How to get line spacing right on your resume

Line spacing plays a pivotal role in the appearance of your resume.

It is an important part of structuring it’s content and making it readable.

If you get this wrong, you could be in trouble.

That’s why we’ve created this complete guide to line spacing, looking at what it is, how to use it, and the ways that it can improve your resume and boost your chances of securing that all important job interview.



What is resume line spacing?

Line spacing is pretty much what it sounds like.

It is the vertical space between each line of text on your resume. This includes the spacing between bullet points, headings, and subheadings.


Line spacing resume


Why is line spacing important in a resume?

There are several reasons that line spacing is so important to your resume formatting.

Firstly, if the gaps between your text are too small, it appears dense and is harder to read. This can be off-putting to the reader (especially time-strapped recruiters)

On the other hand, if these gaps are too big, you could waste precious space or end up with a resume that’s three pages long.

So, choosing the perfect spacing is crucial for recruiters and employers to quickly scan through and find the information they need.

What’s more, the correct line spacing can be advantageous in making your key skills and achievements stand out, as well as increasing your chances of your resume making it past ATS software.


What size should line spaces be in my resume?

In most cases, your line spacing should be either single-spaced (1) or 1.5-point spaced.

If you’ve got lots to include, single spacing is ideal as you can fit more information on the page without making it difficult to read.

However, if you don’t have as much information to include, you might wish to use 1.5-point spacing to make your resume a dream to read.


Line spacing examples


How do I change the line spacing on my resume?

Understanding the ideal size of your line spacing is one thing, but this is not much help if you don’t know how to change this in the document.

So, here’s how to do it.



How to change line spacing in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular programs for creating resumes, and if this is your program of choice, here’s how to handle the line spacing.

  1. Go to the Design tab at the top of the page
  2. Select Paragraph Spacing
  3. Choose one of the built-in spacing options from the drop-down menu, such as single or 1.5-point spacing


Word line spacing


How to change line spacing in Google Docs

If you’re using Google Docs instead of Word to format your resume, the process is similar and goes as follows.

  1. Select the lines or paragraph you want to change
  2. Click Format in the top toolbar
  3. Select Line & paragraph spacing from the drop-down menu
  4. Select a line spacing option you want, such as single or double


Google Docs line spacing


What is paragraph/layout spacing?

Paragraph/layout spacing is also fairly straightforward.

It is the amount of space you have either above or below a paragraph in your document, before the next section starts.

In most cases, you want to keep this spacing the same for all paragraphs, but you can tailor these and change the settings for each one individually if you need to.


Paragraph spacing


Why is paragraph spacing important in a resume?

Paragraph spacing is important on a resume because it helps to break up chunks of text and give structure to your content. For example, it allows the reader to understand when one section has come to an end, and another has begun.

This makes it easier for the recruiter to quickly scan through quickly and find the information they need.

For example, some recruiters may want to read about your education first, whereas others might want to dive straight into your most recent job.


What size should paragraph spaces be in my resume?

The recommended spacing for your at least 2 times the font size. For example, if you’re font is size 11, then your paragraph spacing should be 22

This makes it clear to readers that a new section is beginning, and differentiates it from your line spaces.


Paragraph spacing examples


How do I change paragraph spacing on my resume?

Just as with your line spacing, you need to know how to change paragraph spacing to ensure you can structure and format your resume as effectively as possible.


How to change paragraph spacing in Microsoft Word

Thankfully, changing the paragraph spacing in Microsoft Word is pretty straightforward and similar to the process above. It only takes a few simple steps.

  1. Click on the Design tab in the top toolbar
  2. Select Paragraph Spacing
  3. Choose the spacing options you want from the drop-down menu
  4. If you don’t like any of the default options, click Custom Paragraph Spacing at the bottom of the menu and manually change the numbers until you get the desired result


Word Paragraph spacing


How to change paragraph spacing in Google Docs

For those using Google Docs, the process is slightly different. In order to change paragraph spacing, follow the steps below.

  1. Select the paragraph you want to change
  2. Click Format from the toolbar at the top of the page
  3. Select Line & paragraph spacing
  4. Choose from the paragraph spacing options by clicking Single, 1.15, 1.5, or Double
  5. Alternatively, to change the spacing between paragraphs, you can click ‘remove space before paragraph’ or ‘add space after paragraph’, or click Custom spacing to enter the size you want


Google Docs Paragraph spacing


resume builder


Other font formatting tips to improve your resume

When writing your resume font-formatting is vital to ensure it is as easy to read as possible.

Here are some more tips to help you stand out to recruiters.


Font type

While it can be tempting to use flashy fonts to make your resume stand out, these can actually be distracting and decrease readability.

So instead, it’s always best to stick to the classics like Arial, Times New Roman, and Calibri. These fonts come as standard in most programs, and recruiters can read them easily.


Font size

You need to make sure that, as well as being an easy-to-read font, you also choose the right size.

If the font is too small, it’s harder to read, and busy recruiters will likely abandon your resume after the first sentence. However, if it’s too big, it looks unprofessional and like you don’t have much chance to keep your resume under 2 pages

It’s best to stick with font size 10-12pt for the body of the content and 14-16pt for titles and headings.


Font color

You might wish to add a splash of color to your resume, and while that’s not always a bad thing, you have to be careful how you do it.

You could choose colored headings to make them pop but stick with professional and easy-to-read tones. When it comes to the main body of text, it’s best to keep this black (against a white background) so it’s crisp, clear and readable.



Finally, when thinking about layout and spacing, don’t forget about your margins. Typically, these will be one-inch margins all the way around.

However, if you’ve got more content to fit onto one page, you might want to make some small adjustments to allow this to happen.

Just avoid making your margins too small because you don’t want text getting cut off or your page looking too full and overwhelming.