What is the Best Resume Format For You? [Guide]

Applying for a job? Then it’s time you design a resume that makes recruiters take notice.

Want to know the best kind of resume and resume format you should choose? Read on!

Making a First Good Impression with Your Resume

Your resume serves as one of the most important tools in your job-hunt. Before recruiters can meet you, they first have to go through your resume and be convinced to give you a call.

If you have a poorly written and arranged resume, you are out of the race before you even know it. To avoid this, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when you sit down to design your perfect resume:

  • Include your basic information. Contact info, education, previous job experience, etc.
  • Leave plenty of white spaces. Make sure it’s formatted so it’s easy to read.
  • Bullets. Use them like we did in this post here.
  • Choice of font matters as well. You are probably ok with either a Sans Serif or Serif font. Remember to export it as a PDF if you use a custom font.
  • High Quality Paper. A thicker paper for your resume is a no-brainer.
  • Use soft color schemes. Sure you can go with plain monochrome, but colors such as beige, ivory, light grey are also good choices for each section.
  • Tailor it: Customize your resume according to the job position. Never make just one resume and send it everywhere.
  • Please use a spell-checker and grammar check. Nothing turns off recruiters more than someone using ‘Deer Sir/Madam’ in the first line.
  • Do. Not. Lie. Recruiters will be asking about most of the details you put on your resume. If something doesn’t add up, it’s game over.

With these few basic tips out of the way, we now look at the various resume formats that you can use for your application.

There are 3 main resume formats and the one you pick depends on your profile:

  • Chronological Resume
  • Functional Resume
  • Combination (Chrono-Functional or a Hybrid Resume)

Chronological Resume

This is the most preferred resume format around the world today. A chronological resume contains the following elements:

  • Your employment history, from your current job to your previous ones. All listed in a descending order.
  • It includes details about your employer, job titles, locations, employment date, and achievements.
  • Easy to follow.
  • Facts and achievements are prominently featured.

Why do recruiters prefer chronological resume formats?

  • It gives them a concise timeline of your work history.
  • It helps recruiters fill up the gaps in your employment history in a hassle-free manner.
  • Your career trajectory can be easily followed by interested recruiters.
  • It prominently highlights your job positions and places you worked at.

What are the drawbacks of a chronological resume?

  • Gaps in employment are pretty clear to spot.
  • If you switch jobs often, a recruiter is bound to notice that information easily as well.
  • Some career paths may appear illogical if listed in a chronological order.

Chronological Resume Example

Functional Resume

Next up is the functional resume. It emphasizes your skills and basically ignores information such as employment dates, company names, and position titles in your resume.

Though the functional resume isn’t popular with most recruiters, it does have its uses. Go with it if:

  • You have a limited job history.
  • You want a career change.
  • You are coming from a career in the military.
  • You have gaps in your employment history.
  • You have a ton of diverse experiences but don’t want to settle on a focused career path.
  • You want an actually great way to put your skills into the limelight. You can group all of your accomplishments under skills i.e. Sales, Administration, Finance, etc.

As for the drawbacks behind a functional resume:

  • Most companies have a hard time making sense of it.
  • Recruiters have a hard time figuring out what role would be perfect for you.
  • Professions such as Law, Banking, Financing and more don’t entertain these type of resumes.

Even with so many drawbacks, a functional resume does have its uses. It is perfect for recruiters who just wish to know if you are overqualified or under-qualified for a position you applied for.

Functional Resume Example

Combination Resume

Consider this. What if you want to showcase the absolute best of you, even though you have no clear-cut career path but a pretty diverse job history? The combination resume is your answer.

  • Enjoy the best of both worlds – chronological and functional resumes.
  • You can provide detailed employment history plus a summary of all your skills and achievements.
  • They may not be brief but they certainly help in cases you want to make a career change.
  • It helps you avoid mentioning the same duties that you did everywhere you were employed. That is good since you want your skills highlighted prominently.

As for any drawbacks behind using a combination resume, there are none. More and more employers demand complete details from their applicants nowadays therefore this kind of resume is one-size-fits-all solution.

Combination Resume Example

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