J Patrick + Associates Blog

Achieving a more successful job search with a well formatted resume

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 @ 04:04 PM


So your resume is the first thing the hiring manager (and a recruiter) sees.  If it is not up to par, it is also the only thing they will see.  Each person writes their resume differently, however there are some guidelines that all resumes should follow.  As an executive recruiter I see about at least a hundred resumes a day, content is the most important, but without the right presentation, content won't get you very far.


Clean formatting

  • Make sure you keep the font uniform throughout the entire resume.  Often times, when you write a resume you add to what was already there, this is a source of confusion and many times creates 2 different formatting styles.
  • Use a standard black font that is easy to read.
  • Do not add your picture.  If you add logos of certifications you hold, the best way to do it is by using a chart with invisible lines, this makes it easy to position, and keeps any images from jumping around.



  • it is often perceived that a resume should be only 1 page long.  This is not the case- if you've been on the work force for more than a couple of years, your resume should be longer than 1 page.  Don't skip on details to maintain a certain length
  • While you don't want your resume to be 1 page long, you also don't want it to be 10 pages long. 
  • The older the position is, the less details you should provide. 
  • The older the skill is, the less details you need to provide (if you were a Windows 95 Administrator for 5 years, spare on the details, this technology is no longer being used).


What not to include

  • TYPOS and grammar mistakes- read and re-read your resume. then give it to someone else to proof read.  For most hiring managers and recruiters simple mistakes like this will get you disqualified regardless of your qualifications.
  • In most European countries it is common to add personal information (age, marital status, date of birth etc.).  Avoid putting this information on your resume.
  • References- Today the hiring process calls for references towards the end of the process.  There is no need to include names and phone numbers of your references on your resume.


Some candidates like to have a PDF version of their resume for ease of use (easy to open on my computer regardless of the OS).  Today with databases being in such wide use, a PDF resume is challenging since the text cannot be copied.  If you want to send a PDF resume, make sure you also attach a Word version.


Recruiter's hint:  create an email address just for job boards, postings and resume submittals. Be mindful to check it on a regular basis, even when you are no longer looking.


A note from Gal Natel, the guest Blogger.  I wanted to take this opportunity to address some common and easy to fix mistakes I often see on resumes...  I would love to hear comments, thoughts and of course answer any questions.

Tags: Resume Optimization, Career Strategies