tmennillo asks:

Is it unprofessional to bold or italic certain words in a resume?

In Topics: Jobs/Careers
> 60 days ago

Amit_Pandey writes:
Too many herbs and spices can ruin a great dish. So use bold Italic words in resume but as much as required.
Guideline, not rules: When you employ Italics bold them, otherwise italics text will look anemic or pale to the reader.  
Pick familiar type face and stick to it. Bold italics to ensure the text is readable and keep italics to a minimum.
Always bold your name (on all pages), your title, your degrees, and boffo recognition in upper and lower case.
Set your prior employer’s company name apart from your name, by using light face CAPITAL LETTERS only.
Underline sparingly and preserve valuable white space by not using thin ruled lines that can become jagged when a fax machine or tired copier are employed.
> 60 days ago

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LyndalBruns writes:
Bolding: To the matter of using bold for content in your resume, it is-of course-acceptable and very often used-but, you must know how to best use bolding, to make it effective. First off, only use bolding for your name in the header and main categories-such as education, skills, etc. This way, the employer sees the sections he/she needs to reference right off the bat, and can find your name easily to equate this information with. Second, if you use bolding; you do not need italics, various fonts, or anything to compete with it.

Italics: Italics should be used very minimally-if at all. Many people use italics to make certain skills and words stand out; but this sort of stylizing can be over the top, unprofessional, and distracting to an employer-and should best be avoided, unless you are not using bolding or are only using italics for a couple words.

Bullets: Bullet points are helpful tools for making short sentences stand out, such as in making a particular point or listing items. In resumes, they are almost standard in most often listing the different responsibilities that a person had at a certain position or achievements won according to their career. This said, they can be used incorrectly; and can become the opposite of what they were intended for-distracting. Bullets should be used in the most standard of bullet font. Using a bullet is enough to point something out, without dramatizing the effect. Moreover, only one font of bullet should be used throughout the entirety of the document-again, use of more than one looks stylistic, unprofessional, and uncalculated. Lastly, only use bullet points to point out pertinent responsibilities and significant achievements.

Chicago, IL
Certified professional resume writer
> 60 days ago

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clairebryan... writes:
There’s some debate about how many seconds a recruiter spends looking over a resume, but we can all agree that it’s not a lot. With such limited time to get important information across, anything you can do to make your resume easier to skim could mean the difference between the forward or toss piles.
So, after you’ve spent some time perfecting the content of those sections and bullet points, it’s time to make sure they’re as easy (and appealing!) to read as possible. Here are 12 little resume formatting tricks you can use to help recruiters and hiring managers get the most from your resume template during their six to 18 second scan.

1. Don’t Center Any of Your Text

Even your section headings should be aligned to the left. This improves readability because the eye naturally returns to the left margin once it’s ready to move on to the next line of text.

2. Align Your Dates and Locations to the Right

You can only fit so much different information (company name, job title, location, dates of employment) on one line of text before it gets unwieldy. To help separate out your information, make a separate column for dates and locations that is right adjusted. On most word processors, you should be able to just create a right-tab.

3. Don’t Justify Your Resume

Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words that ultimately make text harder to read, so for your bullets and resume overall, stick with regular ol’ left alignment.

4. Keep Everything the Same Size Font

Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability. Rather than using font size for emphasis throughout your resume, use bolding, italics, and all-caps—sparingly, of course.

5. Pick Either Your Roles or Your Companies to Bold

Bolding of select words and phrases helps with scanning, but you don’t want to go overboard. So choose what to bold wisely, depending on the message you want to send. If your job titles effectively illustrate your path to management-level roles, bolding those might make the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re a new grad and most of your experiences are internships, you might benefit more from emphasizing the companies on your resume.

6. Use ALL-CAPS Very Sparingly

While it is an option for creating emphasis, all-caps is a lot harder to read and therefore harder to skim than text that isn’t capitalized. Save your all-caps option for section headings or your name.

7. Maximize the First 5 Words of Your Bullets

When skimming a resume, a recruiter is very likely going to be reading the first few words of a bullet, then moving on to the next line unless his or her interest is piqued. This means those first few words of your bullets are much more important than the rest. Make sure the first five words of each line make the reader want to keep reading. (Need help? These power verbs will make your resume awesome.)

8. Keep Bullets Under 2 Lines

Even if your first few words are the most interesting thing your recruiter has ever read, going over two lines per bullet is pushing it a bit. Try to keep your bullets short and sweet. (And yes, you should always use bullets, not paragraphs, to describe your experiences.)

9. Use Digits When Writing About Numbers

Using numbers in your bullet points quantifies results and helps recruiters better understand the scope of your work. (Here’s how to do it well.) Make these numbers easy to read by using digits (i.e., 30% versus thirty percent). It improves readability and—bonus—saves space.

10. Have a Separate “Skills” Section

Just to really drive the point home, piling up all your relevant skills into one section helps ensure that the recruiter sees them. You should still highlight your skills in the context of your work, but pulling them out into their own section doesn’t hurt.

11. Keep Your Resume Formatting Consistent

People can get pretty creative when they’re trying to fit all their relevant work experience into one page. That’s fine, but make sure that however you decide to do it, you keep your formatting the same throughout the document. Consistency helps with skimming, and if the recruiter wants to refer back to something, he or she will know where to look.

12. Try to Have Some White Space Left Over

Lastly, having some breathing room on your resume also helps with skimming. Different amounts of white space can signal to the reader that this is a different section or help emphasize the importance of something, such as your name or skills. And overall, it just makes the whole document less overwhelming.

Having your resume skimmed is a fact of life as you apply for jobs. So, make sure you maximize the experience and make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to find the right information—and send you along to the next step of the process.
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9 days ago

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