9 Tips for an Easy-To-Read Resume

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June 28, 2024
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19
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3 key takeaways

  • An easy-to-read resume helps hiring professionals quickly spot your key qualifications
  • Simple design, professional fonts, and clear formatting are crucial for readability
  • Teal's AI Resume Builder offers features to create a clear, polished, ATS-friendly resume quickly

An easy-to-read resume strikes a balance between clarity and impact. It makes sure your key points stand out without overwhelming the reader.

But, it can be tough to avoid information overload and stay organized. Plus, manual formatting and a resume that's both ATS-friendly and easy for human recruiters to read can be time-consuming.

Below, you'll learn how to make your resume both visually appealing and content-rich. From picking a simple design to adding measurable achievements, you'll get all the tips you need to create a resume that grabs attention and makes a strong impression.

Struggling to create an easy-to-read resume? Sign up for Teal's Resume Builder today.

Why you need an easy-to-read resume

An easy-to-read resume allows hiring professionals to spot your key qualifications and achievements quickly. A clean and professional format highlights your skills and improves your chances of being correctly parsed by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

An easy-to-read resume also:

Saves time: With hundreds of applications to review, recruiters and hiring managers can quickly digest well-organized and straightforward resumes.

Demonstrates professionalism: A polished resume reflects your attention to detail and communication skills.

Boosts ATS compatibility: Many companies use ATS to organize and file resumes. A simple, well-formatted resume is more likely to be successfully parsed by these systems.

9 tips for an easy-to-read resume

Making your resume easy to read doesn't have to be complicated. These nine tips will help you craft a document that's easy on the eyes and packed with the right details to help you stand out during the hiring and recruitment process.

Tip 1: Keep design simple

When it comes to resume design, less is more. While you want your resume to convey your personality to some extent, the primary focus should be on what you bring to the table.

A clean, straightforward resume layout allows your qualifications to take center stage. Here's why simplicity matters:

  • A clutter-free design makes it easier for hiring managers to quickly scan your information.
  • Complex designs with images, graphics, or charts can confuse ATS systems, potentially causing your resume to be rejected before a human ever sees it.
  • A simple design conveys a sense of maturity and focus on substance over style.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stick to a clean, minimalist design with clear sections and consistent formatting.
  2. Use subtle design elements like lines and slightly larger headers to separate sections if needed.
  3. Avoid ornate borders or excessive color that could distract from your content.

The sample resume below shows how a clutter-free resume design makes it easy to see value quickly.

An easy to read resume
Use a simple resume design that's easy to read.

Tip 2: Choose a professional font

The right font can make a significant difference in your resume's readability. Opt for standard, easy-to-read fonts such as:

  • Poppins
  • Arimo
  • Tinos
  • Roboto
  • Roboto Mono
  • Crimson Pro
  • Open Sans
  • Work Sans

These fonts are not only professional but also widely compatible with various systems. Avoid quirky or overly stylized fonts that may be difficult to read or might not render correctly on all devices.

Font size matters, too. For body text, stick to 10-12 point font. You can go up to 14 or 16 points for section headers, but avoid anything larger, as it can look unprofessional.

Remember: the goal is to make your resume easy to read, not to showcase your knowledge of obscure typefaces. When in doubt, choose a classic, widely used font that won't distract from your content.


Tip 3: Use a clear format

A professional, well-organized resume format helps guide the reader's eye through your resume.

Choose a common resume format like a reverse chronological resume, which lists your work experience starting with the most recent job and working backward, making it easy for recruiters to see your career progression.

Alternatively, consider a hybrid resume that combines elements of both chronological and functional formats, allowing you to highlight your skills and experiences while still providing a clear employment history.

You should also:

  • Use consistent spacing throughout
  • Align text to the left for easier reading
  • Use bold or italics sparingly to highlight key information
  • Stick to a one or two-column layout

The key? Consistency. If you bold job titles, make sure all job titles are bold. If you use bullet points for one job description (and you should!), use them for all job descriptions. This cohesiveness creates a visual rhythm that makes your resume easier to scan and understand.

Design your resume with Teal

Want to flexible resume design without a lot of tedious work?

Teal's Design Mode offers a variety of professional templates to choose from and makes it easy to create a polished, ATS-friendly resume without the hassle of starting from scratch or manually formatting.

With Teal, you can:

  • Choose from multiple professional templates
  • Customize colors and fonts to match your personal brand
  • Rearrange your resume sections to match your career journey
  • Easily adjust spacing and formatting for a clean, polished look
  • Ensure your resume is ATS-compatible

Easy to read resume design options in Teal
Use Teal to create a resume that looks great and reads well.

Tip 4: Opt for resume bullet points

Long paragraphs can be overwhelming and difficult to skim. Instead, use bullet points to present your accomplishments and responsibilities.

Resume bullet points improve scannability, help highlight your achievements, and create white space making your resume easier on the eyes.

Here's how to make the most of bullet points:

  1. Start each bullet with a strong action verb (e.g., "Developed," "Implemented," "Increased")
  2. Focus on achievements and results rather than just responsibilities
  3. Keep each resume bullet to 1-2 lines for maximum impact
  4. Use 3-5 bullets per job or section to avoid overwhelming the reader

Remember, the goal is to provide a snapshot of your most impressive accomplishments that are relevant to the job you're applying for, not an exhaustive list of everything you've ever done.

Tip 5: Incorporate headings

Headings act as signposts, guiding the reader through different sections of your resume. Here are the section headings most hiring professionals look for.

  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Skills
  • Optional
    – Projects
    – Awards and Scholarships
    – Volunteering and Leadership
    – Publications

Note: The headings above do not include the following resume sections: Contact Information, Target Job Title, and Professional Summary. These sections sit at the top of your resume and tend to be self-explanatory.

Format your headings consistently. For example, you might make them bold these words on your resume and make them slightly larger than the body text. This creates a clear visual hierarchy that guides the reader's eye through your resume.

Tip 6: Add white space

White space, or negative space, is the empty area between sections in your resume. Proper use of white space reduces visual resume clutter, improves overall readability, and helps important information stand out.

To incorporate more white space:

  • Use appropriate margins (usually 0.5 to 1 inch on all sides)
  • Add space between sections
  • Avoid cramming too much information onto a single page
  • Use line spacing of 1.0 to 1.15 for body text

Think of white space as giving your content room to breathe. Just as a cluttered physical space can feel overwhelming, a resume without decent white space can be difficult to process.

However, be careful not to go overboard. Too much white space can make your resume look sparse or lacking in content. Strike a balance between providing enough information and maintaining readability.

Tip 7: Keep it concise

Hiring managers and recruiters have limited time to review each resume, so a concise, focused resume is more likely to be read in its entirety.

The goal here is to provide a clear and impactful snapshot of your most relevant qualifications and experiences. By keeping your resume concise, you make sure that the most important information stands out and can be quickly absorbed.

To keep your resume focused:

  1. You don't have to cram everything into a one-page resume! Aim for 1-3 pages unless you're in a field that requires a CV or more extensive detail.
  2. Include only relevant experience and soft and technical skills that directly relate to the job requirements of the role you're applying for.
  3. Use action verbs and remove unnecessary words to keep your descriptions clear and powerful.
  4. Tailor your resume for each job application, highlighting the most pertinent information for that specific role.

Tips for keeping your resume concise

  • Focus on the last 10-15 years of experience unless earlier experience is highly relevant to the position.
  • Eliminate outdated resume skills or technologies that no longer add value to your application.
  • Remove high school information if you have a college degree unless it's specifically relevant.
  • Cut "fluff" words and phrases that don't add substantial value to your descriptions.

When in doubt, ask yourself: "Does this information help show why I'm a great fit for this specific job?" If the answer is no, remove it This approach ensures your resume remains impactful and easy to read.

Pro Tip: If you don't want to start a resume from scratch or delete important details every time you hit apply, the Teal AI Resume Builder stores your entire career history as one base resume.

Then, when it's time to apply, just check the boxes next to the skills and experience relevant to that specific job—no more wasteful and time-consuming copying, pasting, or deleting.

Tip 8: Use numbers and data

Quantifying resume achievements adds credibility. It offers concrete proof of your experience and helps hiring professionals understand the scope of your accomplishments.

For example:

Implemented a targeted marketing strategy that increased sales by 25% over six months, boosting overall revenue and market share.

Developed and executed a comprehensive management plan for a team of 12 developers, resulting in a 30% increase in project completion rates and improved team cohesion.

Designed and implemented enhanced training procedures, reducing customer complaints by 40% and significantly improving customer satisfaction and retention rates.

These specific, measurable results are more impactful than vague statements and help your resume stand out.

Tips for incorporating numbers and data:

  • Use percentages to show improvement or growth
  • Include dollar amounts to demonstrate financial impact
  • Specify the size of teams or projects you've managed
  • Mention time frames to provide context for your achievements

Tip 9: Avoid jargon and fluff

While using industry-specific keywords is important, avoid overloading your resume with jargon or buzzwords. Instead, opt for clear, simple language that anyone can understand. Replace resume buzzwords and clichés like "team player" or "think outside the box" with specific examples.

For example:

Instead of: "Excellent communication skills"
Try: "Delivered weekly presentations to C-level executives, resulting in approval of new $500K project"

Instead of: "Results-oriented professional"
Try: "Increased customer satisfaction scores by 15% through implementation of new service protocols"

Remember, your goal is to show potential employers your value clearly. Using simple language and real examples makes it easy for hiring managers to see what you bring to the table and how you can help their team.

Job description keywords highlighted to create an easy to read resume
Teal's Job Description Keyword Finder highlights the best relevant keywords for your resume.

Create an easy-to-read resume with Teal

An easy-to-read resume looks professional and quickly communicates your value to potential employers.

With Teal AI Resume Builder's Flexible Resume Design, you can create a clear, compelling resume that balances looks and content to highlight all of the right details without the fluff or manual work.

Don't let a hard-to-read resume stand between you and your next opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest resume to read?

The easiest resume to read has a simple design, professional font, and clear format. It uses bullet points, incorporates headings, and includes white space to improve scannability. The content is concise, quantifies achievements with numbers and data, and avoids jargon or fluff. This type of resume allows hiring managers to quickly spot key qualifications and makes a strong first impression.

Why is the resume easy to read?

A resume is easy to read because it prioritizes clarity and impact. It uses a clean layout, consistent formatting, and appropriate font choices to guide the reader's eye. By presenting information in a logical order with clear headings and bullet points, it allows hiring managers to quickly scan and absorb key details.

How should you format your resume to make it easily readable?

To format an easily readable resume, use a simple design with a professional font in 10-12 point size. Stick to a reverse chronological or hybrid format, and use clear headings to separate sections. Incorporate resume bullet points to highlight achievements and maintain consistent spacing throughout. Add white space to reduce clutter, and keep content concise by focusing on relevant information. This format ensures your resume is both visually appealing and ATS-friendly.

Kayte Grady

Kayte, Senior Copywriter at Teal and Champion of ADHD professionals, is a seasoned writer passionate about storytelling and career growth. With a data-driven approach to content marketing and a word-nerd knack for resume builder analysis, Kayte’s on a mission to empower job seekers to land a job they love. Constantly pivoting and reinventing herself, this social-worker-turned-marketer found growth and camaraderie in tech—a genuine surprise given her never-ending devotion to the paper calendar.

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