Resume Design Tips & Templates to Help Polish Your Resume

Resume design can be crucial for getting a resume noticed by hiring managers. Learn how to design your resume with our tips and templates.

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Resume design

Whether you’re just starting out on your professional journey or you’re a seasoned professional looking to advance your career, your resume is essential in your job search process — and the resume design can be critical for getting the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

An impressive resume paves the way for a positive reading experience for a recruiter. From the content to the look, structure and format, it’s important to take into consideration your resume’s design to leave a memorable first impression.

Resume layout design
  1. Make sure your name is clearly visible
  2. Find a template that matches your personal brand
  3. Use bullets in the work experience section
  4. A bit of color might help you stand out, but don't go overboard
  5. Use a professional sounding email address
  6. Make sure the text is easily scannable for that 5 second read

Keep reading to learn expert tips on improving your resume design and use our resume templates to create your resume.

Why is resume design important?

Guy with laptop using resume builder

Nailing your resume design is important for a variety of reasons.

Resumes allow recruiters to evaluate a job seeker’s skills and qualifications and determine if they’re a good match for the job title and their company. Therefore, the first objective for your resume should be to focus on utilizing your resume’s design to catch the attention of potential employers. At the same time, your resume must showcase your relevant skills and work experience in a convincing, easy-to-follow way.

A resume design is your resume’s first opportunity to leave a remarkable first impression. Recruiters and hiring managers usually take less than ten seconds to review a resume, so a resume design that’s easily scannable, aesthetically pleasing and in the correct format is crucial.

Resume designs you can use

These resume templates are a great source of inspiration for your own resume design. You can also use them as they are to create your own resume using the ResumeHelp Resume Builder. Our designs come in a variety of styles, from traditional resume layouts to modern designs, perfect for different jobs and industries.

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Top 7 resume design tips

Use these expert resume design tips to craft the perfect professional resume:

1Match your resume design and format.

There are three standard resume formats: chronological format, combination format and functional format. They each organize your information differently so it’s important to choose a resume design that properly complements each format. For example, if you’re using a functional resume, you should consider a design that gives you the space to display different skills sections.

Resume templates selection

2Consider the job you’re applying to.

Some jobs, like bank teller and operations manager, will appreciate a more traditional look while jobs in creative industries, such as social media or interior design, are more open to creative resume templates.

Resume summary selection

3Keep your headings straightforward.

You might be tempted to get creative in your headings but it’s best to stick to the standard titles for headings, like “skills”, “work history” and “professional summary” or “resume objective”. Using standard headings will help your resume with applicant tracking systems (ATS), the software companies use to filter out irrelevant job applications and resumes. ATS automatically reviews and filters all job applications and resumes, enabling hiring managers to focus on the most relevant resumes and candidates, so having easily identifiable headings will help your resume pass ATS.

Resume with blue heading template

4Choose the right fonts.

You’ll have the option to choose between serif and sans-serif fonts. A serif font is one that has small, decorative strokes at the end of each letter, like Times New Roman and Georgia, whereas sans serif fonts, like Arial, Helvetica and Calibri, don’t have decorative strokes.

When choosing fonts for your resume, opt for something professional, easy to read, and fits the overall style of your layout. Set the font size to 10 to 12 pt. so that it is easy to read for hiring managers. Finally, always be consistent with the font you use throughout your resume.

Custom formatting selection

5Give it some space.

Use white space correctly in your resume to keep it readable. Make sure there’s appropriate spacing between sections, use proper margins (at least 1 inch on all sides) across the document, and use short phrases and utilize bullet points rather than long chunks of text. This will allow your overall layout to “breathe.”

Resume font selection

6Get creative with your header.

Your contact information should be at the top of your resume in the header. You can make your contact section visually appealing by using colors, but you should make sure that the colors you choose aren’t over-the-top. You can also implement reverse type by making your contact section a dark color and the text a light color. Graphic designers often implement reverse type to improve the design of a printed page.

Finally, you can include icons in your contact section, such as a telephone icon next to your telephone number, or an email icon, for example. Depending on if it’s applicable and acceptable in your industry, you can even include your social media links with corresponding icons for each social media platform, such as a LinkedIn logo icon.

Resume Builder design

7Use a design that looks good over 1-2 pages.

While the standard length for a resume is one page, job seekers with a longer career might require two pages to appropriately accommodate all of their professional history. Make sure to use a resume design that looks good and is seamless across two pages.

Custom color selection
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More resume tips and examples

ResumeHelp has plenty of other resources and guides for presenting a professional job application.

Resume Formats

Read our expert guide on the most popular resume formats and find the one that suits you best.

Resume Examples

ResumeHelp has over a thousand resume examples for different jobs and industries you can use as a base to create your resume.

Best Fonts for a Resume

Not sure whether to go for Cambria or Verdana? Here are other professional fonts appropriate for your resume.

Simple Resume Templates

Simple doesn’t have to be boring. Check out our clean resume designs.

Modern Resume Templates

Searching for a modern resume design? Look no further! We have the best resume templates for modern jobs.

Infographic Resumes

Learn all the tips and tricks for creating an eye-catching infographic resume in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.

Minimalist Resume Templates

Sometimes less is more and our minimalist resume designs really speak for themselves.

The Best Resume Templates

We’ve rounded up our favorite ResumeHelp resume templates so you can choose from the best.

How to Write a Resume

Once you have nailed the resume design, it’s time to put together the resume contents to land that dream job. Here’s our expert resume writing guide.

FAQ: Resume Design

Have questions? We’re here to help.

What is the best design for a resume?

Your resume “look” will depend upon the job you want as well as how you want to present yourself as a professional. For example, a resume for a creative occupation such as graphic designer would benefit from pops of color and a layout that shows some creativity, while a job for a position such as accountant should feature a professional, organized appearance. But no matter what job you’re applying for, your resume should be easy to read, with each section clearly labeled, and your information provided in short bullet points and phrases. Just use our resume templates on this page as a guide.

What's the biggest mistake you should avoid when designing and writing a resume?

Some mistakes you should avoid when designing and writing your resume include:

  • Being sloppy and leaving typos or spelling errors in your resume. 
  • Using the wrong resume format that doesn’t show off your work experience and skills to best advantage.
  • Not reading the job description and tailoring your resume to the job.

What should I leave off my resume?

You shouldn’t include overly personal information on your resume, such as age, marital status, religion, birth country, or if you have children. You should also avoid including information that isn’t relevant to the job you want. For example, you might be a certified scuba diver, but it won’t set you apart from other candidates for a construction manager job.

What is the best resume layout?

The best resume layout for you will depend on the type of resume format you choose. The three resume formats can be defined as:

1. Chronological format: the chronological resume format is the most popular resume format used today and emphasizes a candidate’s work history, career progression and career path. This format is excellent for professionals with ample experience who want to showcase their professional achievements and career growth.

A resume design that is straightforward and uses a single column works best for the chronological resume.

2. Functional format: the functional resume format emphasizes a candidate’s skills and achievements instead of work history. This resume format is typically used by job seekers with limited or no work experience. If a job seeker has limited work experience, they need to use the functional resume format. Using the functional resume format allows you to showcase all your relevant hard skills and soft skills and provide specific examples of how those skills achieved positive professional outcomes.

A two-column resume layout that allows you to include additional resume sections seamlessly is better suited for the functional resume format.

3. Combination/Hybrid format: the combination resume, or hybrid resume, is a resume format that is the best of both resume types. It successfully fuses vital aspects and benefits of the chronological and functional formats and emphasizes a candidate’s experience, skills and accomplishments. This resume format is excellent for career professionals with a lot of work experience. It allows them to showcase their professional achievements, industry-specific skills and the results they achieved because of it.

You can use both single-column and two-column resume designs to create a combination resume, it will depend on how much information you need to include and the type of resume template you prefer.

Should I use a resume template?

Yes! We always recommend using a professional resume template because they’re already pre-formatted correctly and are ATS-friendly. You don’t have to worry about having the right margins, whether the font is professional or if the resume will make it past applicant tracking systems.

What is the best font to use on a resume?

There are different fonts that are great to use on a resume. Our top choices are:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Helvetica
  • Times New Roman
  • Cambria
  • Georgia
  • Calibri
  • Garamond
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Tahoma

Couldn't find the answer you're looking for? You can always contact us.

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