PNP Resume Layout

Resume Tips

Resumes are typically reviewed quickly, so the reader must be led immediately to the information you most want him or her to see. A well-designed PNP resume can do this for you. Lead him or her there and the reader will focus on your action words and phrases. First, review the relevant information and determine what you want the reader to focus on immediately.  Then use design techniques to your best advantage.  These techniques include:

  • White space: This is the space not covered with print.  Balance white space and print to make the reader comfortable.  Too much print makes a page difficult to read and the resume may be discarded.
  • Bulleted lists: Use them to emphasize information.  This information should be important to the reader.  Bullets outline specific experiences and skills essential to the job objective.
  • Uppercase and bold-type lettering: Use uppercase letters to set off different sections of the resume.  Use bold type to call attention to positions held or organizations where you’ve worked. Use Italics sparingly for emphasis.
  • Spacing: Keep your margins uniform and not less than one inch.  Avoid using too much information, which could upset the reader’s sense of balance.  If you have too much information, review and delete some material or lower the point size of the type.  Keep lines and horizontal spacing consistent, as the reader will sense this type of detail.
  • Type size: Use 12-point type if possible. You may need to use 10-point type to accommodate all the information you plan to include, but don’t use type smaller than 10 point. A serif type such as Times Roman is easier to read, (Serif letters feature a finishing cross stroke at the end of a main stroke.)
  • Justification: We recommend not justifying the text — it’s easier to read.
  • Stationery: Use quality paper and envelopes. Choose white, off-white, beige, or gray color 24-pound paper.
  • Borders and horizontal lines: While borders and horizontal lines can be effective, keep in mind that scanners may have a difficult time reading your resume. If you decide to separate sections or enclose material using this type of design, be careful.

In determining the best layout for your resume, ask these questions:

  • What layout will make the best first impression?
  • What layout will communicate the message you want to communicate and what the reader wants to know? Is this person organized, can they communicate clearly? Are they concise?
  • How will a combination of lines, boxes, bold text, text alignment, and bulleted lists guide the reader?
  • How can you use the layout to direct the attention of the reader to the content that matches your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments that will trigger the thought, “I want to talk with this candidate?”