You’ve got the experience, the skills, the desire to find your dream job – but in order to get your foot in the door and land an interview, you’re going to need to grab their attention with your resume. While the content of your resume is important, the format you use might be even more important. Using the right format gives potential employers the chance to quickly see what you have to offer their company, and if you can make it stand out, you’ll already have a leg up on other applicants.
This guide will tell you everything you should know about the format of your resume, so you’ll be able to send it in with confidence once you find the job listing of your dreams.
Chronological Resume Format
This is a very traditional style – grouping together your work history and your achievements to give interviewers a solid understanding of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. However, if you have had periods of unemployment in your past, these might be more obvious to potential employers if you format your resume this way.
Use this kind of format if you’ve had a steady progression throughout your career, and have worked a variety of jobs within similar fields.
Functional Resume Format
With this format, you can showcase your job skills to go over important aspects of your work history. This lets you feature specific positions where you acquired skills that will be directly applicable to the job you’re applying for, giving potential employers a better idea of what you can bring to the company. It’s a great option for people who are just entering the job market, though, or people who might not have much previous experience within a particular industry.
Keep in mind that occasionally, interviewers are suspicious of this format, as it is often used to hide any prior employment difficulties. It is also more challenging for potential employers to see which achievements came from which positions.
Combination Resume Format
Using this format allows you to employ the best aspects of both chronological and functional resume formats – highlighting the skills you’ve built and achievements you’ve made throughout your career history with a chronological structure. This is an ideal option for a professional who has a number of relevant skills within their field.
Achievement Resume Format
Similar to a functional format, this type of resume will focus on your professional achievements rather than your experience history. This format should be employed when you are returning to work after an extended break, as a way to showcase your abilities and achievements and let potential employers know you are a high-quality applicant.
Targeted Resume Format
You’ll want to use this if there is a specific job you’re really hoping to get – since it is customized to suit the position and the company. Rather than sending in a generic resume, you can use the targeted resume format to make your application stand out, showing you’ve put in the time and effort to highlight how your work experience and job skills apply to this specific job description.