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Your Resume's Most Important Design Elements


The most important design elements for a resume?
  • Use a mix of bold type, italics, bold italics, varying font sizes, small caps, and upper-case lettering for emphasis and to control the reader’s eye — but don’t go overboard with typographic variations.
  • Type should be between 10 and 12 point. 11-point type is ideal.
  • Balance the material on your page.
  • Allow sufficient white space with margins of .75″ to 1″. Note that Microsoft Word’s default margins of 1.25″ are generally wider than needed.
  • Bulleted lists are extremely reader-friendly.
  • Be consistent with headings so the eye can follow a pattern.
  • Do not use justified text blocks. Type should be flush left with occasional centering.
  • Do NOT italicize your entire resume or large blocks of type as italics are hard on the eye.
  • Don’t use more than two fonts.
  • Underlining tends to add clutter.
Read more in our Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes: The Complete Resume FAQ.