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How to Set Up a Resume Format

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While there are certain standard formats used to set up a resume, choosing or designing one is based on your career and experience, as well as what type of job you are applying for. There are many different options for your resume layout, and the most important thing is that you are consistent in your formatting. Before setting up your own resume, find a few samples of resumes in your industry on websites like Best Sample Resume to see what the standard formats are.

Open your word processor and start a new word document. Set up your header by clicking the "centered" icon in the toolbar, choosing a 20 or 22-point font, and typing your name. Hit enter to single-space, and change the font to 10 or 12-point, then enter your address, phone number and email address.

Hit enter twice to double space and click the "left" icon in the toolbar to left-justify the text. Set up your resume sections by typing the titles: "Objective," "Education," and "Experience." These are the most commonly found sections on a resume. Other sections to consider including are: "Skills," "Awards," and "Professional Memberships." Use any combination of bold, all caps, and/or underlining for your titles, so long as they are all formatted the same.

Double space underneath the first section title, which is usually "Objective" (if your resume does not have an objective, skip to the next step). Type your objective, which is one sentence explaining who you are, what position you are seeking and what your career goal is.

Double space underneath the "Education" title. Enter your degrees, universities attended and graduation dates, beginning with the last degree you received and moving in reverse chronological order. Create your own format; for example, you might type the degree as "bachelor's degree in computer science" in italics, or set the graduation dates to be right-justified, as long as each degree listed has the same format.

Double space underneath the "Experience" title. Enter your jobs, including job title, company name and dates of employment, in reverse chronological order. Follow a similar format to the one you set up in "Education"; for example, if you set the graduation dates to right-justified, set your dates of employment to right-justified as well. Enter a bullet-point list beneath each job and provide 3 to 5 duties you were responsible for at the job; write concise phrases that use strong action verbs like "administered" and "managed."

Double space underneath your remaining titles and fill them in accordingly, using bullet-point lists for sections like "Skills." For "Awards," list in reverse chronological order.


For resumes that will be emailed as attachments or pasted into on-line job forms, avoid using bold, italics and underlining, as they may not paste correctly. Use all caps for the section titles to make them stand out in this case.