Resume Layout and Design

“Above The Fold”

The most important information you find on a newspaper is what gets printed at the top of the first page, above where they fold the newspaper in half. This prime real estate is where they put the most eye-grabbing, most important “you must read this first” content. This is why I recommend putting your skills and projects first on the resume – when someone skims your resume, they usually start reading much slower at the top of the page and increase the skimming speed across the lower half, so wouldn’t you want them to spend an extra second seeing the most important information about you?

Online Tools

If you’re a back-end developer, please stop using Creddle to develop a resume. Their layouts are great for graphic designers and perhaps UI/UX roles, but usually their layouts are far too “busy”, and the font changes throughout most of their layouts get really tiring on the reader.

Three font sizes, total:

  • one for your name (18pt-22pt)
  • one for your headings (12pt-14pt)
  • one for all other content on the page (10pt)

Adding color to the resume is fine, but it’s important to make sure that your resume also prints well on a black and white printer

Bullets are better than sentences

“Bullet” points got their name for being quick and direct; they should not be grammatically correct, and they should not wrap on the page like this bullet is doing over and over again.

Most readers only pick up the first 5 or 6 words of a bullet point.

Sentences are better than paragraphs

Having a “wall” of text on your resume will barely get a glance unless you’re REALLY grabbed their attention. Short sentences are better, but bullet points are still better.

1-Column layouts and 2-Column layouts

If you’re not a senior developer, stick to one column (more on this later)

Order of Resume Sections

List your sections in this order: Summary, Skills, Projects, Experience, Education