So, once you've invested a lot of time in generating your content, tweaking the content and making sure all of your transferable skills are highlighted, you want to make sure that the information is found as quickly as possible. That is because the format is very important. Depending on the employers that you ask, you might hear that they spend anywhere between eight or 15 seconds looking at a resume before they make their decision of this is a resume I want to read more of or this is a resume I don't have time to read right now. Obviously eight to 15 seconds is not a very long amount of time and most of us are spending more than eight or 15 seconds preparing our resume so we want to make sure that all that hard work that we do pays off. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the do's and don'ts of resume formatting. Let's start by first talking about templates for a little bit. Templates are very tempting for many people who might be setting out to write their first resume. They seem to simplify their process, they just kind of tell you where to put things and then it creates the document for you. You can find any number of them by searching online. You can even find a lot of them built into most word processors. The issue with these templates is they usually do give you a really nice document and a really well polished document, but only the first time. The second that you try to start to change something whether it's moving a margin around, or maybe you're trying to add some bulleted items, you might be trying to add a section entirely. It's going to be very difficult to work with. Unless you're a computer science programmer or you are an expert with your word processor I usually recommend starting with just a blank page. The most complicated types of formatting that I will be asking you to do in this resume project will be adjusting margins, maybe doing some left aligning or some right aligning of some information and using bold and italics. Most of that is fairly easy and if you're uncomfortable with any of that, with a little bit of practice it will get much better. The good thing of starting from your own blank document is you have full control over that. So any time you want to make a change, any time you want to remove something or add something in, it's all your format. You know exactly how to do that. You’re not working within somebody else’s template, a website's template, or a template out of your word processor. Like we said in module one, the resume is a living document. So that means there's going to be a lot of changes you'll be making to that depending on the type of job you're submitting it out for. Therefore, having the flexibility to work within your own template, your own document that you've created is important. So if we're starting from your own document, the first thing that we need to consider is the margins. Your margins by default should be somewhere around one inch on all four sides. That's the ideal for a typical resume. That said, in the future, if you are trying to crunch down space and you have just one or two lines hanging over that you're trying to get on that first page, we can reduce the margins to about a half inch, and that's again, for all four sides. You want all four of those margins to be consistent. Any less than a half inch on all four sides, and you run the risk of the document possibly printing crooked, or even just looking crooked on the screen. Or even worse, if an employer could print it, and you might miss some of the information that's on the sides of the document. Also consider the font face and size. Your font size should be somewhere between 10.5 and 12. The only thing that should be larger on your document is going to be your name at the very top. You want that to be at least two or four points bigger than the rest of it. So if your font that you use throughout your document was size 12, consider size 14 or 16 for your name. You could possibly even go a little bit larger if you have space to do so. For the font face you want to use something traditional. Think Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, those are all great options. There's plenty of other suitable font faces out there as well, but the main thing to think of is you don't want your font face to be distracting in any way from your document. Your font should just be how you're delivering your message. The font face itself shouldn't be a part of that message. The final thing to consider is your headings. You want your headings to be the exact same size font as the rest of your resume. And this might sound a little counterintuitive because you do want your headings to stand out, but you want to find a different way to make them stand out. Consider using all caps for your headings, or possibly using bold and all caps, or using underline to break up your sections as well. These are all suitable options. An important note about the headings for your sections is you want them to be left-aligned with your document. Centered headings might be acceptable when you're writing a research paper or an essay in school, but on a resume, left aligned headings help the reader's eye navigate to sections more quickly. Remember earlier, we talked about this eight to 15 seconds of time that employers are spending here. You want them to use that eight to 15 seconds to find the heading that they're interested in and read the pieces of content you've written underneath of those headings as quickly as possible. Left aligned headings will help you accomplish this. Let's take a look at a resume that needs some improvement to the format. Jim Vague is certainly living up to his namesake with this bland resume. There are a number of errors here in the way of consistency and formatting. First, let's look at the errors in spacing and punctuation. A space is missing at the top near his address. And a stray period after his graduation date. For his bullet points, he needs to decide to either use periods after a statement or not. Both ways are fine, but he needs to be consistent. Another big area of improvement for Mr. Vague's resume is going to be moving the section headings to the left margin. Here you can see how easily centered headings disappear into the document and just create a somewhat awkward look. Another area of improvement of Jim's resume is going to be adding bold and italics to help break up the document a little bit and show emphasis. Additionally, Jim needs to consider adding more content. The resume has a barren look to it, and he could benefit from talking more about his transferable skills and his other work history. So now let's look at a resume that has a stronger use of formatting. Consistency is an important part of building your resume. This applies to multiple facets of your document. Consider the use of bold and italics. Bold and italics are excellent ways to set things apart and make your document easier to read and scan through. In our example here, you can see Conor McApplicant has chosen to bold the names of the organizations he was a part of, or worked for. In addition, he used italics to call attention to his titles at those places. That way, whenever we see bold inside of a section of his resume, we know it is a title of place. And when we see italics, we know that is his title. Another point of consistency is the dates. Make sure to format your dates consistently. On this sample we can see Conor used the full name of the month and then the four digit year to represent his dates. This worked well for the way his document is structured, but not everybody's resume will have space for that long of an inclusion of dates. If you choose to shorten months to their abbreviated names, such as Jan instead of January, make sure to shorten all of the months. If you choose to go to just the numbers of the month, be conscious of doing so for all of the dates you include on your resume. Don't worry about getting the dates down to the exact day you started somewhere or did something. Just the month and year is fine for your resume. While we're looking at Conor's use of bold and italics, let's look closer under his leadership and work experience sections. For each experience, he has included four key pieces of information. For each experience, he has indicated the name of the organization, the geographic location of the organization, the dates he was there, and the title he held. There are a number of ways to organize this information. Some people like to put them in the format Conor has with the date aligned to the right side, the name of the organization on top, location behind it, and the title below. But others might want to split the information into maybe having the title and the dates on the top line, aligned to the left with name and the location below it. Some people might like that flipped. Then, of course, the use of bold and italics can vary. Some people might like the look of an italicized location and dates with a bolded title. There are a number of different possibilities and as long as you are including these four pieces of information in a consistent fashion you are taking the right steps. Two other small consistency things Conor is doing well here include the bullets all being in line and using a consistent type of bullet. So now you have seen an example of good formatting as well as an example of a resume that could use some help with its formatting. Hopefully this information combined with the information from the previous modules where we learned how to generate content, how to write content, you should be on the way to having a solid looking resume. I have one final tip about your formatting of your resume before we leave this module and that is to save your resume as a PDF file before you distribute it. This is very important because we typically spend a lot of time making sure our resume looks perfect and that the spacing is accurate and that it's all on one neat little page or maybe two pages. We don't want to then send the resume to somebody else and they open it and it looks completely different. The lines are shifted everywhere, nothing is where you left it. And that could happen if you send the resume to somebody who has a different version of that word processor. Or maybe they're opening it on a different operating system. So if you save it as a PDF you get around all of that. So once it's a PDF it's going to stay a PDF. It will always look like what you saved it as. In order to do that, it's really simple, just when you go to save your resume file, Save As, change the file type to PDF and then you'll have your very own resume that will look the same no matter if somebody's reading it on their computer, or on their laptop, or on their tablet. Even on their phone, it's going to look the same. So it's definitely something that you want to consider doing before you finish sending your resume out. So in the next module we are going to discuss how to take this nearly finished document and apply it toward specific job postings. How to hone in on the buzzwords of certain industries and make sure that they're represented in our resume, so that we generate the interest in ourselves that we are looking to accomplish.