Last week’s blog addressed four common content mistakes that you should avoid. This week, I focus on format mistakes. You probably already know to avoid elaborate formatting which wastes space and also confuses electronic applicant tracking systems. Here are four additional format mistakes that are often overlooked:
- Resume Mistake #1. Creating a second or third page that has only one or two lines of content. A multi-page resume is fine if you have the content to fill it. But if you need that extra page for just one or two lines, adjust your format so that the lines fit on the preceding page. A single line on a page is called a “widow.”
- Resume Mistake #2. Using multiple styles of bullets and fonts. Plain round bullets are still the standard. You may use something else if you prefer (like the square bullets here) but be consistent. A resume filled with checkmarks, dashes, asterisks, colored, open, and closed bullets looks disorganized and messy. The same goes for multiple fonts. In addition, if you keep changing fonts, half your text will end up in the wrong font.
- Resume Mistake #3. Using a nonstandard font. Your resume will be read on someone’s computer or applicant tracking system. The computer will not be able to display the resume properly unless the computer carries that font; vital information may be lost because the computer cannot display it. Standard fonts include Times New Roman and Arial. There are other standard fonts, but you are always safe if you use those two.
- Resume Mistake #4. Using margins that are too tight. You are better off going to another page than trying to fit content within margins of less than one-half inch. A very tight margin not only makes the page look cramped, it might also cause a printer error message. A hiring manager or recruiter expects your resume to print on the first try.
I help job seekers every day to make sure that their resumes avoid the obvious and not so obvious formatting mistakes that can wreck their chances for an interview. Contact Robin’s Resumes® for help with your resume.