Resume margins are an important part of formatting a resume.
Make sure your margins are proper and professional, and you’ll increase your chances of landing an interview.
In this article, you’ll find out:
- What size the best margins for a resume are
- How to set margins in Microsoft Word and Google Docs
- What professional resume margins to use for a printed resume
1. Standard Margins for Resumes
Most hiring managers prefer 1″ margins, which are the default on Microsoft Word. However, you can move your margins within a range of ½”–1″. For example, you might use 1″ margins if you have less work experience. Or, you might opt for narrower page margins if you want to include more details on your resume.
Resume margin size is easy to overlook when you’re trying to decide what to include on your resume, but setting your margins correctly is essential if you want it to look professional.
If your margins are too wide, your resume will have too much white space and look empty. If your margins are too narrow, your resume will look cluttered and hard to read.
Check out this example to see what standard margins for a resume look like:
For more examples, try out our resume builder, which sets your resume margins at the best size for your experience and skill level.
2. Resume Margin Sizes for Creative Resumes
A creative resume is a different beast compared to a standard one, and is not a good choice for the vast majority of job seekers. We recommend you don’t use a creative resume for two key reasons:
First, creative resumes are less likely to make it past applicant tracking system (ATS) software. Specifically, they confuse the ATS since such software can’t read images, infographics, and fancy fonts.
Second, hiring managers — even in creative fields like graphic design — simply prefer traditional resumes because they want to evaluate your qualifications quickly and efficiently. Assessing whether you’re qualified or not based on the content of a creative resume is difficult.
If your heart is set on using a non-traditional style, we still recommend keeping your resume margins to ½”—1″ wide. And don’t insert any text into the margins.
3. Proper Margins on Resumes for Printing
We recommend you use the standard margins for a resume (1″) to guarantee that nothing will be cut off when you print out your document
Additionally, use a laser printer if possible. They’re accurate and don’t smudge, ensuring your resume looks sharp.
Also, don’t forget to pick the right paper size in the printing section. If you’re printing onto US letter-size paper, select that option on your computer. If you’re printing onto A4 paper, use that setting.
If you tell your computer you’re using a different type of paper than what’s in the printer, you’ll end up with inaccurate margins.
The type of resume paper you use can make all the difference, so choose a professional option to maximize your chances.
4. How to Set Margins for a Resume
Follow these guidelines to successfully set up your own margins on your resume.
#1. How to Change Margins in Google Docs
Google Docs makes it easy to change the margins for your resume. Click File on the top menu, then hit Page Setup, and you’ll be given a pop-up with the options you need.
If you’ve set Google to use American English, this pop-up will use inches. If you see centimeters instead, use 2.54 cm for 1″ and 1.27 cm for ½”.
#2. How to Change Margins in Word
Unlike Google Docs, Microsoft Word offers preset resume margin options. They can be accessed by clicking Layout on the menu bar, and then clicking Margins:
The Normal option gives you 1″ margins on all four sides of your page, while Narrow changes them all to ½”.
You can also click Custom Margins at the bottom to precisely modify them. For example, maybe you want 1″ resume page margins on the top and bottom, and ½” on the sides.
5. What’s Next?
Don’t want to bother creating a resume and fiddling with the margins? Use our resume builder — enter a few details, pick from select bullet points, and you’ll soon have your own perfectly formatted, eye-catching resume.
You can also download our free resume templates, and insert your own bullet points. And if you’re having trouble coming up with resume content, take inspiration from our numerous industry-specific resume samples and writing tips.