Microsoft Word Guide: Making a Resume Freehand

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Creating Your Resume From Scratch

When you have a little bit more time on your hands, or when you need to have a bit more control over the final product that you are going to be sending out to a human resources professional or recruiter, then you will need to skip the templates and make your resume freehand. The idea of doing your resume freehand can be a little bit of an intimidating one, but in this case there is a beautiful paradox. The exact same thing that makes it scary is what gives you its flexibility - you are flying without a guide.

It is great that you are ready to do this without a net. The best news is that the world is your oyster and you can format your resume however your heart desires. Since this is all about your freedom of choice, I am not going to give you a set pattern for making your own resume. Instead, this piece is broken up into two sections - one that covers the formatting tools you may want to use, and the second part will have some general formatting tips that you can use as a guide, should you choose to do so.

Your Formatting Tools

One of the great things about using Word for your resume is that all of the features you need are already there, and you are more than likely familiar with them already.

  • The bold function, the Italic function and the underline function - These are used to bring a readers attention to a piece of your text.

  • The left set, the center set and the right set button - These sets where your text will begin and the margin.

  • The bullet points - You will use your bullet points to separate ideas and accomplishments.

  • Line and paragraph spacing - These tools will help you to control your white space, which will make your text more readable.

  • Borders and white space (the enter key) - These allow you to break up your text. You would do this either to enhance your readability or to break up sections of your resume in a very distinct way.

  • Tables - Some forms of resumes can be made with tables, but unless you have a unified plan in mind this is probably an option to skip.

The Guide

When you are making your own resumes freehand, there are some guidelines you may want to keep in mind:

  • You may not give a lot of thought to the spacing of your document. I know that we have mentioned this already, but it is a common mistake. You want an HR person to see your resume and that means it needs to be pleasing to the eye and not similar to those instructions that you get with your stereo.
  • Only use your emphasis text (bold, underline and italics) when you want to draw attention to a section.
  • If you are going to use formatting, then you should use it consistently.
  • When using the lines or tabs, you must be very careful to not artificially inflate the length of your resume.

This post is part of the series: Word Resumes

If you need to make a resume and you are going to use Microsoft Word this guide can help you to get the job of your dreams.

  1. An Introduction to Making Your Resume with Word
  2. Using Templates to Make Your Resume in Microsoft Word
  3. Making a Resume Freehand in Microsoft Word