You’re a great candidate with extensive skills and experience. A hiring manager will clearly see that by reading your cover letter and resume, right? Not so fast.

As one of the top employment agencies in Phoenix, PrideStaff knows you might have the strongest background – but a potential employer isn’t going to waste time trying to dig through your cover letter and resume if they aren’t properly formatted.

If your documents are too long, contain dense paragraphs, and aren’t easy to scan, it could hurt your chances of landing the interview. The good news? You can avoid all that by following these simple formatting tips:

Stick with the standard margins.

Whether you’re an industry veteran with 20 years of experience, or a brand new graduate, your resume and cover letter needs white space in the form of margins. Stick with the standard one-inch margin throughout your cover letter and resume. You don’t want to stand out to a hiring manager because of tiny margins and heavy copy that’s hard to read.

Be mindful of line spacing.

Single line spacing is fine in your paragraphs or between bullet points. Just make sure you include double line spaces after each paragraph in your cover letter, or when you’re listing a new position on your resume. While you want to keep your cover letter to one page, it’s ok to submit a two-page resume. It’s better for it to be easy to read – and on two pages – rather than crammed into one.

Include headers.

On your resume, make sure you include clear headers for each section, for instance: Work Experience, Education, Volunteer History, Computer Skills, etc. These headers should have plenty of space around them with a visibly larger font that’s bolded. This will make it easy for a hiring manager to scan.

Use professional font types & sizes.

Fonts can make or break your resume. If you choose a tiny font size or a hard-to-read script, then a hiring manager isn’t going to waste their time trying to squint through your resume. So stick with an 11- or 12-point font size and use a traditional type such as Arial, Cambria, or Times New Roman.

List experience in reverse chronological order.

In most cases, it’s best to list your work history in reverse chronological order. That means you should start with your most recent position. Using this approach highlights what is likely the most relevant experience first and also allows a hiring manager to see over time how your career has progressed.

Use a traditional format in your cover letter.

That means include the date and the employer’s contact information in the upper left. Start off your letter with an introductory paragraph explaining why you’re writing. In the next two paragraphs, talk about relevant work experience and why you think you’d be a good fit for the job. In the final paragraph, thank the employer for their time, restate your enthusiasm about the position and ask for an interview.

Need more help creating a great cover letter and resume – so you can land your dream job?

Get expert help at PrideStaff. As one of the most experienced employment agencies in Phoenix, we can help you craft a stellar cover letter and resume – and connect you with top companies all over Tempe, Phoenix and beyond. Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about how we can help you.


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