I want to layout a resume.
The requirements slightly conflict, but are:
- On standard paper size (i.e. A4 as it happens)
- A lot of text
- Easy to read
- Few pages
I especially want to ask about line length fitted onto A4 paper.
If I Google I find suggestions like this ...
The optimal line length for your body text is considered to be 50-60 characters per line, including spaces (“Typographie”, E. Ruder). Other sources suggest that up to 75 characters is acceptable.
... though that's not specific to A4.
My current layout looks like this (too small to read, 30% regular size, to not be spammy):
That's two pages, where:
The size of almost all the text is Arial at 14px -- with headings ditto font-weight bold.
Text in the aside on the left hand margin of the first page is ditto except 16px.
The line height is 18px (i.e 128% of the font size).
Lines of text in the main column of the first page contain about 80 characters per line.
The main (i.e. right-hand) column of the first page is more than half the page width. The paragraph text in each section is left-indented slightly to belong within its section heading.
Lines on the second page contain about 60 characters per line in two equal columns.
I think it looks good and is readable -- because it has different kinds of information in different places, and when you are reading text then it's clear what section that text belongs to.
My immediate problem is that I'd like to get more text onto the page -- especially two or three more items into the "chronological resume" on the first page, possibly instead of (i.e. replacing some of the space that's occupied by) the "functional resume" on the second page.
A simple way to get extra usable space is to use two/both columns on the first page, like this:
- That meets the requirements, i.e. there is now empty room for extra text.
Sadly that might look ugly because it's imbalanced -- text on the left is lower than on the right.
A more subtle problem is that with the first layout, the eye had a choice of whether to dwell on the left (summary) or on the right (details), which is missing in this layout.
- It isn't that bad though -- the full-sized page is readable (the 30% version illustrated isn't).
- But I don't like the hyperlinks-to-elsewhere embedded in the start of the text, they're distracting
To fix the above I spread the header information across the top of the page:
For reference the one-column version looks like this -- so there's no room there to add extra text; you can see why it's inefficient (wasted whitespace); and that's 110 characters per line:
- Line length -- if "50 to 70 characters per line is optimal" is a recommendation, how is that supposed to work with A4 paper? How do you make it work, or don't you?
- Font choice -- is "14px Arial everywhere" adequate for a software developers' resume?
- Dense resume -- can you recommend other designs for packing a lot of text into a resume?
Two columns -- The two-column layout is expedient because it's space-saving. But I'm worried that it's bad for some reason (though I don't know what) -- what might be better?
Appearance -- The first version of the first page looked stylish IMO, two columns but pleasant to look at. Although the third version does have room on it to add another couple of sections, it looks to me utilitarian at best -- and non-standard or home-made, which isn't good.
The first version had a greater variety of design elements, each in their own place though -- i.e. they didn't seem out of place, and they served the purpose (form following function).
Conversely the third version is very nothing-but-text.
So what change might fix that? Some other variation of version 2, perhaps?