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 Resume Appearance Guidelines 




  • Limit your resume to 1 or 2 pages. Businesses tend to prefer one-page resumes. Education, non-profit, and government employers often welcome two-page resumes.
  • If you have 2 pages, make sure your second page contains relevant material and you have enough text to fill at least half of the second page. Be sure to type your name at the top of the second page and indicate the page number.


  • Prioritize information in your resume from most important to least important and most recent to least recent.
  • Font sizes from 11 point to 12 point work well.

Paper Quality 

  • Produce your resume on top quality bond paper of at least 20-pound weight, size 8 1/2" x 11".
  • Suggested colors are white, off-white, ivory, or very light gray. Darker paper may not photocopy or scan well.
  • You can also purchase Resume paper by the sheet in the Office of Career Education & Development.  If you would rather purchase an entire box, then look in the office supply section of retail stores such as WalMart, Target, Staples, Office Max.

Writing Style 

  • Write your resume so key facts leap from the page.
  • Omit personal pronouns.
  • Avoid wordiness.
  • Write in active voice starting each statement with an action word.

Emphasizing Important Items 

  • Graphics - such as CAPITALIZING, bold, italics, underlining, the asterisk (*), or the bullet help to highlight items you want to bring to the reader's attention.
  • However, don't overuse these graphics or they will lose their impact.
  • And never use italics or underlining in a resume that will be scanned.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread 

  • An error-free resume is essential.
  • Stop by the Office of Career Education & Development to have a Career Counselor look over your resume.


  • Use Word or another word processing program
  • Avoid resume template software
  • If sending or applying online, consider saving your resume as a PDF in order to lock in your font and formatting.
  • Print your resume on a laser or a top quality ink jet printer.



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