I recently heard from a client that he thought a colleague’s resumé was better than his. Since we had worked on his resumé together, that stung just a bit. But, it also reminded me of a universal truth about resumés: We are never wholly satisfied with them.

I’ve worked on thousands of resumés,
and even I always see something that I later think,
“I’d do that differently now.”

What I reminded my client of is that a resumé is never perfect; it just has to work. And there is only one meaningful measure of that – it’s getting you interviews. Anything else is truly, truly meaningless, and it’s likely a waste of your time to worry about it. To help you out, here are some quick answers to questions many people ask about their resumé:


  1. Use a san serif font like Calibri or Tahoma for a clean look
  2. Quantify your accomplishments – if you improved efficiency, by what percentage?
  3. Allow enough white space on the page for the reader to easily glance and see your skills
  4. Use bold and italic to guide the reader to what is important
  5. Format your resume so it can be easily read by applicant tracking systems


  1. Use less than a 10 point font – ever!
  2. Regurgitate the duties from your job description
  3. Cram your resume so tight with content to get everything on one page. Two pages is fine, as long as it’s relevant to the job you want
  4. Randomly capitalize words or include company jargon or acronyms outsiders won’t understand
  5. Use tables, templates, or trendy graphics and colors that could confuse applicant tracking systems. (Exception: Design jobs)

Most important, tailor every single resumé to each job, matching key words from the posting with your own experience. AND PROOFREAD!

Cheers to your career!



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Find out how with 10 Habits of Successful Job Candidates!