The ideal resume formats immediately draw the hiring manager’s attention and emphasize your qualifications for the position while downplaying areas of your professional history you’d instead not emphasize.
A resume can be formatted in many different ways. Your resume format—chronological, functional, or a combination—is one of the first choices you must make. Each CV kind is advantageous for varied individuals with various backgrounds and goals. Your objective is to deliver a document that enables employers to rapidly identify why you are a good fit for the job by making particular formatting decisions, such as margin size or font style.
Selecting a Resume Format
For your situation, some resume forms will be more suitable than others. A functional resume might be the ideal option, for instance, if you have a gap in your employment history, a history of changing jobs, or a career path that has taken some unusual detours. It is because it emphasizes skills rather than chronological job experience.
On the other hand, a chronological or mixed resume can be the most important choice if you can demonstrate a clear path toward your present job opportunity. Your decision will be influenced by your career stage, employment history, and work experience. Additionally, the job description could have an impact. So, when selecting a resume format, be flexible.
Frequently Used Resume Formats
The three most common resume formats are combination, functional, and chronological. In this guide, we go over how to format your CV for your job goals.
- Chronological Resume: On a chronological resume, your employment history is listed in reverse chronological order, with your most recent position at the top. This resume format is the most conventional, and it has remained the most popular for a long time. The following details are frequently listed in chronological order on a resume:
- Contact information
- Statement of purpose or executive summary
- Professional background
- Pertinent skills
- Optional additional information includes volunteer experience and specific interests.
Anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, upward career path should use a chronological resume. If, for instance, you have worked in the same business for several years and each position you have held has been more senior than the one before, you can choose a chronological resume structure. In addition, people who have spent most of their professional careers applying to jobs in the same or related fields frequently do so. However, if you have numerous employment gaps, plan to change careers, or have a wide range of work experience, you might want to think about using a functional or combo resume.
Guideline for writing a chronological resume
Resume synopsis: Give a summary of your most important qualifications for the position, focusing on your career’s history and accomplishments
Work Experience: The core of a chronological resume format is this. List the successes that set you apart from the competition rather than the usual, boring jobs.
Skills: Include the most relevant skills to the position you’re going for, including hard and soft skills such as documentation and reporting.
Education: List your best academic achievement, such as your college name and degree, as well as any specialized certifications or courses you’ve done that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- Functional Resume: A functional CV emphasizes critical abilities over employment history. The functional structure emphasizes the applicant’s skill set while the chronological approach stresses job experience with thorough explanations of the accomplishments within each position. The following details are often listed in the functional resume format in the following order:
- Contact details
- Specify the goal or summary here.
- A list of the relevant talents
- Working knowledge
- Additional details, such as volunteer experience and particular interests.
It is ideal to use a functional resume if you have several employment gaps, are changing careers with little to no expertise in the field in which you are applying, or are returning to the workforce after an extended absence. However, a functional resume may be overly restrictive in certain situations. Using a hybrid resume may be the best option if you have some experience and few or no gaps in your career history.
Resume Objective: Begin this professional resume format with an objective statement, also known as a career objective, that is two to three sentences long and explains your employment goal along with your best abilities and qualifications if you’re looking for a job where you’re expected to outline your career ambitions. If not, use a typical summary statement.
Skills: Your best abilities and how you used them are listed in the Summary of Qualifications section. You can cite extracurricular activities, projects, or internships pertinent to the position.
Sections titled Professional Talents or Relevant Skills explain hard skills in more detail. These abilities can only be learned via practice, education, and repetition, such as data management, editing, translation, or budgeting.
Include soft talents and intangible qualities like interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving abilities that improve job performance.
Combination Resume: The chronological and functional resume types are combined in a combination resume. You can highlight your relevant talents and professional experience with this resume format. However, you might need to omit optional parts like volunteer experience or particular hobbies because your abilities and career history occupy most of your resume.
The following details are often listed in the following sequence on a combo resume format:
- Contact details
- Specify the goal or summary here.
- Working knowledge
- A list of the most important skills
Since the combination resume style is more flexible, you must prioritize your abilities or job experience first, depending on which you believe to be more crucial for the position. For instance, you can consider placing your unique skills above your work experience if they are essential to the field in which you are searching for employment. To learn what the company values most in a candidate, it can be good to seek hints in the job description.
Summary: Give a two- to three-sentence summary of your best abilities and professional experiences. If you’re switching fields, this is also your chance to describe how your abilities and work history translate to your new line of work.
Skills: Using a combination resume format, you may divide your skills into two sections: an overview of skills and a section on your most essential skills. Describe key competencies in your skills summary, using examples from previous employment. Your critical talents section will concentrate on particular capabilities that address the demands of the particular position.
Which resume format would work best for you?
The difference between having a resume that impresses recruiters and one that leaves them cold can be made by choosing the proper resume structure. For instance, if you utilize the chronological resume structure, which emphasizes job history, and you don’t have any experience, your resume would be unimpressive.