4 Formatting Blunders That Can Wreck Your Resume

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Writing a decent resume is part art and part science, and there are aspects of it that require real skill. That’s why more and more jobseekers are entrusting their resume writing to trained professionals, like the Grammar Chic team.

Yet there are other aspects of resume writing so basic that the pros aren’t really needed. For instance, formatting mistakes are common, and can wreck an otherwise solid resume—but it’s easy enough to learn these blunders and to avoid them.

And they may not seem like much—but trust us: They buck both aesthetic and resume conventions in such a way that may make you seem unprofessional or amateurish to a recruiter. It is no exaggeration to say that messing up one of these trivial details could cost you your job.

So as you work on your resume—either solo or with a pro—keep these potential errors in mind:

Error #1: Mix-matching your fonts. Some jobseekers use different fonts in different sections of the resume, thinking it adds a dash of style or simply helps them keep their sections separate. Actually, all it does is give the reader a headache. Pick one good, professional font and stick with it. (Grammar Chic favorite: Calibri.)

Error #2: Using inconsistent formatting. This should really go without saying, but when you’re listing employers, job titles, and dates, consistent formatting is essential. Double and triple check your resume to ensure that you’re doing things with uniformity.

Error #3: Overdoing it with bold text. We’re not going to say that you should never use bold font to emphasize certain words on your resume—but you need to make sure you have a very good reason for doing so, and if you see a lot of bold all over your page then you’re probably overdoing it. (In fact, we recommend erring on the side of no bold.)

Error #4: Submitting a page-and-a-half resume. It isn’t possible 100 percent of the time, but we really encourage people to aim for either one full page, or as close to two full pages as possible. A page and a third just looks awkward and incomplete.

These points may all sound basic—and they are. That’s why it looks so bad when you get them wrong—and why it’s simple enough to master them on your own. But for any help or more complex resume writing needs, don’t hesitate to call Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444; or visit us online at www.grammarchic.net.

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