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The Definitive Guide to Resume Margins

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Are you struggling to figure out what the correct margins are to use when drawing up your resume?

You are not alone, most job seekers struggle with determining the proper margins to use for their resumes too.

But fret not because we’ll discuss everything you need to know about resume margins, including the one-inch rule, the resume dos and don’ts and the nitty-gritty tips for a great resume.

Do Margins Matter on Resumes?

Yes, margins do matter on all types of resumes. Proper margins make one’s resume visually appealing and improve its readability.

The right margins balance the white space and text, making it easy to read through the content. Excessively narrow or wide resume margins, on the other hand, make it appear unprofessional or cluttered.

Margins also matter because they impact the length of a resume. Appropriately sized margins prevent having to cram text onto a single page.

What Size Should Resume Margins Be?

The standard size for resume margins is one inch on all sides, often referred to as the “one-inch rule.”

However, there’s some flexibility with this rule, and you can break it to fit your outline for a resume.

For instance, applicants are often allowed more generous resume margins in creative fields like graphic design.

In contrast, applicants in technical fields are allowed narrower margins to accommodate more information.

That said, whether or not to decrease or increase margins depends on the application in question.

But in general, stick to the one-inch margin rule for traditional resume formats or use a resume builder to save time.

Why are Resume Margins Important?

Insignificant as they may seem, resume margins seriously impact a document’s overall appearance and readability.

Small margins make the page appear more cluttered hence difficult to read, while large margins make it appear empty.

On the other hand, proper margins make the text easier to read and process the information presented better.

Readability aside, resume margins also help ensure the document fits within the standard page size of printing.

They also come in handy when you need to highlight important information.

For example, using slight margins on the left side of the resume will draw the reader’s eyes to your name and contact information, increasing the likelihood of being hired.

How to Set Resume Margins

How you set resume margins varies depending on the program you are using.

Google Docs and Microsoft Word are the most commonly used programs for resume creation, so in the sections below, we highlight how to set them in these two programs.

How to Set Resume Margins in Google Docs

To set margins in Google Docs, follow these steps:

  • Click on “File” in the top left corner of the document.
  • Select “Page Setup” from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Page Setup window, adjust the margins as desired. Generally, a 1-inch margin on all sides is a safe bet for a professional-looking resume.
  • Click “OK” to save your changes.

How to Set Resume Margins in Microsoft Word

Here’s how to set your resume margins in Microsoft Word:

  • Click on the “Layout” tab in the ribbon menu.
  • Click on “Margins” in the “Page Setup” section.
  • Select the margin size you want or click “Custom Margins” to set your margins.
  • Click “OK” to save your changes.

Can You Change Resume Margins?

Yes, one can indeed change resume margins. Applicants often adjust margins to fit their needs or achieve a more visually appealing document. But before you do, here are a few things to consider:

Employer requirements

Employers in certain industries have specific requirements for resume formatting, including margin sizes.

Check the job listing or company website for detailed instructions before changing your resume’s margins.

Personal Preferences or Needs

If there are no margin-specific formatting requirements, consider your preferences.

Do you like your margins wide or narrow?

Also, consider whether you need to fit more information on your resume before you narrow or widen the margins.

If you have a lot of relevant work experience you must add to the resume; you may want to reduce the margins to fit everything on a single page.

How to Adjust Resume Margins

Again, how you adjust your resume’s margins depends on the program in question.

But in this instance, we’ll focus on two of the most commonly used resume-writing programs:

How to Adjust Resume Margins in Google Docs

  • Open your resume in Google Docs
  • Click on “File” in the top-left corner of the screen
  • Click on “Page Setup”
  • In the “Margins” section, enter your desired margin size
  • Click “OK” to save the changes

How to Adjust Resume Margins in Microsoft Word

  • Open your resume in Microsoft Word
  • Click on “Layout” or “Page Layout” in the top menu
  • Click on “Margins”
  • Choose your desired margin size, or click “Custom Margins” to enter your own measurements.
  • Click “OK” to save the changes

How to Format Resume Margins for Print

Printing a resume calls for more attention to detail on the margins because they affect whether the document fits within the standard page size for printing.

For instance, if the margins are too small or too large, the document may not fit on a single page, causing formatting issues on the printed resume.

Follow these steps to format resume margins for print properly:

  • Set your margins to at least 1 inch on all sides.
  • Use a standard font and font size to ensure readability.
  • Consider using a slightly smaller font size for the body of your resume to fit more content on a single page.
  • Use a high-quality printer and paper to ensure a professional-looking print.
  • Print a test copy before submitting your resume to ensure the formatting looks correct.

Bonus: What Other Format Rules Should You Follow?

From font size to text alignment, here are some additional resume formatting rules you should follow:

  • Font Size: Recommended size is between 10 and 12 points for body text.
  • Line Spacing: Single or 1.15 spacing is recommended.
  • Align Text Properly: Align text to the left for easy readability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about resume margins:

Can I have 0.5 Margins on My Resume?

No. Although you can use whatever margin sizes you see fit, 0.5 margins are too small, making reading and printing difficult.

Is a 1.5 Page Resume Okay?

Sticking to one or two full pages for a resume is advisable. A 1.5-page resume may be acceptable in certain instances. For example, when you’ve just graduated and have zero experience.

Can I use Different Margin Sizes for Different Sections of My Resume?

You can adjust the margin sizes for different resume sections to emphasize certain content or make it stand out.

For example, you might use narrower margins for your contact information or section headers while using wider margins for your job descriptions and bullet points.

Just be sure to maintain a consistent overall look and feel to your resume.

Wrapping Up

Margins are an essential aspect of achieving a proper resume layout. Follow the standard one-inch recommendation, or adjust as needed to fit the content and formatting needs.

Also, consider employing smart tools such as a resume builder to automate resume building, and get the guesswork out of the process.

Remember to consider font size, line spacing, and text alignment, as these are key formatting elements to achieving the perfect resume for your next application.

If you have any questions please let us know in the comments section, and don’t hesitate to share this article if you found it helpful.

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