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How to set a right-aligned tab for résumé layout

For word-processed résumé formatting, to align city and state info and dates of service info from the right margin, insert a right-aligned tab. Setting the right-aligned tab is most efficient if you set it before you create a document, but can be done on a line by line basis. Do not use the space bar to mimic right alignment. The space bar tricks the eye, but not the electronic underpinnings of the software. If you print a document where the space bar has been used to imitate alignment, the misalignment will often be apparent. Here’s a quick explanation of how to set the right-aligned tab in Microsoft Word on your résumé. There are no key commands in the software for this process, therefore the instructions rely on visually-identified icons, symbols, and positions:

  1. There is a small, selection box in the upper left of the Word screen, above the vertical ruler.
  2. When you select the symbol in that box, the enclosed marker changes.
  3. The default (preset) marker is a left-aligned tab, which looks somewhat like a capital L.
  4. Get to the right-aligned tab by selecting options until you have what resembles a backward L.
  5. If you pull your mouse arrow away from this box with the backward L, then put your mouse over it again, an alt tag will appear that identifies it as Right Tab.
  6. Then, move your mouse arrow to the document ruler.
  7. Set your right-aligned tab a few spots away from the right margin (you cannot initially set it on the right margin)
  8. Select the newly set right-aligned tab marker and drag it to the spot on the ruler that is even with the right margin marker.