How can I improve the format of my resume?

How can I improve the format of my resume?

"I've spent all afternoon trying to make this thing look good - and it's still an eyesore!"

You've not had the best afternoon :( You've spent it moving, and re-moving text around your resume; you've been color-coding (and then un-color-coding) different sections; you've been trying out all sorts of fonts looking for the right balance of professional yet visually appealing. You've been reading countless blog posts giving formatting advice, but nothing has really resonated. You finally have everything on one page (result!) but it looks a mess :( You know that format isn't everything, but it can definitely leave a bad first impression and detract from otherwise great content.

Good news: You are not applying to Design School - you don't need to design your own resume template!

You are applying to Data Science roles, not to be a Designer. As such, choices on layout, white space balance, font, colors, left/right/center alignment etc. can be left to someone else - give yourself a break on something!

There are several places online where you can find good (and free) templates to choose between - for example here or here. You can also just Google image search "resume template" and find more than you'd ever want to choose between!

If you have some experience / programming expertise you can also create a resume with LaTeX and the currvita package. We've heard from several readers that they found this

  • Easy (and it looks good)
  • Helpful for organization as the LaTeX source "plays nice" with git, so you can keep track of customized resumes for different employers
  • Good conversation starter!

Note: We don't necessarily agree with the ordering / sections included on some of these templates - more on that to follow in a further post - but from a format point of view, they'll be a help.

How to take action now!

If you've been worried about your resume format - after all, it does send a message on your ability to communicate; and can either help or hinder great content - then take a look through a few different examples. You can either follow one verbatim or just use them as a guideline / inspiration for how to clean yours up a little :)

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