White Space

Today our topic covers a simple yet important point related to resumes:  White Space.

Your resume serves a pretty simple purpose: to convince a hiring authority that you are worth interviewing. Generally, that means your resume needs to provide a hiring manager a clear sense of your education, work experience, and accomplishments. But just because someone sees your resume, doesn’t mean they will want to actually read it. There is no surer way to encourage someone to ignore your resume than by poor use of white space.  

You’ll notice that the Alliance resume format inserts blank lines between the various blocks. Those spaces are very intentional: to make the resume more visually appealing and inviting. Consider the opposite. Have you ever looked at a document with no blank lines, just line after line of text?  Did you look at it and say, “I can’t wait to read this?”  Probably not. We are humans not machines. When bombarded with information, we are more likely to get frustrated than enlightened. The result is that resumes that overwhelm us with words tend to get scant attention.  So when it comes to resumes, quality trumps quantity. Readability really matters.

Imagine you are a hiring manager and come across this Resume. Did you notice that there is nothing there to give your eyes a break. Without looking at a single word, you may have already formed a negative opinion about the person who wrote it. While the resume has some very content, it’s buried in words. 

So do yourself a big favor and cut your future hiring managers some slack by making sure that your resume offers sufficient white space to give their eyes a break.