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White Space in Your Resume: Best Practices & Examples

White Space Resume

Using white space on your resume can significantly improve its appeal and readability. It is, essentially, the key to accentuating the content of your resume. Both design aspects and text can only stand out and catch the recruiter’s eye if there is enough space for them to do so. So, to create a polished and organized resume, it’s vital to use the white space on your resume effectively.

What is a white space? 

White space, often also referred to as negative space, is a section of your resume that remains empty to create space between paragraphs. The design principle of white space builds on the fact that an absence of content will draw your eye to the text. In a literal sense, white space refers to the amount of space left between paragraphs and words. If your text creates solid blocks of grey writing, the reader will feel overwhelmed. So instead, you should use white space to help you create a text that’s easy to read and looks inviting.

Tip: Your resume should never be one huge block of text. After all, you’re not writing a book. Dark, seemingly never-ending text clutters are nightmare material for hiring managers and recruiters.

Read more: The 6 rules of effective resume design

Best practices for using white space in your resume

You should use white space to make your resume look organized and neat. That way, the recruiter does not have to search for each section on a cluttered, cramped A4 page. Leaving white space between the sections highlights the main focus points of your resume. This can, in turn, increase the reader’s comprehension by as much as 20%, as research shows that focusing on comprehending effectively spaced text is much easier.

To effectively use white space in your resume, you can follow these guidelines:

1. Balance and proportion

Maintain a balanced distribution of white space throughout your resume. Avoid overcrowding the page with too much text or excessive design elements. Instead, create a visually pleasing layout by giving each section and element enough breathing room.

2. Paragraph and line spacing

Properly space out paragraphs to make them more readable. Consider adding a bit of extra space between paragraphs, rather than having them tightly packed together. This helps create a clear visual distinction between different paragraphs and improves overall readability.

Adjust the amount of space between each line of text using the line spacing feature in word processing software like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. It’s recommended to use a line spacing of 1.0 or 1.15 within bullet points and body text (single-spaced). 

Creating White Space In A Resume Ms Word

Creating White Space In A Resume Iwork Pages

3. Margins and padding

Set appropriate margins and padding around the content of your resume. This helps frame the information and ensures that it doesn’t feel cramped. Generally, the top and bottom margins of the page should be no more than 0.5 inches, and the side margins should be no less than 0.75 inches. This will ensure you have enough room to set your page for single-spaced or 1.5-point line spacing, keeping your text united and balanced. Adequate margins and padding allow the eyes to move smoothly across the page, making it easier to read and comprehend.

4. Section separation

Use white space to separate different sections of your resume. This can be achieved by placing sufficient space between headings, subheadings, and body text. Clearly defined sections enhance readability and make it easier for the reader to navigate through your resume.

5. Bullet points and lists

When using bullet points or lists to present information, leave enough white space between each item.When presenting your achievements or skills on your resume, using short bullet points that are no longer than one line is an effective strategy for conciseness and readability. If you prefer to avoid bullet points, you can also group your experience into short text blocks. However, it’s important to ensure that each block is not longer than six lines.

6. Use of columns

If you’re using a multi-column layout, ensure there is sufficient white space between the columns. This helps maintain readability and prevents the content from feeling cluttered or overwhelming.

Remember, a neat, well-organized, and scannable resume is the ultimate goal. Embrace white space where appropriate to create a visually appealing and easy-to-read document.

Example of poor use of white space:

Resume White Space Bad Spacing

Example of good use of white space:

Resume White Space Good Spacing

Effectively using white space on your resume can improve its appeal, readability, and chances of getting noticed by a hiring manager. It’s important to strike a balance between white space and text to create a polished and organized resume that stands out to recruiters.

FAQ – White Space on a Resume

How much white space should I include on my resume?

The amount of white space on a resume can vary depending on the content and layout. Generally, it is recommended to have enough white space to make the resume visually appealing and easy to read. Avoid overcrowding the document, but also ensure that there is enough information to effectively showcase your skills and experiences.

What are some tips for improving white space on a resume?

Some tips for improving white space on a resume include setting appropriate margins, using consistent line spacing, leaving enough space between sections, using bullet points or short paragraphs, and maintaining consistency in font size and formatting. These techniques help create a visually appealing and well-organized resume.

Can white space help me stand out from other applicants?

In summary, incorporating white space on your resume can help you stand out by enhancing visual appeal, emphasizing key information, improving readability, conveying professionalism, and differentiating yourself from other applicants. Remember to strike a balance between content and white space to create an aesthetically pleasing and impactful resume.

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Nela Moore

Nela Moore is a Graphic Designer & Implementer and UX Lover. She has spent the last 10 years working in the software industry with a specialized focus on development.

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