Tips to make your resume easier to skim and read

Building a thorough and well laid out resume is important, as it is often the first demonstration of your skill an employer will see.

However, it is known that not all hiring managers will look over your entire resume.

Because of this, it is important to have a resume that is easily skimmable, and one which can present your skills effectively at a glance.

To help your resume reach this state, try out these 12 tips for making your resume easier to skim:

Don’t Justify

Although using justified formatting on bullets and other areas may create a cleaner look, it ultimately makes the reader have to put in more effort to understand the content.

Don’t Center Text

Every single line item should be indented to the left, as it will make the eye move more naturally from item to item. Centered text breaks the flow of a reader’s gaze, which will make it more tiresome for them to skim your resume, and may lead to them moving along in their search.

Optimize the Beginnings of Sentences

A reader who is skimming a resume will likely only be reading the first few words of each sentence, bullet, etc. You can prepare for this by putting the most important information within the first few words.

Bold Intelligently

When trying to make content stand out for a skimmer, bolding will be your best key. However, you will always need to avoid over bolding, as it will make the content more difficult to read.

Create a “Skills” Section

Although it may seem redundant to have a separate section that lays out the skills you already mentioned elsewhere, it makes a great tool for busy hiring managers that need to know your skills quickly.

Rarely use All-Caps

Simply put, words in all-capital letters surrounded by lowercase ones become difficult to read. Avoid using this technique whenever possible, unless in places like section headings.

Don’t Exceed 2 Lines for Bulleted Items

Bullets will already begin to lengthen your resume, so never allow them to become longer than two lines. Provide information in as concise a manner as possible.

All Formatting Must Be Consistent

Don’t get too creative with the formatting. Keep it simple and consistent and you will see that your resume gains a more uniform and skimmable look.

Allow Some White Space

There are two things to remember when using white space:

  1. You should never allow content to reach all the way to the borders of a page, and instead let there by a decently sized white frame around your content.
  2. Allow space between sections, otherwise your document may become unreadable, and resemble a large block of text as opposed to a professionally laid out resume.

Overall, white space is one of your best tools for making your resume pleasing to the eye and easy to skim. Try to imagine white space as a navigation tool when constructing your resume.

Use Digits

When using numbers in any part of your resume, no matter what the section, you should be using digits as opposed to written-out words.

This will make it easier for the hiring manager to locate numerical and statistical information on your resume.

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