Tips to Format Your Resume

Over the past few weeks we have been blessed with the submittal of many resumes/CV’s. ¬†Unfortunately, many cannot be passed along to potential clients for review due to their format.

Here are some useful tips for formatting your resume prior to submitting to us at

1. Format Wisely

  • Remember your resume is usually reviewed for 25 seconds.
  • Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings.
  • Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye.
  • Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments).

2. Identify Accomplishments

  • Focus on what you did in the job, NOT what your job was.
  • Include a one or two top line job description first, then list your accomplishments.
  • For each point ask yourself, What was the benefit of having done what I did?
  • Accomplishments should be unique to you, not just a list of what someone else did.
  • Avoid using the generic descriptions of the jobs you originally applied for or held.

3. Quantify

  • Include and highlight specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability.
  • Quantify your achievements to ensure greater confidence and thereby generate interest percentages, dollars, number of employees, etc.
  • Work backwards to quantify your accomplishments by asking, If I had not done X, what could have happened?

4. Create Your Resume for the Industry

  • Err on the side of being conservative stylistically.
  • Your accomplishments, error-free writing, grammatically-correct, clean, crisp type and paper will make the impression.

5. Replace “Objective” with a “Career Summary”

  • Grab attention right from the beginning, remembering you have only 25 seconds to make a great impression.
  • Spend time developing a summary that immediately gets attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution.

There are several resume sample sites online.  Formatting might include the following order:

  • Personal Data
    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone
    • Email
    • Nationality
  • Education
    • List the degree(s) and major area of study, the name of the institution and location where the degree was obtained.
  • Summary of Professional skills and/or Career Summary
    • Field of expertise as specific as possible (i.e., Deepwater Offshore Safety Specialist, Onshore Safety Technician, Shelf Offshore Safety Manager)
    • Credentials or professional training
    • Computer skills
  • Summary of relevant work experience
    • Overview of work history in reverse chronological order with dates, titles, employer, type of business, location, area of work, major accomplishments and salary history
    • Indicate any management experience and include specific achievements
    • Specify any international work
  • Languages
    • Mother tongue
    • Other languages and indicate written and verbal proficiency
  • Other
    • References
    • Publications or speaking events