How to Choose the Right Resume Format

Resume format

If you want your resume to be perfect it needs to have more than perfect spelling and proper grammar. Your resume also needs to be formatted properly to put forward the best possible picture of you. This means utilizing a combination of creativity, proper composition, and great marketing.

While there are a number of different varieties a resume is generally split into three categories; the chronological resume, the functional resume, and the combination resume. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each style. Which resume format is right for you depends on you as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all resume format. Read on to discover what is the best resume format for you.

Resume format table

Word resume template 39
Reverse Chronological Resume

The Reverse Chronological Resume

What is the Reverse Chronological Resume?
This is the most commonly used format and should be considered when choosing a new job that is the best logical step for your career.

What does the Reverse Chronological Resume do?
This format arranges work history in a chronological fashion, with your most recent job at the top and your oldest job at the bottom. It goes into detail about your skills and any accomplishments earned as part of the work experience section.

How to use it effectively?
You should draw parallels between your previous work experience and the job you’ve applied for. Demonstrate how there the new job would be a logical progression based on your goals and objectives.

When to use it?
This format is best when looking for a new position but not a new field. Just ensure that your resume shows some measurable results you can demonstrate and that you don’t leave any gaps in work history.

Functional resume template 42
Functional Resume

The Functional Skills Resume

What is the Functional Skills Resume?
This resume format places an emphasis on your accomplishments and skills. You downplay specific dates and jobs and instead focus on the skills area. People typically use this format to highlight their skills with writing, research, managing and communication.

What does the Functional Skills Resume do?
This format covers up any gaps on the resume and brings unrelated experiences together effectively.

How to use it effectively?
You want to focus on your skills and show how effectively you can transfer those skills to something else.

When to use it?
This format is a good idea when you’re thinking about changing careers, have spent the majority of your career with one company, have held a number of different positions that don’t connect very much, are coming back to the workforce after an extended leave of absence, or have just graduated and lack job experience. Employers aren’t used to seeing this kind of resume so be sure this is how you should be showcasing your skills.

Combination resume template 43
Combination Resume

The Chronological and Functional Combination Resume

What is the Combination Resume?
This format combines the main features of the other two resume formats to give a properly ordered account of the time you’ve spent in the workforce.

What does the Combination Resume do?
This format provides a properly ordered account of the time you’ve been employed, but it doesn’t categorize the information.

How to use it effectively?
You need to organize accomplishments by their function and put some focus on your time as an intern or volunteer.

When to use it?
Using this format is a great way to showcase how effectively you can do your job while also showing off how your career has progressed.

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