Resume: A Tale of Desire, Intrigue, and Formatting

Resume: A Tale of Desire, Intrigue, and Formatting

by Zack Grossbart on November 30, 2007

I hardly ever hand people paper documents, but about a year ago two events happened in my life which caused me to think more about them. The first was reading The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. The second was getting laid off. I started thinking about the one piece of paper every engineer prints out and hands to people, their resume.

Just for the record, I wasn’t actually laid off. My company hired me back in the nick of time.

Most resumes have terrible formatting and mine was no exception. I had always suspected this, but Mr. Bringhurst’s book gave me the information I needed to prove it. When trying to create a better resume the first step is to read The Elements of Typographic Style. I would recommend this book to anyone who ever writes just about anything. However, if you don’t want to read the book I’ll summarize some of the principles you need to know in order to make your resume look a lot better.

Let’s Talk Type

When thinking about resumes you need to focus on four primary areas of typography: fonts, style, size, and spacing.

Choosing the font

This blog is all about open source. I am a big believer in open source so I started by looking for an open source font. There are a few of them out there. Delicious by Jos Buivenga, the Liberation fonts from Red Hat, and BitStream’s Vera font family are all decent fonts. The most compelling one was Linux Libertine. It is an open source replacement for Times New Roman. It is a very good font with only one problem; it looks and behaves like Times New Roman.

Next I looked at some proprietary fonts starting with Times New Roman. Times New Roman is a digital rendition of the font used by a British newspaper in 1931. It just isn’t a very compelling font. Times New Roman is best at 12 point where its more rounded letter forms get the space they need. It isn’t as readable at smaller sizes. It also has some specific issues with kerning, the space between the letters. Times New Roman also lacks ligatures which means it doesn’t represent certain letter combinations properly.

I looked at the rest of the fonts that came with Windows and Linux. None of them were much better. Palatino was the leader, but it is takes more space than Times New Roman and doesn’t read any better at smaller sizes. In the end I chose FF Scala. FF Scala is the font used by Ellen Lupton in her excellent book Thinking With Type and in the latest versions of The Chicago Manual of Style. Scala is really gorgeous. It is also amazingly readable at 10 point. Scala is so great that I paid for it.

FF Scala is a neohumanist slab serif designed in 1990 by Martin Majoor. Humanist means that the font has variations in the line width of the letters similar to calligraphy. Slab serif refers to the block-like ends on the serifs of each letter. I’ll talk more about serifs later in this article. The combination of the humanist lines with the block-like serifs gives Scala a modern feel which works well for a programming resume.

I really wanted to find an open source font, but none of them were good enough. Open source software is very advanced, but open source typography is way behind commercial typography. This issue came up again when I was looking for the right tool to do the layout.


One other reason for buying a professional font is ligatures. Most of the fonts that come free with your computer do not include ligatures. Many fonts have a basic and a professional version. The basic version will rarely include ligatures. Ligatures are combinations of characters which are rendered specially. They make the letter combinations fit together and help the eye flow more easily over the letters.


Ligatures are a small detail, but they are crucial to the professional look of your resume. You may not notice them on a conscious level, but they help you read the word and focus on the meaning rather than the letters.



I only considered fonts with serifs. Serifs are the small decorations in a letter which make it easier to visually distinguish one letter from another. Serif fonts should be used when you are working with larger blocks of text like in the body of a paragraph. There are a few sans-serif fonts, like Verdana, which are OK for larger chunks of text, but the general rule is to use serif fonts when working with larger sections of text.

The Page

Before you can consider font size you have to think about the page dimensions and layout. A resume must fit on one page because nobody will read the second page of your resume. It also must be a standard paper size and use portrait rather than landscape orientation. A resume is an inherently conservative document. This is the place to show how qualified you are, not how creative you can be with your layout. Good typography enhances the content without distracting from it.

Font size and spacing


To fit on one page I wanted to use the smallest font possible, but I had to make sure the font was readable. Scala is much more readable at 10 point than Times New Roman and it is only slightly wider.

For my resume I used 10 point Scala with 12 point spacing. The size refers to the height of each letter and the spacing refers to the height of each line. 10 point font with 12 point spacing is normally written as 10/12. This is a very common ratio in professional typography.

Title size

A page of text will often contain elements like pictures or titles which are a non-standard size. My resume has my name in a much larger font. When you add these non-standard elements you should make sure the lines of text are not pushed out of alignment. For example, if you put in a picture which is 32 points high in a 10/12 document then you should round up the vertical space you use for the image to 36 points so it is evenly divisible by 12. This will make sure that the text after the image lines up with the text from before the image.

For the big header in my resume I used 48pt Scala. This may seem quite large, but it works well since the resume is all about me. A resume is not the place to be shy. 48 point Scala works well because it is exactly four lines of 10/12 type. This makes everything line up perfectly.


With an understanding of these basic concepts I was ready to start working on the resume.

Where It All Started

See where it all started.
click here

The oldest resume of mine I could find was from March 2001. This resume was typeset using Arial and, um… more Arial. It is longer than one page and it uses 22 bullets. The bullet point may be the most misused glyph in human history. An impressive feat since it didn’t come into popular use until the availability of Microsoft PowerPoint. Having a bullet in a list is rarely helpful, and having 22 of them in one page is way too much.

I got a little better in July of 2001 when I crammed this resume onto one page (almost). In order to get down to one page, this resume is crammed more tightly than a crowded tenement. This version also uses a lot of lines and other text decorations, but removes all 22 bullets. The July 2001 resume was my most recent resume when I started this process.

old resumesfigure

Page Layout

Resumes have a lot of rules they must follow. For example, they must fit in one page and they must be conservative in their nature. However, within those constraints there is an enormous opportunity for innovation. Microsoft Word has one thousand and one resume templates.

The choice of layout is all about the information you are providing. The layout is meant to guide the reader’s eye through the page along the path you want. Navigation elements are like street signs. The layout is the road your reader will travel.


Each section of the layout has a specific meaning and is meant to be looked at in a preset order. The reader starts with the title. This is important because the title is my name and once again, my resume is all about me. The eye should then travel right to the contact information. The reader may not read this information in depth, but they should see that it is there. Personal contact information makes the resume feel more real. Next the reader moves down to look at the technical skills, project skills, and resume body.

Technical skills

Technical skills are the specific technologies I am proficient in. This section lists programming languages, platforms, databases, and operating systems in order of importance based on the position I am applying for. This is not a complete list; it just includes the technologies that matter for the specific job I am applying for.

This section will help someone in the human resource department decide where my resume should go. It is mostly just a check-box list of single word items like Java, Python, and C++. Putting the word Java in this list doesn’t tell you if I am an expert or if I just learned it. It only tells you that I might be qualified for a position like Java Programmer.

The technical skills section may also be used by the interviewer when they ask more technical questions. The interviewer should feel comfortable asking me in-depth questions about every technology in this section, and I need to feel comfortable answering those questions.

Project skills

I am a skilled Java programmer, but that doesn’t tell you much about the types of projects I work on. It could mean that I am an individual contributor who can write simple UI, or that I am an experienced architect who can plan your new server product. The project skills section makes this clear. The purpose of this section is to help people figure out what level of engineer I am. For example, “Production level architecture and API design” will tell you that I can be responsible for designing an API suitable for release to your customers.

Project skills is also the place to highlight the technical skills that don’t fit well into one or two words. “Security infrastructure including authentication, access control, PKI, licensing, and steganography,” tells you that I am knowledgeable about security and cryptography much better than mentioning specific algorithms or protocols like RSA or AES.

Resume body

The resume body is where the reader can find out what I have actually done in my previous jobs. This section contains strong verb statements like, “Worked extensively on the J2EE-certified Novell Application Server.” Action oriented verbs like “worked”, are a good way to show that you are focused on results.

It also uses descriptions like, “Architect and primary developer for…” As a software engineer what I did can be directly linked to the software I made. I only need to describe what I worked on and make it clear what my role in the project was.

My resume body contains nothing but plain text. There are no titles, headers, text decorations, or bullet points. The four jobs listed in this section are only separated by an extra new line. The reader can read this section like a book and find out about my career. The navigation section will help them separate one job from another.

It is also important to note that the resume body is justified. This section should read more like prose. It makes the page balance better if it is not ragged-right. See the examples below.


The left side is dedicated to navigation. This section will help the reader move between the different parts of the page. The navigation section contains four pieces of information: the section titles (set in Scala small caps), the job titles (set in Scala bold), the company name (set in Scala regular), and the dates I held each position (also set in Scala regular). This information is not what the reader is most interested in. An interviewer does want to know what companies I have worked for, but they are more interested in what I did there. Working for Google won’t help you get a programming position if your job title was “cafeteria worker.”


The last section is references. Resume references are a hold-over from a time when your references said a lot about your social class. Today references are normally left off your resume and it is assumed that you will have them available when asked. However, I’m a bit old-fashioned so I included the references section. It simply reads, “References available upon request.” It is set in Scala small caps.

A few notes about spacing

One of the many important lessons I learned from The Elements of Typographic Style was how to think about white space. The space on the page is not the absence of a thing, but a thing in and of itself. The white space of your page will create a page balance and help the reader navigate the page. This layout has a large amount of white space and still leaves enough room for a generous amount of text.

The Tools

Now that I had a basic idea of the layout I wanted the next step was to find the right tool to make it happen. I started with OpenOffice Writer, but I quickly abandoned it. OpenOffice Writer (just like Microsoft Word) is a word processor. It is a fine tool for writing small papers and business letters, but it doesn’t give you as much control over the layout as I needed. It also gives you almost no control over the text spacing. I needed desktop publishing software.


Get the Scribus
Source File

The first tool I tried was Scribus. Scribus is a powerful desktop publishing tool available for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. It is also open source and free. Scribus handled about 90 percent of what I needed.


Scribus fell short in a few key areas. Its justification engine isn’t great. It only support justification by adding or reducing the space between words inead of the space between letters. This meant I couldn’t make the resume body justified without some strange letter spacing. It also had some kerning issues with the title font which required me to change the letter spacing by hand.

The other big issue is the support of OpenType fonts. When you buy a font it will come in one of two formats: OpenType and TrueType. TrueType is an older format and it normally contains one glyph for each letter. The OpenType fonts may contain multiple glyphs for many letters. For example, Scala has over a dozen variations of the numeral two.

Scribus can not embed OpenType fonts into PDF files correctly, so it creates a vectorized outline of each character. The PDF resume I generated from Scribus is over 200 KB (compared with 44 KB from Adobe InDesign). When you view the resume in the PDF reader, you cannot select the text.

Adobe InDesign

Get the InDesign
Source File

The next tool I tried was Adobe InDesign. Unlike Scribus, InDesign is proprietary software and it costs $700. But it is a far superior tool. The accomplishments of the Scribus team are very impressive, but they have a long way to go before they catch up with InDesign.

InDesign uses the outstanding Herman Zapf justification engine. This algorithm look at every line in the paragraph to decide where to use hyphens. It controls word spacing, letter spacing, character width, and hyphenation. The Zapf justification engine will actually make individual characters wider and skinnier to make the line the correct width. The results are breathtaking.

InDesign also fully supports OpenType fonts and generates them properly into PDF files. The PDF resume I generated from InDesign was only 44KB and rendered each character so it could be selected as text.

I really like to use open source software, but InDesign was the clear winner. Only the $700 price tag has prevented me from purchasing it. I used the 30-day evaluation copy. Only time will tell if my love of this tool will overcome my sticker shock.

Putting It All Together

See the
finished resume

Now that I had the layout I liked and the tools to make it happen, it was just a matter of putting it all together. The first step was to finalize the text.

Writing and editing

When I write a blog post like this one I know there will be typos and grammatical errors. I read every post and have someone else edit too, but typos are unavoidable. For a resume you really can’t afford any errors. The resume is only one page and it should be perfect.

I really can’t do that alone. I had my wife, my parents, and a friend read over my resume for me. I took all of their comments and then I made my wife read it again.

The final result



It is now many hours and over $100 later, but I have a decent resume. Was it worth the extra effort? Maybe. Taking the time to properly format your resume will make it look better, but it won’t get you a job ahead of someone who is much more qualified than you are. However, people who don’t know anything about typography like my resume better than what comes out of Microsoft Word. You have to decide for yourself if it is worth the time and money.

Something is missing

The title in my resume is 48 point Scala. The serifs on a font like Scala make body text more readable, but they are distracting for larger font sizes and titles. Many designers use a combination of serif and sans-serif fonts. Times New Roman and Arial is a popular choice.

Scala has a companion font named Scala Sans. Scala Sans is closely related to Scala, but without the serifs. Ideally the title of my resume should be set in Scala Sans. However, my 30-day evaluation of InDesign has expired and Scala Sans costs $44. It didn’t seem worth $44 to make the title Scala Sans.

Update: Since writing this article I purchased a copy of InDesign and Scala Sans for use with another project. I used them to create a new resume and update the article. Scribus is a great project, but Adobe InDesign is amazing. As are the results.

A note about licensing

The text in this article, like the rest of this blog, is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. This license requires that you give me proper author attribution when using this text. For any text or materials you want to use in your own resume the attribution portion of this license is suspended. You can use anything in this article in your resume without attribution.


I want to take a moment to thank the Miss Tiffany and timd from the Typophile forums for help critiquing and improving the typography in this article.

Other Resources

If you work on an open source project you should check out What to Include in Your Open Source Resume by Esther Schindler. It also has some great quotes from me.

I’ve also written a new shorter article about why I put C++ in my resume and not CSS and how your resume brands you.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoy your personal account of trying to retool your resume. I only wish your advice here was helpful to more individuals. There’s a lot of value, but the use of InDesign and a commercial font does limit how much we can generalize from your experience. Perhaps someday you’ll, just for fun, see how close you can get to your ideal using simpler, or at least cheaper and more accessible alternatives.

  • I still fight with using InDesign and a commercial font. However, the basic version of Scala costs $44 and you can go a long way with the free open source package Scribus. The biggest investment here is your time.

  • Brian McFann

    Why, even though you are a programmer and prefer open source, did you not look at TeX and LaTeX as an option for typesetting and page formatting? Just Curious (I am assuming that all programmers know about it’s existence, but perhaps I am wrong about that.) I own InDesign, but used TeX because I was more familiar with it. I was able to set up Adobe Caslon Pro (OpenType) to use with LaTeX. But I could have used any of the fine fonts that are bundled with it, including the default Computer Modern. If I have some time, I will try to re-do my resume with InDesign just for the exercise. If you want to reply you can use the email address you find on my website.

  • I’ve used LaTeX for many years, but for my resume it didn’t feel like the right tool. Maybe it was because I had just read The Elements of Typographic Style, but InDesign was a very exciting tool and it just felt right for the purpose. Since writing this article I got my hands on a copy of InDesign and I’m very happy to be working with it again. I really like open source software, but I’ll go with the proprietary option if it is a lot better.

  • What makes inDesign better than latex / tex? Does it really have a vi-plugin?


  • Aaron

    Hmmm maybe it is the grammar-nazi in me, but about the resume body you said, “The reader can read this section like a book and find out about my career.” However the paragraphs are riddled with incomplete sentences. Taking list items and putting them in a paragraph is worse than having bulleted lists IMO. If you want something to read like a book then it should be written using proper grammar. You talking about using layout to, “guide the reader’s eye through the page along the path you want…” but don’t you think bad grammar is more disruptive than a less stylish layout?

  • Any chance you could put up a general resume template for scribus? It seems like a good tool that can get 80% of the way there.

  • Mike

    to be honest, i thought your first resume with bullets looked cleaner than the one without

  • Jack Rogers

    Why is this a “resume” and not a “résumé”? It seems inconsistent to pay so much attention to detail and omit the accents in the word. Are accents now passé?


  • Jason Petersen

    What’s a resume?

  • Mat

    Always a pleasure to read an inspirational article about resume.
    I recently had to review a resume, and ran out of space in an (OOo) text document. Complexity of the page was also too much for text doc…
    I tried scribus and LaTeX but results didn’t have the right feeling, I then tried OOo presentation formatted as normal page and it came out quite nicely.
    Advantage is most of nice fonts are available and page can be managed in independent text boxes. OOo exports directly to PDF, so it keeps exact layout when sending by e-mail.
    And it’s free as in speech, not only as free beer 🙂

  • Thanks for the great and informative article. I am in the process of refactoring my CV at the moment. I point blank refuse to use close source stuff to make my resume, so I’ll be trying to get as close as possible with Scribus. I’ll also give Open Office Draw a try, and Inkscape. OO Draw is a much under-utlised program in my opinion. I did my last DTP project in Scribus, but when I looked at OO Draw, I felt like I could have saved myself a lot of hassle by using that instead.

    I agree though that Scribus still has a way to go. When I use it I’m comparing it to Pagemaker from 10 years ago. Pagemaker is better, but I use Scribus because it’s open source (so it’s better in the long term).

  • Thanks to everyone for all the comments. SlashDot really drives some great discussion. Let me see if I can answer everyone.

    InDesign is a fundamentally different tool than LaTeX or TeX, and not just because one is GUI and the other isn’t. The LaTeX philosophy is that you specify what you want and let LaTeX do it for you. InDesign is more focused on letting you change everything. Check out the different ways you can change the justification in InDesign:

    Aaron, I agree with you about the bad grammar and I take full responsibility. Resume grammar often feels like you get the choice between wordy repetitive sentences that all start with “I did…” or incomplete ones. This resume is still a work in progress and I’ll keep working on the grammar.

    I included the source for my scribus resume in the article. This is the closest I have come to creating a template.

    Jack Rogers, I love the attention to detail. Resume has become an accepted spelling in English. I checked the Chicago Manual of Style to make sure.

    Mat, your suggestion for an OpenOffice presentation is great. I’ll have to try it out.

    I also appreciate how many people want to stick with free software. I try to use free software whenever I can, but I am a giant fan of InDesign. I wrote an article about why I love InDesign despite it being complex.

  • Chas McLane

    Really helpful article, thanks.* Two nits:

    To my eye at least, there is a jarring almost-but-not-quite parallelism in the leading sentences for each experience. Each of leading paragraphs begins except for the SilverStream experience: “As a …”. The second and third paragraphs under Novell have the same issue. Suggest either break the pattern in the second paragraph, or follow the pattern in the third.*

    Much resume advice suggests leaving off the “references available on request” line as it’s implicit and unnecessary. The thus-salvaged white space could be well applied to larger left/right margins, a bit tight to my eye.


    *Yeah, those sentences are “bad grammar” but they communicate via an implicit subject and/or verb. “Designed and coded paper clip tracking software now deployed corporate wide” is common and well accepted usage in resumes and by suits. Ignore high school English teachers; they’re not your audience.

  • Thank you for the nits Chas. You are right that some of the writing could use a little polish. I’ll need to work on that before I apply for my next job.

    I’ve also heard the advice about leaving off the references line. I kept it in because I had the space and for the old world charm of it.

  • Ev

    Hi Zack, nice work.

    A couple comments and a question.

    C1) I think there’s too much space between “G” and “r” in your name in the heading, especially when compared to the space before. The “G” should be clearly associated to the “r”, not the preceding “k”.

    C2) I think you should add more vertical space before “EXPERIENCE”, just like with the other two small-caps section headlines. You can steal the space from the footer.

    Q: How come your resume does not mention any academic work or degrees? Do you think it’s not required with your experience?

  • Hello Ev. Thank you for the feedback. I’ll take a second look at the kerning in the name at the top. Scala Sans is usually pretty good about that, but I might have to tweak it.

    The experience line is lined up with the grid for the document in accordance with vertical rhythm. At least, I think it is. I’ll check it out.

  • Your article (and CV) inspired me to work on mine, it is still a work in progress, but I just wanted to shout out a thank you. And also mention that besides Scribus and InDesign there is another great tool called a web browser! I have been formatting my resume using CSS rules and semantic HTML, might not be perfect for print but it is pretty dang powerful. CSS3 even allows full type control, so I get to keep my snazy fonts. Here is what my CV looks like now.

  • Hello Eitan, Thank you for sharing your resume. It looks like a great start. I have a few critiques. I hope they help.

    • Including your URL in the resume is a great idea, but you should make it look like a link.
    • I would make your contact area left aligned and ragged right. It is easier to read.
    • Watch out for custom fonts. Not everyone has Beteckna and the @font-face tags isn’t supported in all browsers.
    • For a web page I would put some type of border around the resume. On a large screen there is a lot of white space. You could use a stylesheet just for print to take the border away.
    • Your line spacing in the sidebar doesn’t quite match the spacing of your main paragraphs.

    I hope this helps.

  • Max

    What do you think of Gentium? I’ve used it for my resume, and I think it looks great. I’m actually a bit surprised you didn’t mention it.

  • Gentium is a good looking font and I did do a version using it. I like support for diacriticals and the strong focus on readability. The problem is that most fonts that focus on readability (including Verdana) are very focused on being digital fonts. They don’t look as good when you print them.

    Gentium is also lack a accompanying sans and I didn’t trust myself to pick a good font match. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a typography snob.

  • brendan

    Excellent article. Didn’t pay so much attention to the choice of application as I did to what you presented of yourself and how you arranged it. Thanks!

  • Jon

    As a perennial job-hopper and consultant for 20 years, I’ve struggled with resume formats for both my personal use and the “professional profile” style used to sell consulting. The biggest problem is one not addressed by the example above: how to represent progression through multiple roles at the same organization. For example, I was promoted three times while working at a telecom carrier, and there was a company name change between the second and third positions. Worse, I worked for a large software company and was promoted to a second role after a year, left to work for a competitor for a third year, then was recruited back to the first company and promoted a year later. I typically respresent this as a single employer block on my resume, with the latest experience higher, and the mid-point employer lower on the page. At first glance, it looks like a gap in dates. Sometimes I think a graphical timeline up the side of the page would be better… 🙂

    Seriously, I seem to have no choice but to group things by employer, which puts the titles at a second level… and less prominent. Thoughts?


  • Hello Jon,

    I too worked for a small company that got bought by a big company. You really have to focus on the two most important points of your resume: here’s what I can do for you and here’s how I can prove it. For the what you can do part focus on projects. Talk about what you’ve done that’s really impressive. Focus on the stuff you really liked. If you’re excited you’ll make other people excited.

    Talking about the companies where you’ve worked is how you prove it. It lends credibility to your claims. I would skip mentioning promotions, just talk about your last job title and your accomplishments.

    As for switching and coming back to a company I would just be honest. The fact that your previous company wanted you back is a recommendation for you. It means someone worked with you and wanted to do more of it.

    The consulting is a different matter. Selling yourself as a consultant is really different from selling yourself as an employee. You the consult are selling a productized version of you. The sell is “hire me and you’ll get good professional service that is easier than hiring someone.” For that a resume is probably the wrong document. There I would use a sales approach and just talk about what you can do for someone. The other companies you’ve worked for are clients and references. Sell them on how you can help.

    I wouldn’t suggest this for coders, which I’m assuming you are because of all my SlashDot traffic recently, but graphic designers get really creative with their resumes. You should check out the The Steve Stevenson Challenge. This is a “contest” where 10 different graphic designers created a resume for the same fictional person. The last one actually does use a timeline.

    I hope this helps and good luck.

  • gretta

    I love how you “made” your wife read your resume, again. Did you hold a gun to her head?

  • I “made” her read it by plying her with homemade pastries.

  • Schwarzkopf

    I am going to have to disagree about the ligatures to a certain extent. The only ligature I see as useful is the ‘fi’ ligature. When unused, the dot on the ‘i’ looks like a crappy serif, but even then, that’s depending on the font; with some fonts the design of the letters ensures they do not collide and using a ligature just looks try-hard.

    In my view the ‘fl’ ligature is pointless to use, as it doesn’t really create a noticeably aesthetic effect – in fact I’d say the ‘fl’ ligature reduces legibility as it looks like a weird new letter.

    The remaining ligatures one might use (ffi,ff,fh,ft) for the most part only have applications at large sizes – basically headings and what not. So I would recommend people use ligatures with those parts of their résumé, but otherwise use it rarely and with discretion.

    I am really sorry for all this negativity! I really like this page btw, your résumé and many of your tips [especially Scala!] have become fundaments for my own résumé and many of my formal documents. I just really dislike ligatures.

  • Thank you for your comments Schwarzkopf, but you forgot about the all import ffz ligature.

    Ligatures, like all aspects of typography, vary widely from font to font. Scala handles them quite well at smaller body text sizes, but Scala Sans doesn’t use them well for larger sizes.

    Ligatures are meant to improve readability and remove places in the text that catch your eye for no reason, but it is all a matter of personal taste.

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  • Martin Janek

    Excellent article Zack, I really like how you explain the layout, font selection,…

  • Tam

    Hi! I’m an up and coming architecture student and I recently put together a resume. After reading this page I am starting to get pretty worried that my resume might not be up to par. Would you mind taking a look at it and maybe giving me some suggestions?

  • Hi Tam,nnI’m sorry for any anxiety my article may have caused. I don’t really know anything about architect resumes, but I would be happy to take a look. Please send it along to,nZack

  • Michael Contraveos

    Hi Zack,

    Thank you for this considered article. Having recently spent much time with my resume (and also Scribus), I have come to many of the conclusions you have. We also somehow independently arrived at the same resume layout!

    One word of caution I want to suggest concerns ligatures. It is now 2018, and the “talent acquisition” systems that grab the text out of PDF resumes — not to mention screen readers — don’t always handle ligatures properly. In my experience, “after” is routinely processed as “a er”, “software” as “so ware”. In the paragraph of your article beneath the Scribus resume, the word “inead” appears. Thinking you meant “instead”, I wonder if an “st” ligature was not handled properly.

    Sadly, I’ve gone back and removed the ligatures from my resume. I hope they can return one day!

    Best wishes,