As a professional resume writer, I only have 11”, 22” or 33” (1, 2 or 3 pages) to sell my clients, which I do by clearly, succinctly and powerfully telling their career story. It can be very challenging to fit it all in, especially for a senior executive with 30+ years of experience.
Resume real estate is at a premium and white space, which used to be very prevalent, is now a thing of the past.
While any career document needs enough white space to be readable and attractive, too much space can send the wrong message. A resume with half-filled pages casts doubt in decision makers’ minds. They will presume you don’t have enough experience to fill that space.
There are three simple ways to eliminate questionable white space from your resume:
Change the margins – I frequently go down to .7 inches on the margins so I have more space for text. If you have almost enough content for a full page, but there is white space at the bottom, you can increase your margins instead.
Change the spacing – Depending on whether you need to compress or expand your content, you can add or remove space in between lines or sections.
Change the font – Different fonts use less space on the page, even if they’re the same size. Note that sans serif fonts such as Arial or Calibri are easiest to read both on screen and in print.
Never decrease your font size just to cram everything onto a page. If they have to strain to decipher the small print on your resume, decision makers will just discard it and reach for another. When it comes to white space in your resume, ultimately you’re looking for a happy medium between length and readability.