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1 White-Hot Resume Design Tip That Will Instantly Increase Readability

Marketing pros have known how to use this trick to catch your attention for years. Now, it’s your turn…

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BY J.T. ODonnell - 07 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If your resume is crammed full of text, it could be hurting your chances of getting an interview. Studies show recruiters will toss your resume after just six seconds if they don't see what they're looking for. However, when one simple marketing design technique is applied, you can dramatically improve what people absorb when reading your resume, making it more likely recruiters will want to contact you.

It's about what's NOT on the page.

In a time when people are overwhelmed by images and text on a daily basis, the solution to getting your resume read is simple: less is more. The use of whitespace can help you to focus the reader on your skills and accomplishments more quickly. This is something marketers have known for years. There are four reasons why it works so well:

1. It separates elements on a page. Without enough whitespace, your resume looks cluttered, messy and too busy to read.

2. It creates focus and makes things stand out. When you have whitespace around something important about your skills and experience, they reader's eye is drawn to it faster. Speaking of which...

3. It improves readability. Words that are easy to read will be read more often than words that aren't. Therefore, it pays to make the most important words stand out and easy to read.

4. It helps to create balance. When your resume looks structured properly and not overdone with text, it gives the impression that you are more pulled-together and professional.

Given it's twice as hard to get an interview in a good economy than a bad one, having a resume that overwhelms a reader today will only decrease your chances further of finding a new job. Spending some time making sure your resume is optimized properly can help to improve the chances recruiters not only read it, but respond to it.

These 2 tips will create more whitespace on your resume ASAP.

There are two easy ways to create more whitespace on a resume:

A) Increase your page margins. Nothing smaller than a .7 inch margin should be used on all four sides (top, bottom, left and right).

B) Use nothing smaller than an 11 point font. Anything smaller and those who can't find their reading glasses will be cursing you for tiny text... and then throwing your resume in the 'unreadable' pile.

By limiting where text can go and making it bigger, you may find your resume longer, but at least a recruiter can read it and understand it faster. It's better to have whitespace and be on two pages then to have no whitespace and make your resume impossible to read.