6 Resume Design Rules That Will Get You Hired (2024)

Are you struggling with your resume design? In the competitive job market, the resume design you choose can make or break your chances. A well-designed resume can help you stand out by highlighting your most valuable expertise and your personality. But lousy resume design could make you look unprofessional and prevent you from getting an interview.

A winning resume is equal parts of good design and great content. When you combine the two, your chances of landing interviews increase, and you are one step closer to new career opportunities.

The 6 rules of effective resume design

When it comes to crafting a compelling resume, there are several essential design rules to keep in mind. Here are six key guidelines to help you create an impressive resume:

1.Keep the design simple

Maintaining a simple and clean design not only makes your resume easy to read, but it also helps draw attention to the most important information. By avoiding overly ornate fonts or excessive use of design elements, you can ensure that the content of your resume remains the focal point, allowing the hiring manager to quickly and easily absorb the key details of your qualifications and experience.

2. Choose fonts wisely

Regarding font size, aim for between 10 and 12 points, as anything smaller may be challenging to read. It’s crucial to select a font that is legible both on paper and on the computer. You can also make the section headings larger, and your name should typically be twice the size of your basic font to create a clear visual hierarchy and draw attention to key details.

Related: Top 9 Resume Fonts to Level Up Your Resume in 2023

3. Choose the suitable layout

When deciding on your resume design, you have three basic layouts to choose from. Each highlights different aspects of your professional journey, so choose what best fits your expertise. The most used is the chronological layout that lists your experiences, starting with the most recent. But, if your work history isn’t consistent, you may want to choose a functional layout instead. This resume format lists your skills and expertise first instead of focusing on your career history. Finally, the combination layout merges the two, presenting your work experience and skills.

4. Balancing white space

To ensure your resume is visually appealing and easy to read, it’s important to strike a balance with white space. Excessive text can make a resume appear cluttered and difficult to navigate, potentially overwhelming the hiring manager. To prevent this, it’s advisable to incorporate ample white space between the text on each page.

Related: How to use white space on a resume

5. Add a personal touch

Finding the right balance between simplicity and creativity can make your resume stand out. Creativity can be incorporated through subtle elements such as a unique color scheme, a visually appealing header, or a distinctive section divider.

Infusing creativity into your resume can help you leave a memorable impression on the hiring manager while still maintaining a professional and polished look. Remember, the goal is to showcase your individuality and skills in a way that sets you apart without overwhelming the reader.

Related:20+ Best Microsoft Word Resume Templates for 2021

6. Don’t make it too long

In most cases, your resume should be one page long. This length is optimal for conveying enough information about you without boring the reader. Yet, there are exceptions to the rule. If you have decades of experience, you may use up more space to describe your expertise. Similarly, if you work in a field that requires a longer resume format, you can expand your resume to two or even three pages.

Resume design rules: dos and don’ts

  • Use a ready-made template –If you want a polished, elegant, modern or classic resume without spending hours on the layout, resume templates are the way to go. They will make formatting quick and easy and increase the readability of your resume. When choosing a template, select one that is suitable for your industry. Then, fill in your information, highlight the important content, and you’re all done.
  • Tailor each resume to fit the job –When applying for multiple positions, make sure you change your resume according to the job. Each of the resumes should target the specific requirements of the position. Moreover, each should highlight the skills and qualifications most relevant to the job you’re applying to.
  • Don’t mix more than two fonts –It’s best to stick to one font, but if you want to experiment, never use more than two fonts on your resume. Using too many fonts can be distracting, and they may clash with one another. So, unless you are a design professional, stick to one or a maximum of two fonts.
  • Don’t go longer than two lines in bullet points –You may want to explain your past responsibilities in great detail, but hold back on your resume. Your bullet points should be concise and no longer than two lines. This will help keep the resume short, but it will also improve its overall readability.

Key takeaways

Unique, professional resume design is guaranteed to catch the hiring manager’s attention. Remember that you don’t need to be a designer to create an elegant, innovative resume. Use premade templates if you want to save time or design your resume to reflect your personality. However, remember to keep the resume design professional and straightforward.

Use one font throughout and create easily identifiable headers for each section to do this. Finally, keep the importance of white space in mind. Use bullet points to list your past job descriptions and leave extra space between paragraphs and their headings.

Creating a resume that stands out and brings you results takes time. But keep in mind that good resume design combined with your accomplishments can boost your chances of success and help you land your next interview. By implementing these six resume design tips, you will be well on your way to having a professional, eye-catching resume that will make the hiring manager want to know more.

FAQ – Resume Design Rules

Q1: Why is the design of my resume so important?

A well-designed resume reflects your professionalism and attention to detail, which are important qualities in many industries.

Q2: How can I ensure that my resume design is both catchy and professional?

  • Tailor your resume for each job application to showcase your skills, achievements, and personality in the best possible way
  • Craft a catchy resume headline that concisely presents your most relevant skills and experience.
  • Strive to strike a balance between creativity and professionalism in your resume design.
  • Ensure that your resume is visually engaging and easy to read.

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6 Resume Design Rules That Will Get You Hired (2024)


What are the 6 steps to writing a resume when you have no experience? ›

Proofread and save your first resume.
  1. STEP 1Prepare to make a resume with no experiencee.
  2. STEP 2 Choose a format for your first resume.
  3. STEP 4 Add your contact information to your no experience resume.
  4. STEP 5Highlight your strengths in a no experience resume objective.
  5. STEP 6Make a no experience resume skills section.
Nov 15, 2023

What are the six key steps to formatting a resume? ›

Tips for Writing the Perfect Resume
  1. Step 1:Experience-based or Strength-based Resume. ...
  2. Step 2: Identify Keywords and Skills in the Description. ...
  3. Step 3: Identify YOUR Skills and Strengths. ...
  4. Step 4: Use Action Verbs. ...
  5. Step 6: Proofread.

What are some resume rules? ›

  • Your resume is a key part of your marketing campaign. ...
  • Rule # 1: Resumes should be geared to the job you want, not the jobs you've had. ...
  • Rule # 2: Lose the objective statement. ...
  • Rule # 3: Your bullets should be action oriented and results focused. ...
  • Rule # 4: Use bullets, not paragraphs when describing your work experience.

How designed should a resume be? ›

Keep your resume design clean and simple and focus on writing the most engaging document possible. Your resume should use a professional font, consistent formatting and plenty of whitespace for easy scanning.

Can I skip experience in resume? ›

Although it isn't necessary to include every position you held when creating a resume, many applicants prefer to show steady employment on their resume. If you held a previous, unrelated job for an extended period of time, omitting it may result in a gap.

What is the 6 second rule for resumes? ›

In other words, to pass the resume test, your resume only has six seconds to make the right impression with a prospective employer. As a result, it's important to make it as easy as possible for the reader to skim and identify your most important selling points.

What are the 6 formatting tools? ›

Keyboard ShortcutDescription
Ctrl+BFormat the selected text as bold.
Ctrl+IFormat the selected text as italic.
Ctrl+UFormat the selected text as underlined.
Ctrl+=Format the selected text as subscript.
2 more rows

What are the 4 C's of resume writing? ›

Proofread Your Resume Using the “4 Cs”
  • Copyedits. Copyediting includes looking for and fixing spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. ...
  • Clarity. When editing for clarity, you should make sure that your sentences convey exactly what you intend. ...
  • Consistency. ...
  • Colleagues.
Feb 10, 2022

What are 5 common mistakes on your resume you should avoid? ›

Common Resume Mistakes To Avoid
  • Too Much Information.
  • Résumé Template without Any Imagination.
  • Wrong Level of English.
  • Wrong Contact Information.
  • Ignoring technological skills.
  • Focus on responsibilities rather than results.
  • No stats/data/quantified data.
  • Burying most vital information below the top fold.

What are the 7 steps that must be included in a resume? ›

7 Steps to a Great Resume
  • Establish Contact Guidelines. ...
  • Explain Relevant Job History. ...
  • Highlight Soft Skills. ...
  • Spotlight Relevant Tech Skills. ...
  • Position Unique Talents. ...
  • Take Advantage of Keywords. ...
  • Check for Errors.

What should not be mentioned in a resume? ›

What you should never put on your resume
  1. A career objective. Put simply: A career objective is largely obsolete. ...
  2. Your home address. ...
  3. Soft skills in a skills section. ...
  4. References. ...
  5. Stylized fonts. ...
  6. High school education. ...
  7. Your photograph. ...
  8. Company-specific jargon.

Do employers care about resume design? ›

To be honest, a creative resume design can often work against — rather than in — your favor. In fact, when TopResume surveyed nearly 400 recruiters and HR professionals about the resume mistakes they considered to be deal-breakers, “format and/or design is too elaborate” was among the top 10 resume offenses.

What is the most successful resume design? ›

The chronological format (also known as the reverse-chronological) is the most popular resume format and emphasizes work history. A functional resume format is great for highlighting skills rather than work experience and is appropriate for first-time job seekers or people changing careers.

What do resumes look like in 2024? ›

For the majority of job-seekers, the best resume format in 2024 is the reverse-chronological resume format. This resume format involves listing your resume information (e.g. your work experience and your education) starting with the most recent one and going backward through relevant jobs, degrees, or qualifications.

What do I say if I have no job experience? ›

Sample answer:

“I am interested in an entry-level position. I know I have much to learn, so I'm looking for an opportunity that will let me build a solid professional foundation. In a job, I'm looking to expose myself to as many things that can improve my skills and knowledge in this field of work.

What do you say when applying for a job with no experience? ›

I am writing to apply for the entry-level position at your company. I recently graduated from college, where I studied marketing. I think I would be a good fit for this job because I am hardworking and reliable. I don't have a lot of experience in the field yet, but I am willing to learn.

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