Your resume allows you to show off your education, work history, and on-the-job accomplishments. Recruiters and hiring leaders review this vital document for more than just your qualifications, though. The way you present this information can show that you care about details and recognize the value of presentation.
Your resume format, layout, and style can also create a lasting first impression and send a clear message. That message is that you know how to sell yourself and have the skills to represent your company and its brand to clients and customers.
Before we look at resume formats, let’s cover some resume basics:
How do I write a resume for a job?
How do you write an effective resume? Here are five simple tips:
- Gather your information before you get started. Collecting the names and addresses of employers, your past dates of employment, and graduation dates will make the process easier once you sit down to write.
- Personalize your resume to the job ad. Study the job ad and make a list of all of the skills, experience, and other requirements the role calls for that you possess. To personalize your resume and get it through an applicant tracking system, be sure to rewrite your resume as needed so that these items are placed prominently in your resume.
- Choose your resume format.
- Proofread your document. Typos and grammatical errors are the quickest way to torpedo a job application.
- Need more help? Use a professional resume builder.
What is the format of a resume?
The format of a resume refers to how the document is laid out. There are three main resume formats – chronological, functional, and combination. The format you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including your work history and level of experience.
How many pages should a resume be?
The general rule of thumb is to keep your resume to one page for every decade of experience you possess but to include no more than 20 years of experience. So, your resume should be one or two-pages long, depending on your work history.
Check out the sections below to see some popular resume formats that highlight different aspects of various jobseeker profiles. Look over each one and choose the model that works best for you based on your industry, level of experience, and career path.
The standard chronological resume format works for almost everyone. Both entry-level and senior level jobseekers can adapt this resume format to meet their needs. Similarly, people in a variety of industries can use this format. That’s because each of the sections in this kind of resume can draw attention to why you’re a great candidate for the job.
- Almost all candidates seeking long-term, short-term, full-time or part-time employment in any field.
- Highlights core skill sets and capabilities, not just past jobs and relevant experience.
- This format allows space for a detailed description of each past position.
- Highly readable and scannable for busy employers.
More Information : Check out our collection of Chronological Resume examples
Similar Resume Formats : Professional Resume Format, Latest Resume Format
The functional resume format allows jobseekers to shine a light on their skills and career highlights. This is a good option for those who don’t have a lot of past work experience.
It’s also a strong choice for anyone who has gaps in their resume or changed careers. In short, consider this format if you want to draw attention to your abilities and accomplishments.
- Candidates who need to show off many distinct skill sets and who don’t want to list dates on their resume
- This resume format draws employers’ attention to what you’re capable of, not who you’ve worked for or how long you you’ve been in the field
- The functional resume works well for older candidates who may have held more positions than they’d like to detail
- This format is also great for former military members. It helps them their transferrable skills
Similar Resume Formats : Proper Resume Format, Experienced Resume Format
Teachers searching for a new position need to highlight relevant credentials like subject-matter experience, classroom management, and an understanding of pedagogical theory.
The teacher resume format holds specific relevance for school administrators who need to review many candidate skill areas at one time. This format also gives candidates a chance to summarize and quantify qualities that can be hard to measure.
- K-12 Teachers in the public and private sector.
- hows of the specific skills education employers need to see
- Ties together years of practical experience and ongoing training in classroom and staff development settings
- Provides a clear overview of skills and strengths that are not easy to measure
More Information : Check out our collection of Teacher Resume examples
Similar Resume Formats : Professional Resume Format, Classical Resume Format
The accountant resume format allows accounting pros to show off their education and experience. There are several directions this career can take, from corporate to personal to tax accounting.
But most employers want to see direct links between the role they hope to staff and their candidate’s experience. They want relevant college degrees, certifications, and work experience. This resume format allows candidates to highlight all three.
- Experienced accountants, accounting graduates, mid-career and senior level accounting pros
- Brings quick attention to the skills that can set you apart from similarly qualified candidates
- Shines a bright light on candidate work experience
- Efficient and easy to scan
More Information : Take a look at our set of Accountant Resume examples
Similar Resume Formats : Resume Format for Experienced Workers, Proper Resume Format
The engineering resume format helps engineers at all levels of experience to provide employers with the exact information they need. It also allows candidates with specific narrow skill sets to show off these skill sets and keep them from getting lost in the weeds.
If you’re an engineer highly skilled in using a unique software platform, or you have project management and leadership skills that you want to highlight in addition to your technical abilities, use this resume format and you’ll be sure to grab your reviewer’s attention and stand out from the crowd.
- Civil, mechanical, structural, electrical and computer engineers across all industries
- This resume format emphasizes both professional experience and classroom knowledge
- Draws employers in with a prominently featured summary section
- Demonstrates precision, organization, and attention to detail—key qualities for ambitious engineers
More Information : Check out or extensive collection of Engineering Resume samples
Similar Resume Formats : Latest Resume Format, Professional Resume Format
Resume-Now’s best resume format is great for pretty much everyone. That alone should place this option at the top of your list. This resume format highlights your summary statement as well as your most important skill sets.
- First time jobseekers looking to stand out and mid-career jobseekers with broad skill sets
- Provides a general overview that’s easy to skim and evaluate within minutes
- Gives a center stage to impressive skill sets that set a candidate apart
- Easy to create, easy to read, easy to remember
- Colorful layout that can separate your resume from the competition
More Information : Have a look at some of our top resume examples across over 50 industries.
The simple resume format offers several benefits. This format can be used by jobseekers who need to send out dozens of resumes a day to a wide range of varied employers.
This template can be quickly and easily adapted to suit each new job posting. It begins with a clear summary section and moves quickly through easy-to-read sections that bring attention to core skills and relevant experience. Keep this format in mind when you need a flexible resume that appeals to nearly everyone.
- Broad job searches, candidates with wide rather than narrow and specific career goals
- Quick, scalable solution for jobseekers who need to send out resumes en masse
- Clean, clear design that includes plenty of white space and facilitates easy scanning
- Optimized to breeze through applicant tracking systems
Similar Resume Formats : Basic Resume Format
Resumes have played a traditional role in the job search for almost a century, but that doesn’t mean resume formats are rigid and unchanging. In fact, keeping your resume format current and on-trend can impress employers in rapidly evolving fields.
It can also show that you’re ready to change with the times and leave old models behind in favor of new ones. This current resume format can show your employers that you’re in touch with the modern marketplace. It can suggest an agile mind and quick adaptability to shifting software platforms, business models, and best practices.
- Jobseekers in trend-conscious or rapidly evolving industries, from fashion to web development.
- Demonstrates tech savvy and awareness of the marketplace
- Shows employers that you have the skills they value today, not last week
- Demonstrates flexibility and bold thinking
- Proves you have your finger on the pulse of current trends
More Information : Get a glimpse of this latest resume format applied to some of the most popular jobs in the market.
Similar Resume Formats : Bold Resume Format, Modern Resume Format
The professional resume format emphasizes a candidate’s core competencies and past work experiences. Education information falls below this in a smaller section near the bottom of the page.
Employers who review this kind of resume typically see a candidate who would rather focus on workplace accomplishments than academic accomplishments. This format might not work well for recent grads, but it’s very well suited to those who have extensive workplace cred.
- Candidates who want to emphasize their workplace experience over their other qualifications.
- Demonstrates a long-term commitment to the industry
- Highlights hands-on accomplishments and real-world experience
- Offers clear and simple organization
- Acts as a physical testament to your knowledge of workplace tools and best practices
More Information : For more help creating a professional application, check out our guide on how to write a resume.
Similar Resume Formats : Experienced Resume Format, Good Resume Format
Students don’t usually need full-time professional jobs. But they do need part-time and temporary work arrangements that can be built around their study schedules.
So they typically target temporary or seasonal employers. These kinds of businesses are often swamped with resumes every few weeks or months. The ideal format for this type of job search should be easy to read and evaluate at a single glance. It shouldn’t rely too heavily on years of professional experience.
This resume format emphasizes youthful energy and flexibility rather than deep experience or leadership skill. Choose this format to keep target employers focused on your (near-term) future, not your past.
- University students, students in search of internships and part-time jobs, and very recent graduates.
- Highlights academic qualifications and ambitions, not workplace experience
- Emphasizes relevant experience outside the workplace. For example, the classroom, lab, studio, and sports field.
- Shines a light on relevant skill sets
Similar Resume Formats : Student Resume Format, Basic Resume Format
The basic resume format provides a simple template that you can use to highlight your key skills, your past experience, and your education. This clean layout directs reader attention straight to the details that matter most.
Make sure your readers can instantly see the alignment between what they need and what you have to offer. This resume format is elegant and simple and can be adapted to meet the requirements of a wide range of employers and industries.
- Almost anyone, since this format can be enhanced or adapted to meet the needs of any specific employer, industry, or career circumstance.
- Can be easily uploaded into most employer databases and proprietary systems
- Each section stands out clearly, including the document summary
- Can be adapted to fit a wide range of job titles and industries
Similar Resume Formats : Simple Resume Format, Classic Resume Format
The proper resume format can help employers understand where you’re headed by showing them exactly where you’ve been. This layout works well for those who’ve held a few entry-level positions and are looking to move up the totem pole.
Use this layout to showcase what you’ve done in the past and how these actions and skills can translate into value for your prospective employers. Don’t be held back by a resume format that confuses your readers—let them know that you’re ready and able to make the switch from one path to another.
- New grads with a few internships behind them and entry-level workers looking to move to middle management
- Separates pure skills and experience from past job titles
- Highlights abilities that translate to the open position in question
- Features a prominent summary section
- Uses splashes of color to make your resume stand out in the mind of hiring leaders
More Information : Use these career tips alongside this proper resume format to achieve job search success.
Similar Resume Formats : Standard Chronological Resume Format, Professional Resume Format
The good resume format places the headings for each subsection in a bold block on the left margin of the page. This allows readers and busy employers to find what they’re searching for by skimming down the far left column.
Some employers make an interview decision within the first five seconds they spend glancing over a resume. So use this eye-catching resume format and you could give yourself an advantage.
- Jobseekers in crowded, competitive career fields, jobseekers pursuing popular jobs that may attract a high volume of applicants.
- Allows easy, fast navigation of the page so readers can find information quickly
- Sets candidates apart from the crowd
- Facilitates comparison of each candidate to the next in side-by side review
Similar Resume Formats : Latest Resume Format
Experienced workers need a resume format that allows them to show off their past jobs and employers.
Use this resume format if you’re looking for a job that fits your job history and if you need to show you’re ready to take the next step in your career. Show off everything you’ve been through and everything you’ve learned as you’ve traveled this winding road.
- Jobseekers on a clear and established career path, employees who are ready for a management role, managers who are ready to become directors.
- Demonstrates completion of all required tasks that prove readiness for the target position
- Draws employer attention to relevant past jobs
- Demonstrates how the candidate went above and beyond in terms of past responsibilities and accomplishments
Similar Resume Formats : Good Resume Format, Standard Chronological Resume Format