From this article you will learn:
What resume format is?
The term “resume format” is sometimes confusing because it is often used to mean different things. Essentially, resume format is the structure of your resume. In what order do you place the sections? How do you describe your professional experience and present your skills? What qualities do you emphasize and why?
There are 3 main resume formats:
- Reverse chronological resume format
- Functional resume format
- Combination resume format
Each of the three resume formats has its advantages, so you can choose the one that best shows your experience and skills to the employer. It may make sense to write your resume in all formats. As you review and respond to job openings, choose the resume format that you think will be best suited to the company’s requirements and style.
Let’s take a closer look at each resume format so you can choose the one that’s suited for you.
The division of text in the summary is based on the format of the content.
Reverse chronological resume format
This resume format demonstrates the candidate’s professional skills in a linear structure.
On your resume, you talk about your current job first, and then go back in time and describe your professional experience in reverse chronology.
Of course, you don’t have to list everything. For example, if you apply for a design position and you’ve worked as a barista for a few months, you don’t have to tell about that job experience.
However, it is better to explain these time gaps in your resume to the recruiter. He will see them at once because of the chronological format.
Functional resume format
The functional resume format focuses the employer’s attention on the skills of the applicant.
This format allows you to demonstrate your skills, usually at the beginning of your resume in the experience section. A functional resume format focuses on your skills and professional knowledge that you can offer the employer at present moment.
If you’re changing fields or have no work experience, building a resume in a functional format will work for you.
Here’s how to build a resume in the resume functional format:
- Contact information
- Resume Objective
- Skills Summary
- Additional Skills
- Work Experience
You can download a functional resume format template:
Combination resume format
Combination resume format shows both professional and soft-skills and work experience, so it is suitable for most vacancies.
Creating a combination format resume is required by a recruiter commonly because it allows investigating your career from different points of view. List your strong sides and then work experience to assure the potential employer that you have proved yourself in a similar professional area.
Which of the format choose?
There are 2 tips on how to choose a suitable resume format:
- Choose a resume format that matches the tone and branding of your potential employer.
- Decide which sections of your resume are most important to describe your experience, and choose a form that demonstrates those qualities.
If you’re in doubt about what format to choose for your resume, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I have skills that will immediately attract the attention of an employer?
- Am I looking to change careers and apply for a job for which I have no experience?
- Do I have large gaps in my resume (more than 2 months) that I can’t explain?
If you answered YES to at least one of the questions, choose functional or combination resume formats.
And now we’re going to talk about 3 situations where it’s best to use a chronological resume format:
- Your knowledge at the stages of your career is more important than your skills in the present
- You apply to a large company with a traditional hierarchy
- Much of your career is directly related to the position you are applying for
Which file format choose?
Do not use simple text editors to write the final version of your resume.
MS Word, Excel, and other programs have many potential problems: a complicated formatting process as well as possible file corruption.
You can create a resume with your own word processor, such as Microsoft Word, and then convert it to PDF format.
The advantages of creating a resume in PDF: standard formatting that doesn’t change no matter where you view it, and readability for most software systems.
We have prepared for you 3 CV templates in MS Word, which you can download, add information about yourself, and then export the finished resume in PDF format.
You can also create a resume using the online resume builder. All you have to do is enter your details and then download a ready and stylish resume. It only takes 5-7 minutes to build your resume with the online resume builder, and you’ll free up your time to search for suitable vacancies.
How do I name my resume file?
The file name is a detail that is often overlooked by applicants. The recruiter will accurately read the file name regardless of the resume format you choose.
3 tips on what title to choose for your resume:
- Don’t name your resume file with common names: “my_resume” or “helloynewjob31” are bad choices. Recruiters can get confused by a large number of files with the same name from other applicants and miss your resume.
- Include your name, the position that you are applying for, and “resume” or “cover letter” in the file name.
- Mark in the file name whether it is a resume or a cover letter. It will be convenient for the recruiter if they can distinguish a resume from a cover letter by the file name.
What is ATS? Why should you adapt the resume for ATS?
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that examines your resume by keywords (skills, experience, education, position) before the resume is sent to the recruiter.
If you want a recruiter to get a resume, it must meet ATS requirements: be easy to read, contain keywords, and be properly formatted.
How do you make a resume ATS-friendly?
1. Format your resume simple and readable for the ATS or select an ATS-compatible resume template
ATS will not be able to read a resume filled with complex graphics, so use a plain legible font (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial), structure your resume with headings, and save your resume in PDF format.
2. Use key terms
Include in your resume keywords that are specific to your profession. For example, if you want to apply for a job as a marketer, be sure to include these words: performance analysis, social media, e-commerce.
The more keywords you add, the more the resume will match the ATS. But try not to overload the text and not to impair its readability.
Formulate your headings clearly and understandably so that ATS can easily scan your text.
3. Check your resume for spelling errors
A hiring manager can forgive mistakes due to inattention, but the software does not.
4. Include a paragraph on your resume about your skills and competence
Formulate them in easy-to-understand language and think about what the recruiter will want to see in this section.
5. Choose a chronological resume format
This format is the most understandable ATS, so the system does not have problems with reading the resume.
Want to make sure your resume meets ATS requirements? Use the ATS online resume checker to see if your resume is ATS-friendly.
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Do you have questions about resume formats? Or maybe you’d like to share your experience with creating a resume and getting an interview? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.