How to Design Your Resume in a Word Doc
Get tips and templates from our resident graphic design guru.
A well-designed, easy-to-read resume is crucial for getting noticed in the stack. Take it from our graphic designer, Lizzie—you don’t need to be fluent in (or even own) Adobe Creative Suite to put together an eye-catching resume. She shared her design-savvy tips for building one in Word, and created a few templates, so all you have to do is plug in your info and go.
1. Keep your type small
It will look polished, and you’ll be able to fit more. Keep in mind that usually when you're looking at a print-out, the type appears bigger than it does on a screen. That being said, don’t go too tiny! It needs to be legible. 10 pt. is generally good, but all fonts have different proportions, so always do a test print.
2. Play font favorites
Garamond is a nice alternative to Times New Roman that comes standard with Word. (Like Times New Roman, Garamond is a serif font, which means that it has those little “feet” on the tops and bottoms of each letter.) Corbel and Calibri are nice sans serif fonts (no “feet”), and are more nuanced, delicate alternatives to Arial or Helvetica.
3. Create a hierarchy
Mix type or use one font in different formats (caps, bold, italics and color) to make important information stand out. Too many changes will be distracting, so establish just one change in hierarchy. For example, if something is already bold and a different color, you don’t need to also put it in italics and underline it. That’s overkill. The idea is for the reader to be able to distinguish the different sections and find important information when they scan the page.
4. Adjust your margins
Keep them pretty small. You’ll fit more into the single page, and the default margins are so big that they look goofy. P.S. Get more tips for building a standout resume here!