Business Tips

How to Properly Format Your Resume- Guest Blogger: Stephanie Hardy

resume, new job, job search, career change

Today is a special day here on my blog! I’ve invited professional Career Coach and Resume writer, Stephanie Hardy to be my first guest blogger. She’s put together some fantastic resume writing tips for those of you who may be looking for a new career, ready to jump into the freelance world or are just looking for a refresh. If a new career is what you’re searching for, check out the tips I put together for her blog about using LinkedIn effectively in your job search too.

How to Properly Format Your Resume

I like to think of myself as pretty open-minded when it comes to resume layout. When I’m recruiting, I’m not really overly judgmental when things are organized differently than I would expect. Just like I don’t expect to be able to draw like Picasso, I don’t expect someone who doesn’t write resumes every day to create the Starry Night of resumes.

      That said, there are some tried and true methods you should stick to when putting your resume together. These tips and tricks help create a resume that is visually appealing, contextually relevant, professional, and, most importantly, will get you results (an interview). After all, what you want (and what I want for you) is to land your dream job! What I have included below is a template for organizing your resume from beginning to end. At the very end, I’ll include some notes on formatting fonts and margin sizes and things like that. Let me know if you have any questions!

Stephanie Hardy

123 Sesame St. Arlington, VA 12345

(555)555-5555 |

This is your header. And I don’t mean put it in the header on Microsoft Word. I mean this is the beginning of your resume. Short, sweet and to the point. Notice that I have bolded and increased the size of the name and nothing else. I like to give the name a little flair (because you’re special, right?) but there is no reason to take up valuable real estate making the other lines larger. If they want to contact you, they will figure out how even if you leave your phone number in 12pt font.


Here is where you write your objective statement (if you include one).

All of you headings should be bolded and the same size as your name.

Work Experience

Delivery Driver         September 1999 – Present

ACME, Inc. – Washington, DC

  • Bullets about your work history go here.

Notice that “work experience” is the same size as “objective” and it is also bolded. List position in reverse chronological order (this means most recent to oldest). Make sure you include the month and year of your beginning and end date for each position. Include your job title, company, and location (if you want) followed by well thought out bullets describing your major accomplishments and duties.


Bachelors of Arts, Political Science       May 2013

James Madison University – Harrisonburg, VA

Pretty simple here. Again same size on the title. Include your degree, field of study, and school. I always include graduation year but it isn’t alway a necessity. If you are currently pursuing a degree or have any certifications, add them in here.

Technical Skills

Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook), SharePoint, JIRA, C++, Lexisnexis, Canva, etc.

In my opinion, technical skills are right up there with your phone number as far as important things to put on your resume. Technical skills does not mean computer-y skills. It means anything you are really good at other people with less experience than you are not good at. And don’t think that everyone can do what you can do. Trust. As a recruiter, I know for a FACT that there are people out there who should not put Microsoft Word as a skill on their resume. So if you are a bomb-ass Microsoft Word user, you better include it. What systems do you use to do your job? Include those if they are not proprietary/classified. Are you super great with graphic design tools but you use them for your daughter’s dance class promotions? Include it! Anything and everything that you are skilled at (work related) should be listed here.

And that’s the end! You should have a complete and beautiful resume!

Now let’s talk formatting. I am just going to provide how I always format my clients’ resumes. There is more than one way to make a resume beautiful and this is the way that brings a smile to my face.

Margins: 1 inch all the way around

Font: Times New Roman

Size: 12pt for non-headings, 16pt for headings

Spacing: One line of space between sections and job listing. No spaces between heading and content within that section.    

Orientation: Justified except for header which is centered.

Phew! Writing that out was actually really cathartic for me. I know that making a resume is still a ton of work and not fun for most people (I’m a weirdo) but hopefully, this guide makes things just a little easier! If you want more information or advice on formatting your resume, comment below or visit me at I literally LOVE helping people write their resumes! I look forward to working together and getting you the DREAM job!

A Little More About Stephanie:

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! My name is Stephanie Hardy and I am a professional Career Coach and Resume Writer. I am also a police wife, mother of a young son, and mother to two fur babies. I work full time as a Corporate Recruiter for a government contractor in the DC Metro area. I have achieved career success, fulfillment, and work-life balance…all while working in the fast-paced world of the nation’s Capital. I have also spent years acquiring insider knowledge of resume best practices, how hiring decisions are made, and how to market a candidate. I have hired for almost every skill set imaginable – so I know what recruiters are looking for. And I know what will get YOU noticed. I specialize in: Career coaching for recent college graduates and young professionals. Career coaching for those re-entering the workforce. Professional resume writing services. Professional LinkedIn profile creation services. Work/Life balance coaching. I would love to provide you with a free consultation and start working together!

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