When putting together a resume, there are many design aspects to focus on: how long it should be, what font to use, or which keywords to apply. A very important part, which is often overlooked, is the white space. Most resumes go through automatic ATS screening process, for which the design is not as important. To catch the hiring manager’s attention, however, you will still need a visually pleasing and elegant resume.
You might be wondering what “white space” is. White space, often also referred to as negative space, is a section of your resume which remains empty to create space between paragraphs.
Getting the right amount of white space in a resume can be tricky. If you leave too much white space, your resume may take on a bare, bland look. But, not enough white space can result in it looking disorganized and messy.
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 section 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.
Creating white space in a resume
When presenting your achievements or skills on your resume, use short bullet points that are no longer than one line.
To make your professional resume look neat and elegant, use the same formatting style when listing all your previous employers, jobs, and dates. Switching between different formats will make your resume look unprofessional and messy.
Because there is no “correct” margin width that would work for every single resume, you may want to try tweaking the margins. That way you can see for yourself what looks the best and leaves enough space for your content. In my opinion, a width of 0.5-1.0 inches is optimal.
Fill the page
Leaving half a page empty, even if it is the second page of your resume, may raise red flags in the hiring manager’s mind. It may even look as though your experiences are not sufficient to fill up space. No matter the number of pages you decide to aim for, make sure the whole page is always filled. Should you not be able to fill it, try adjusting the document to reduce what remains on the extra page.
Example of poor use of white space:
Example of good use of white space:
Your resume is the first impression that the recruiter will have of you and using white space effectively can make a great difference. Many “call to action” invitations urging you to click on something on websites are created by using white space. Try and do the same with your resume. Make use of your sufficient white space which will highlight your professional experiences or accomplishments and urge the recruiter to invite you for a personal interview.