Resume Layouts: Focusing on the Key Aspects of Your Resume

by John Sylo

Resume Layouts

Resume layouts can be very effective at enhancing a candidate's application, if done the right way. The problem, however, with most of the tips online is that they focus on the visual appearance of the resume without regard to the purpose that the resume serves.

In other words, a good resume layout is not only about having a good looking resume, but also about having a resume that effectively displays a candidate's qualifications. The key is to achieve a balance between the two.

Practical Tips to Improve Your Resume Layout

Following are simple things you can do to improve the layout of your resume:

  • Structure your resume so that it has a good flow. The recruiter has to be able to skim through your resume and know what your candidacy is about.
  • Organize the information on your resume to draw attention to your strengths. Put the important information first. This is often done by incorporating a summary of qualifications at the beginning of your resume.
  • Use headings effectively. Choose the right headings and maintain a good balance relative to the content of your resume.
  • Choose the right font and the right font size. Regardless of what font you choose, make sure you choose a font that is easy to read.
  • Incorporate bullets. Using bullets helps break the monotony of your resume and makes it look more dynamic.
  • Be consistent with your resume layout and how you present the information on your resume. Consistency makes for an easier read and helps the reader locate the information on your resume.
  • Pay attention to details. Don't let small inconsistencies or omissions ruin your hard work. Iron your resume to be crisp and clean.
  • Keep things in perspective. Remember that an effective resume layout is necessary to highlight your qualifications, as opposed to being an end in itself.
  • Simple is good. The "star" of your resume is not the layout. It's the information that your resume tries to convey. Don't distract the reader's attention from the substance of your resume.
Once you are done drafting your resume, ask yourself if your resume is visually appealing. If not, consider using a resume template (which you can tailor further to make it truly distinctive) or an online resume builder.

Be Careful About These...

  • Using color can be a good idea, but keep in mind that if you submit your resume by email or online, it will probably be printed using black ink. If you mail your resume in, it will probably be photocopied, again, using black ink. Thus, make sure your "color" resume also looks good and is easy to read in black and white.
  • When submitting resumes online, you may be asked to copy and paste your resume. It is therefore a good idea to have a simplified version of your resume, without formatting (i.e., .txt version).

Examples of Good Resume Layouts

The above recommendations can dramatically improve your resume layout. You can also look at our extensive list of professionally written resume examples to see what layout or layouts you like the most. Following are some examples of different resume layouts:


This article from WorkAlpha sheds more light on how to come up with a good resume layout.

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