Resume Format

Visual Aesthetics


Although the substance of your resume is more important than the format, the visual aesthetics of your resume are surprisingly important. Readability is the primary objective. Information should be clear, concise and presented in a consistent style and format throughout. Select a format that brings your most significant qualifications to the immediate attention of the prospective employer. To view sample resumes, please click here.


  • Limit your resume to one page, if possible. Research suggests that employers spend only 30-45 seconds reviewing a resume before determining if a candidate should be interviewed.

  • Two pages are acceptable only if you have many relevant experiences, but be sure every entry is distinctive from other entries. Print your name and "Page 2" on the top of the second sheet, and staple the two sheets together.


  • Experiment with different layouts. Keep tabs and margins consistent and limit the number of different sized fonts you use.

  • Judicious use of white space, capitalization, indenting, bold and italics can serve to make your resume more interesting, aesthetically appealing, and easier to read.


  • Your resume should be drafted on a word processing program such as Microsoft Word and, if you are mailing the resume, produced on a laser printer. If you do not have access to a laser printer into which you can feed your own paper, use a laser printer to produce a copy on regular paper and then photocopy the resume onto quality bond paper.

  • You may use any shade of white, off-white or grey resume paper. Do not try to distinguish yourself by using pastels or other non-traditional colors. Darker colors are more difficult to read and can produce photocopies which are shaded or streaked.

  • Aim for a crisp, professional look.


  • Your resume must be free of errors. Do not rely on spell check. Misspelled words and grammatical errors make a very poor impression.

  • Before you finalize your copy, ask for suggestions and comments from friends or family. And remember, there is always someone in the Career Services Office who can review your resume.


Be scrupulously honest. Employers are becoming more and more sensitive to the problem of misrepresentation on resumes. Increasingly, they are asking applicants for transcripts and checking references to verify the accuracy of the resume. Falsifying your resume could cost you your job, your professional reputation and admission to the bar. 

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