You may have many resume format questions if you’re a U.S. resident writing your first resume or updating an old one, but with the right knowledge, writing a resume can be much easier than you expect. You’re likely to come across several different resume formats in the United States, and you’ll want to start out by learning more about the differences between them. While the formats used throughout the U.S. have many similarities, selecting the right one can improve your employment prospects.
Answering Major Resume Format Questions
The biggest question for a U.S. resident is which resume format to choose. If you’re changing careers, you’re applying for a job in an industry you never worked in before, or you have large gaps in your work history, look into using the functional or hybrid resume format. This format allows you to focus primarily on your skill set as opposed to your experience in any particular field. If you’re applying for a creative job, you’ll want to consider this format as well. Those who work in film production or graphic design will want to have plenty of space to showcase their skills in addition to describing past work experiences.
Most employers prefer chronological resumes, which are often seen as standard. Chronological resumes organize all the important information according to a timeline. This format is the answer to most resume format questions simply because it allows a future employer to see the applicant’s entire work history at a glance.
Starting Your Resume With Your Skills
Chronological resumes feature a top-down format. Start up at the top by providing your name and current contact information. The next section should include information about skills you have that are relevant to the job for which you’re applying. These should be organized into a table to keep them neat. Make sure you don’t include anything irrelevant.
Resume Format Questions About Job History
Write your resume in a way that allows the reader to move seamlessly to the next section. Document your work history in detail, but keep everything concise and easy to read. List the title of each job, the name of the organization you worked for, the location of the organization and length of employment for every job you put on the resume. If you’re following the chronological format, list your jobs from most to least recent. If you chose a hybrid format for your resume, list first the jobs that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for, followed by other work experience.
After each job title, make sure to outline the responsibilities you had at the job in question. A U.S. resident’s job description might look like this:
Financial Manager, Harold’s Chicago: 2010-2014
- Managed a diverse portfolio including private and publicly listed securities
- Coordinated a financial team to meet objectives within a set time frame
- Mentored junior staff members
Including Education Information
Provide information on your educational history as well in a simple list with your most recent education and any degrees earned. If you don’t have a long work experience section, you might want to include time spent as a student doing an internship or relevant coursework. List your most recent degree, especially if it has any ties to the type of work you’re applying for.
Selecting the right format for your resume is a great way to improve your employment prospects. If you still have some unanswered resume format questions, you can turn to LiveCareer. The site has a number of templates that can make it much easier for U.S. residents to format their resume the right way.