table if you are hired.
You must write your professional summary in the third person, and you should give a brief description of who you are (for example, “A deadline-driven journalist with seven years of experience”).
Summaries should be short — no longer than three to five sentences — and concise. The idea is to draw the reader in and make them feel compelled to read the rest of your resume. Don’t give your entire life story.
A resume design that includes a professional summary gives recruiters a quick snapshot of your most important skills, encouraging them to continue reading.
#7 Tailor your skills section to the job
Always aim to incorporate the skills that are emphasized in the job description. Skills that are typically added to resumes include hard skills (like software or technical expertise) and soft skills (like communication skills or time management skills).
Including a bulleted list of relevant skills at the top of your resume allows recruiters to quickly see that you are a qualified candidate. Carefully read the job description and list all of the skills, experience and educational requirements it calls for. Next, add any of the qualifications you have to your resume using the exact language used in the job description.
#8 Try not to exceed one page
Include one page on your resume for every 10 years of experience. Try not to go over two pages, even if you have a lot of experience. That said, a resume that goes past two pages is sometimes the norm for highly experienced job-seekers applying to VP/senior-level roles.
#9 Maintain a consistent format
Your resume format is just as important as the resume design, and keeping the formatting uniform will help a recruiter easily find the information they need. This is particularly important for the work history section of your resume, which should be uniform and easy to scan.
Once you’ve written all of your past work experience and packed each entry full of the keywords and skills you’ve pulled from the job listing, double-check that the resume format is consistent.
Start by making sure each entry has the company name, location and dates of employment listed, all in the same order. Next, check that all of your bullet points are aligned and that all of your margins line up.
#10 Check for spelling and grammar errors
Even a professional resume design can save your resume from a glaring typo. Make no mistake about it: even a tiny typo can land your resume in the recycle bin. Read your resume twice. Then read it backward. Next, send it to a trusted friend.
Complete these steps every time you write a resume, as they will change when you customize them to the job post. Even if you simply decide to input previously edited material into another resume design, you’ll want to proof it again to make sure that all of the information transferred properly and that all of your margins line up.
What does a good resume look like key takeaways
- Keep your resume design clean and simple and focus on writing the most engaging document possible.
- Your resume should use a professional font, consistent formatting and plenty of whitespace for easy scanning.
- For quick and easy resume design and writing prompts, check out MyPerfectResume’s resume builder to create a personalized resume.
What does a professional resume look like FAQ
What does a mobile-friendly resume look like?
With more and more employers using mobile devices to review resumes, it’s important to design your resume with mobile in mind. Here are some tips for creating a mobile-friendly resume:
- Use a simple design: Avoid using complex designs, graphics, or fonts that may not display properly on a mobile device. Stick to a simple, easy-to-read format with clear headings and bullet points.
- Use a legible font: Use a legible font that is easy to read on a small screen, such as Arial, Calibri or Verdana. Avoid using small or complex fonts that may be difficult to read.
- Use bullet points: Use bullet points to break up long blocks of text and make your resume easier to scan. Use clear, concise language to describe your skills and experience.
- Save your resume in a compatible format: Make sure it is saved in a compatible format, such as PDF or Word so that it can be easily viewed on a mobile device.
Overall, a mobile-friendly resume should be simple and easy to navigate on a small screen. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, and avoid using large files or complex layouts that may not load quickly on mobile devices.
What does a great resume look like?
A great resume should be well-organized, easy to read and visually appealing. Here are some key elements of a great resume:
- Clear and concise summary: A great resume should start with a clear and concise summary statement at the top that highlights your key skills, experience and qualifications.
- Skills and qualifications: Include a section highlighting your key skills and qualifications, such as technical skills, language proficiency or leadership abilities.
- White space and formatting: Use plenty of white space and formatting elements like bullet points, bold text, and headings to make your resume easy to read and visually appealing.
- Tailored to the job: Customize your resume for each job you apply for, highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position.
Overall, a great resume should be well-designed, easy to read and tailored to the job you’re applying for.
What does a resume look like for a first job?
If you’re creating a resume for your first job, you may not have a lot of work experience to showcase. However, there are still several elements you can include to make your resume stand out. Here are some tips for creating a resume without work experience:
- Start with a strong objective statement: Begin your resume with a clear and concise objective statement that outlines your career goals and highlights your skills and qualifications.
- Keep it simple and easy to read: Use a clean and simple design for your resume, with plenty of white space and a legible font.
- Focus on education and extracurriculars: If you don’t have much work experience, focus on your education and any extracurricular activities or volunteer work that you’ve done.
- Use action-oriented language: Even if you don’t have much work experience, you can still use action-oriented language to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Use strong action verbs like “organized,” “volunteered” or “led” to showcase your skills and experience.
Overall, a resume for a first job should focus on your skills and qualifications, highlighting any relevant experience or accomplishments you’ve had.
What does an ATS-friendly resume look like?
An ATS-friendly resume is designed to be easily read and parsed by automated systems many employers use to screen resumes. Here are some tips for creating an ATS-friendly resume design:
- Use simple, straightforward formatting: Avoid using complex designs, graphics or fonts that can confuse an ATS. Stick to a simple, easy-to-read format with clear headings and bullet points.
- Use keywords from the job listing: Many ATS systems are programmed to search for specific keywords or phrases from the job listing. Be sure to include relevant keywords throughout your resume to increase your chances of getting past the initial screening.
- Include relevant job titles and skills: Use specific job titles and skills throughout your resume to help the ATS understand your experience and qualifications.
- Use standard section headings: Stick to standard section headings like “work experience,” “education” and “skills” to make it easier for the ATS to parse your resume.
- Avoid using images or tables: Images, tables and other graphics can confuse an ATS and cause it to reject your resume. Stick to simple text and bullet points.
- Save your resume in a compatible format: Most ATS systems can read resumes in a simple, text-based format like .doc or .pdf. Avoid using complex formats or templates that may not be compatible with the system.
You can increase your chances of getting past the initial screening and landing an interview by using relevant keywords, clear section headings and a simple format.
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