Italics And Bolding On A Resume, Underline or Bold Name Of Degrees – 3 Finicky Fixes


Being user (customer) friendly in and on your resume is critical. Italics, bold or bolding and underlining degrees or underlining anything can win over or lose the reader in seconds. Being consistent rules.

Italics – Season (Tastefully) Your Resume With Italics

Too many herbs and spices can ruin a great dish. Guideline, not rules: When you employ Italics bold them, otherwise italics text will look anemic or pale to the reader. Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, says there are 40 ways to employ italics. For emphasis, use italics sparingly. Some might put the word sparingly in italics in the preceding sentence. Ending the sentence with “sparingly” is emphasis enough.

Bold Type, Such As In This Headline

Sentence above is how “bold face” type looks in your resume. Yes, bold your degree (don’t underline it, read below), but don’t bold your school or university. Remind you (yourself) your name is atop of your resume. You promote you when you bold face degrees, titles, and accomplishment key numbers, percents, and dollars. Step back from the document. Seek valid opinions of others. Watch. What catches their attention? Let is rest few hours or more, then fine tune it and, as Seth Godin says, “ShipIt”. Get it out the door via texting, e-mail, USPS priority or overnight and flat with no staples. Think redundancy.

Underline Only When You Are Convinced It’s Demanded

One senior executive overused underlining causing reader fatigue. Everything seemed important to him. Underlining “mooshes” lower case letters – f” “g” “j”q“. Can you tell the difference between the “g” and the “q” underlined? Not so much. Fax machines are still in use in some quarters. If you use underlining and an employer asks you to “fax” your resume or faxes your resume internally, your resume readability will suffer. Avoid using thin ruled lines and underlines.

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How To Decide When To Use Italics, Bold, and Underlines In You Resume

Be insanely consistent. Pick familiar type face and stick to it. Bold italics to ensure the text is readable and keep italics to a minimum. Always bold your name (on all pages), your title, your degrees, and boffo recognition in upper and lower case. Set your prior employer’s company name apart from your name, by using light face CAPITAL LETTERS only. Underline sparingly and preserve valuable white space by not using thin ruled lines that can become jagged when a fax machine or tired copier are employed.