When a job opens up, employers have tens, maybe even hundreds, of resumes landing on their desks. Pages of text, line after line in black and white… how do you make sure your resume stands out? While the content of your resume is always the most important part, the presentation is a close second. Your resume must look professional, have structure and consistency, and be easy to scan and read.

 

Learn how to format a resume by making the most of MS Word features. This page will guide you through some basic, intermediate, and advanced features of MS Word, teaching you how to create a resume that will look unique while still being functional, and eye catching with a professional touch.

Removing Copyright Notice

Many of the resumes on Hloom.com have copyright notices. The copyright means that, although you can download and modify these templates for your personal use, you cannot however distribute them without attribution, nor can you sell the templates on your own website or through any other means. If you want to share these templates with others, please do so by sharing this link (more licensing information can be found here).

As one of the first steps to customizing a resume template, you should remove the copyright notice. The following video shows you different ways of removing this text.

Remove Blank Pages

The next step is to remove the blank page, as it is unnecessary and it looks unprofessional to have one. The easiest way to do this is to select all the blank space to be removed and press backspace or delete. In most cases, that should take care of it. There are situations, however, when the second page just will not delete no matter which key you use. This next video will show you different ways of removing blank pages from your resume.

Modify Headers and Footers

There are several situations where placing elements in headers and footers make it much easier to work with the document. You may want certain elements to repeat across pages, and if you put them in the header or footer, they repeat automatically across many or all pages. You may also want to position elements in a certain way, and putting them in the header and footer ensures that their position doesn’t change while you’re working on the content of the page. This video shows how to modify headers and footers.

Modify Page Margins

This next video will teach you how to modify page margins by using default settings, or by applying your own custom margin settings. Modifying margins can help make your resume more concise, and can sometimes adjust the content to fit on a single page.

Change Paper Size

Paper size standards vary in different regions of the world. Most countries have adopted the ISO standard of A4 size for regular documents. The A4 size is 210 x 297 mm or 8.27 x 11.7 inches. The US and Canada still use the US Letter size of 8.5 x 11.0 inches for their regular documents. In some countries, like Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and the Philippines, the US Letter size is still in common use even though they have officially adopted the ISO Standard.

Make sure you know the commonly used paper size of the country in which you are applying for a job, and change your resume paper size accordingly. Most resumes designed by Hloom use US Letter size. If you need to change to another size, watch this video for a step-by-step on how to do that.

Change Contact Information

All resume templates on Hloom.com use a placeholder email address, which is our “catch-all” company email. This is just for template design purposes.

However, many users forget to change this in their resumes, and at Hloom we have received numerous emails at that address from recruiters, often with interview notifications, further information requests, and acknowledgements. These candidates may have missed out on a job interview due to this small oversight. It is very important to update your contact information on your resume template – this video will show you how.

Change Theme

Some of the resumes on Hloom.com have been developed using the Document Themes feature of Microsoft Word. Themes simplify the process of creating matching and professional-looking documents. Applying a new theme changes the major details of your document – fonts, colors, tables, charts, shapes, and other objects, are updated to complement one another. See this video to learn how to format your resume quickly by using Document Themes.

Replace Lorem Ipsum

Lorem ipsum is Latin, and is“dummy text”that is commonly used in publishing and graphic design to more clearly demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or a visual presentation. Having dummy text instead of meaningful content allows viewers to focus on the graphical aspects, such as font, typography, and page layout, without being distracted by the content.

You should, of course, replace the dummy text with your own, ensuring you remove all of the lorem ipsum content.

Use Styles

The resume templates on Hloom.com have been designed using Styles. This means that for each type of text element, like headings, subheadings, or bullets, a different style has been created.

The advantage of using Styles is that you can easily modify one instance of the style, and have it applied to all the other instances of the document. Using the Styles feature allows you to very quickly and easily modify the look of your resume. See this video for more.

Modify Paragraphs

This next video will show you how to work with paragraph alignment, indentation, and spacing, as well as line spacing.

Change the look of bullet lists

Many resume templates on Hloom.com use bulleted lists, and there are custom styles created for those bulleted lists. This video shows how to change those styles, and how to create custom bullets.

Customize Tables

Tables are very flexible, and, in most cases, you can find a simple way to display your content in a pleasing manner, and one that’s easy to read. This video will show you different ways of using tables to organize your content.

Customize Tabs

Like tables, tabs are also useful in aligning and organizing information on your resume. Tabs are used to position text at specific locations horizontally across the page.

Add and Remove Sections

The way you add or remove sections depends on the way the template is built. This video will show you different ways of adding and removing sections – text, tables, nested tables, columns, and text boxes.

Change Borders

You can apply and customize borders to text boxes, shapes, tables, as well as paragraphs. Some resumes use all of those elements in a single resume. Watch this video to see how to change the appearance of those borders.

Format Text Boxes

Learn how to format a resume where content (i.e. the name, the title, the contact information, the headings, etc.) is placed inside text boxes.

Customize Nested Tables

Nested tables are tables within other tables. With nested tables, selecting is a little complicated because the handles may be difficult to locate. “What a Doll” resume is a great example of nested tables in action, and be sure to watch this video for some tools and tips.

Fix compatibility issues

This is a basic overview of how to fix compatibility issues between different versions of Word, and saving files to be compatible with older versions.

Fit resume content on one page

In this video you can recollect some of the different methods used to fit text and other items on one page. These methods have already been covered in previous tutorials, so we’ll just give you an overview of them and provide you with the video and minute markers for each method in case you need to review them.

Spell Check

Conducting spell checks is extremely important before sending out your resume to prospective employers, as it can be viewed as very unprofessional to have spelling or grammatical errors in your resume.

Save as a PDF

The final step before you send your resume to potential employers is to save it as a PDF. Saving as a PDF is advisable because you don’t have to worry about which version of Word your potential employer is using. And PDFs can be easily opened without any issues on most computer systems.

We hope these lessons will give you that extra bit of confidence, and make a positive impact in your life. All the best and happy learning.