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How to Save Room on Your Resume: Change the Formatting

Posted in Test Prep on February 10, 2011 by

This resume tip comes to us from Igor Khayet, founder of My Resume Shop.

As a professional resume writer, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to shorten a resume to one page without losing critical information. The first tip of this series explained how to decrease the number of sections on your resume, the second tip provided advice on reducing the quantity of bullets, the third tip explained how to cut excess language, and the fourth tip provided advice on how to remove unneeded information.

Tip #5: Change the Formatting

Changing the font size, margins, style and general formatting of the resume should be used as a last resort. The last thing that someone wants to see is a one page resume that is so tightly packed with information that it is impossible to read. Powerful content, easily accessibly information, and visual appeal are keys to a great resume.

That being said, here are some strategies for changing the formatting to save room on your resume.

  • Font Size: Font size on a resume should be between 10 and 12 point font. Reducing the size of the font by even .5 point can add a considerable amount of room to your resume, but remember that people have to be able to read the content and not strain their eyes. Also, make sure that section headings stand out from actual experiences (either through font size, bold, or formatting differences).
  • Font Style: Whatever font you choose, remember that resumes should err on the conservative side (steer away from Webdings and Comic Sans!). However, some traditional conservative fonts take up much more room than others. For example, when I change my resume from Times New Roman to Ariel, the document increases by 11 lines–enough to make it spill over onto a second a page. 
  • Margins: Most resumes have at least one inch of space around the border but this can be changed slightly to fit more information on the page. Print a copy of the resume to make sure is still aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Paragraph/Bullet: Using bullets and phrases instead of paragraphs can dramatically increase space on the resume. Also think about the amount of indentation for bullets – you do not have to stick with the Microsoft standards.
  • Date/Employer/Position: Some people use three lines for each experience simply to name the employer, the dates of employment and position. You can combine information to fit in one line as long as it still looks visually appealing


Product Manager
January 2009-Present


Google Product Manager January 2009 – Present

  • Contact Information Section: Much like the previous suggestion, the contact information section varies in length based on how many lines you use. You need to put your name, address, email, and phone number. This can take up anywhere from 1 to 4 lines.

Igor Khayet is the President and Founder of My Resume Shop (  He is a former Admissions Interviewer for the Yale School of Management and a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches. Connect with him on Facebook ( and Twitter (