The Best Margins For Your Resume in 2020

Wanting your resume to have the most impact on the reader is the right way to feel. You want your resume to come across professional, readable, and proper. You want formality as well as enough room for all the information you’d like to provide.

This is the correct way to feel. But the biggest question you want to be answered is, what about your resume margins? How big should your margins be? Should they be extended? Default?

Let’s go into the questions that you might have about resume margins.

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Why Do Resume Margins Matter?

Resume margins matter because they can contract your resume to a point at which your resume might be longer than one page. Inversely, if you make your margins too small, it can make your resume one page, but look unprofessional.

There’s a perfect combination of this. And it’s not what you might expect. It’s the default setting.

Don’t Be Creative

Resumes that are too creative may come across unprofessional. Including your photo along with your resume, for example, might seem creative but distracts from the intention of the resume.

Resumes are utilitarian in nature. Meaning, they are designed to be read and scanned. Not to make you stand out. If you are looking to stand out, you should think about what you list in your resume summary and resume bullet points. These are functions of the resume where you can stand out by using terse communication and highlight your skills and merits.

Most interviewers are going to perceive a complicated resume layout as immature. They want something that speaks volumes about your work experience. Not something that makes sure they look at your resume.

Don’t Have Custom Margins

Custom margins might seem nice, but they aren’t going to work well. For the user reading your resume with custom margins, it might feel disorienting. Their eye may have to scan too far to the left and right in order to completely read your resume. And this may cause eye strain.

By keeping your margins at their default setting, you are ensuring that the reader is comfortable with these margins.

What Margins Should I Use

The best margins for your resume are the default 1-inch margins. Contracting to 1/2-inch margins might seem like a great idea but it may cause eye strain. Increasing your margins to 1.5-inches may cause your resume length to be too long and make it appear as though you are trying to “game” how long your resume is. Or make it appear as though you have more experience than you actually do.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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