Recently, we’ve been discussing resume aesthetics. What looks pleasing, what doesn’t, what makes a great first impression, and well … what doesn’t. In the last article, I talked about bullets and paragraphs. In this brief article, I’m going to elaborate on margins.
I am sure there could be debates on many sides as to what margin sizes to use and why. But as a former hiring manager for fortune 500 companies turned executive resume writer, I’ll tell you what really looked best to me. One-inch margins make your resume look as polished as a college term paper. Anything less than .5 and you are cutting it too short for print quality—and it will look like too much text on the page, with no balanced edges.
For me, the happy medium is .5 – .7 inch margins. Not so much white space that you seem juvenile and unprofessional—but just enough so that the information doesn’t look crammed, and your document looks well balanced all the way around. I know this probably seems like a miniscule detail, and I am not saying hiring managers will not consider you if you don’t have .5-inch margins all the way around; that would be petty and unrealistic. I am simply trying to provide some advice on aesthetic appeal and point out what the human eye tends to be drawn to. The more drawn in the reader is, the more likely they’ll invest the time to read. Not to mention, you want your resume to look professional and polished. I suppose I could joke that celebrities have stylists so they look nice, so shouldn’t your resume have one too? I guess you can consider me your resident “resume stylist”. Until next time …
Check out our resume samples to see some great ideas related to our discussion in this series about resume design. And as always, you can submit your resume for a free analysis via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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