I received the following question from an executive resume client today:
“I notice the spacing after a period is one space…is that standard for resumes?”
The answer to this question is an emphatic “Yes!” A single space after a period is standard in resumes, as well as most other documents today.
Most typeset text, both before and after the typewriter, used a single space at the end of sentences. The only reason that two spaces were used after a period during the ‘typewriter’ age was because typewriters originally had monospaced fonts. (With monospaced typefaces, every character takes up the same amount of space on the page. ‘M’ uses the same amount of space as ‘I’.) It was a readability issue–the extra space was needed for the eye to pick up on the beginning of a new sentence.
The current typographic standard for a single space after the period is a reflection of the power of proportionally spaced fonts, which even typewriters (what few there are left) have nowadays. Not only is the need for an extra space negated w/proportional space type, using two spaces creates ‘holes’ in the middle of a block of text that invariably annoy graphic designers, typographers, and publishers. The extra spacing makes the body text both unattractive as a visual element and distracting to read.
For those of us (including me) who learned to type on a monospaced typewriter, spacing twice after a period was a hard habit to break! But be sure you do, because this seemingly small thing will date you, give the impression that you are not someone who keeps up with the times, and detract from the appearance of your carefully crafted executive resume!