Should I Have A Two Column Resume?

If you check your dashboard, there will be style guides for you to download and follow that are approved by your university. 

We have all seen two columns resume like the example below. Unfortunately, when dealing with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), columns like this can pose a problem. 

When you upload resumes like these to an employer's site that is using an ATS, your information runs the risk of not parsing correctly, meaning the employer won't be able to review your experience and skills. Most of the time when resumes are formatted incorrectly, ATS immediately rejects them. 

At Quinncia, we recommend you avoid two-column resumes to avoid any issues parsing. Stick to a simple, straightforward format with impactful bullet points. Like this: 

Quick Tips!

Do not use "tables" or multi-column formats.

Most ATS cannot handle tables and will either scramble the text into an undecipherable mess, or it will space the data with extra lines that may confuse the software. Or, worst of all, all the data in the leftmost column will appear at the top of the converted resume. So this:

2010-2017
2005-2010
2000-2005
Manager, Smith Corp.
Assistant Vice President, NotSmith Corp.
Officer, Big Bank

will become this:

2010-2017 2005-2010 2000-2005  Manager, Smith Corp. Assistant Vice President, NotSmith Corp. Officer, Big Bank

If you want a job, put your contact info FIRST.

Contact info should be the first thing a hiring manager sees and never be placed on just one or two lines, nor placed into columns.

WRONG:

Robert H. Smith • 13003 Myrtlea Lane • Houston, Texas 77099 • 713.562.7009

RIGHT:

Robert H. Smith 
13003 Myrtlea Lane Houston, Texas 
77099 713-562-7009 
smithy@soupandmore.com

WRONG:

Robert H. Smith				Phone: 713.562.7009 
13003 Myrtlea Lane			Email: smithman@gmail.com 
Houston, Texas 77099 			Male, unmarried, no children

RIGHT:

Robert H. Smith  
13003 Myrtlea Lane Houston, Texas  77099 
713-562-7009  
smithman@gmail.com

Do not use "columns" or "tables" for formatting anything. 

NEVER use columns or tables to format your education or work history or any other important piece of data on your resume. It can pose problems for the ATS and your information could never even make it to the hiring manager. 

WRONG:

Jan. 2013 – Present
Superb Products, Inc. Parts Manager.
Reduced parts inventory by 10% while eliminating most out-of-stocks.
Mar. 2010 – Dec. 2012
Doug’s Truck Sales, Inc. Repairman.
Fixed trucks and managed the parts inventory.

Here’s how the computer may read that:

Jan. 2013 – Present Mar. 2010 – Dec. 2012 Superb Products, Inc.   Parts Manager. Reduced parts inventory by 10% while eliminating most out-of-stocks. Dougs Truck Sales, Inc.   Repairman. Fixed trucks and managed the parts inventory.

RIGHT: (uses tabs instead of columns or tables):

Jan. 2013 – Present 	Superb Products, Inc.   Parts Manager. 	Reduced parts inventory by 10% while eliminating most out-of-stocks.  Mar. 2010 – Dec. 2012 	Doug’s Truck Sales, Inc.   Repairman. 	Fixed trucks and managed the parts inventory.

And never, ever use newspaper column format, like this:

REFERENCES  
Bill Smith					Jane Dough 
Customer Service Manager			Store Manager 
Dillard’s Department Stores			Fredo’s Groceries, Inc. 
713-888-0998					765-999-9988

RIGHT:

REFERENCES  
Bill Smith 
Customer Service Manager 
Dillard’s Department Stores 
713-888-0998  

Jane Dough 
Store Manager 
Fredo’s Groceries, Inc. 
765-999-9988

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