Job Hunting Essentials: The Best Resume Format

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Career experts say that 2% of resumes make it past the first round. With a professional well-formatted resume, you will be able to pass all bots and tracking systems. Adapting its content and structure may be helpful to get in the top 2%. You’ll learn from the article which is the best resume formats, in what way you should craft it to meet all strict requirements.

A Format Matters

This document contains the stages of professional progress, accomplishments, specific skills, and the level of education. It isn’t a difficult task to build it by yourself if you know the right algorithm for it. But every day the recruiters dismiss a pile of resumes with bad or absent structure. Highly likely yours would be among the dismissed ones.

The typical errors in its building appear in the following cases:

  • this is your first-ever creation of resume;
  • there was a large gap between your jobs;
  • there is a lack of knowledge about the existing standards of its structure.

Knowing the rules of formatting the document and defining the preferred types allows avoiding common mistakes.

Popular Resume Format Types

Resumes Bot experts emphasize, that earlier a reverse chronological format was suitable for any position. Today the approach to applicants’ selection has become more complex, coupled with the strict HRs’ requirements.

Though chronological resume format is remaining popular as a global standard, the employers prefer more specific types. Moreover, breaking in the job market with a one-resume-fits-all instead of targeted and tailored one may seem its holder is too lazy, settled for the bare minimum.

Chronological Format

The reverse-chronological resume is a listing of professional meaningful events, laid out in chronological order. You should start with the recent place of job and move backward.

It aims to show the employers that your work experience is relevant to what they need, the promotions, and stepping upwards in your career. It is the best way to demonstrate the absence of gaps or terminations in a career.

This kind would be great for long-termed workers with a steady career path in similar fields. Try out a chronological format in case you apply for the same job and have no or few gaps in your history of employment.

Functional Format

In case you want to specify your skills for peculiar kinds of job a functional resume comes in handy. It targets the place you are going to occupy, highlighting relating skills or abilities.

Its task is to give a more personal attitude which chronological resumes can’t boast with. Functional format links a string of short-term positions or a huge variety of roles of freelancers and temporary workers and the essence of the experience. 

The functional format is handy when you have started and stopped your career or have numerous gaps in the work history. It is great for people who decide to change professions to a significant degree or are targeting a definite position. In case you enter the job market for the first time you need a functional resume. In this case, it is the best resume format that highlights specific skills and abilities.

Combination Format

If you are making doubt about what kind works better, use both to integrate them in a combination form of your resume. The combination format takes the main parts of a functional resume and includes skills and qualifications, combining them with the chronological order of the past events.

If you want to make a career change or shift the industry, this kind of resume will be instrumental in highlighting your talents. This would be the best resume format for the professionals within their field.

Tips for Formatting

Stick to the following tips while building a resume, and your document won’t be rejected:

  • File format: choose a PDF or DOC(X) to fit all screens. Avoid formats that have no text layer (JPG, PNG) or graphic software files (PSD, INDD, or AI).
  • Margins: set one-inch on any side.
  • Line spacing: use 1 or 1.15 line spacing.
  • Fonts: All scanner-friendly fonts, including Arial, Verdana, Sans Serif, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Gill Sans MT, Century Gothic, Lucida Sans. Avoid Comic Sans.
  • Font size: 10.5-12 pt is a norm, other kinds are hard for reading.
  • Header: put your contact details in a proper resume header format.
  • Sections: the legible sections should include Contact Details, Summary, Work Experience, Education, Skills. But don’t place a photo unless the employer asks for it.
  • Date format: be consistent with the same format for all dates, e.g. 03–2020, or March 2020.
  • Bullet points: separate each past place of work with the bullet points.

The employers consider your resume as a presentation of your professional competence. It should look properly and be easy to read for a human being or an automated applicant tracking software. If your resume is perfect, you will receive an invitation for an interview to approve you are the one to be hired.

About the Author

Donna (Lever)

  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development.
  • Over 20 years of direct talent acquisition experience recruiting on a wide variety of industries. He has worked in companies in both the USA and the UK, holding various positions in community and human service. Certified Résumé Writer.
  • Areas of expertize are professional resume writing, resume for a government position and assistance in writing resumes for veterans. Has created innovative employment documents catered to resolving specific client needs.