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The research is in: recruiters spend more time brushing their teeth than they do reviewing a resume. More specifically, an eye-tracking study conducted by TheLadders found that hiring leaders only look at a given job application for six seconds, and that means one thing—your resume format needs to make it quick and easy for employers to find the information that counts.
In a nutshell, looks and layout matter. An effective resume design will utilize white space and simple design elements, like lines and bold type, to clearly delineate sections and draw recruiters’ eyes to the career highlights you want to emphasize.
What’s more, as at least a quarter of employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) during the hiring process, it’s essential that your resume format is simple enough to pass through this screening technology and into the hands of human reviewers.
The good news is that we’ve created hundreds of free resume formats that both present your qualifications in an easy-to-read outline and tick all the ATS boxes (meaning they don’t contain the fancy flourishes and complicated tables that these solutions normally reject). Have a look at some of our favorite formats below or browse our full selection of free resume layouts.
- LiveCareer’s Best Resume Format
- Simple Resume Format
- Functional Resume Format
- Student Resume Format
- Professional Resume Format
- College Resume Format
- Modern Resume Format
- Two Page Resume Format
- Basic Resume Format
- Chronological Resume Format
- Hybrid Resume Format
- Resume Format for No Work Experience
- Standard Resume Format
LiveCareer’s Best Resume Format
At any point in your career, it’s always a good idea to freshen up the look and feel of your resume. Adding a bit of aesthetic value can aid both the legibility and impressiveness of an application, and LiveCareer’s Best Resume Format makes it easy to make the most of a blank page.
We recommend this format because it organizes the information in a way that is digestible, practical, and unique. The layout clearly defines each key section, which helps employers build a mental map of your candidacy and your career progression quickly and easily.
Just don’t forget to tailor the information within your resume to each respective job description to prove to employers that you’re a good fit for the role and that you can add value to their organization. For more information, read our article on taking your resume format from just okay to fantastic.
Simple Resume Format
When sharing your story with potential employers, choosing a simple resume format is often the best route. Using basic design principles to organize the information on the page, our Simple Resume Format is a great choice for any jobseeker.
From top to bottom, this format places the most crucial and current information first, in plain sight. Start with your name and contact information, followed by a short summary statement. Then you can list your qualifications, work experience, and education.
Depending on your experience level, less is often more when it comes to writing a stand-out resume. The more clearly and succinctly you can get your points across, the easier it will be for employers to understand what you have to offer.
Functional Resume Format
If you have a diverse background that includes career changes or any gaps in your work history, you may feel wary about attaching dates to your resume. In this case, check out our Functional Resume Format here, which allows you to forego listing your past experience in chronological order and rather helps you bring the most relevant information to the forefront.
Favoring skill-based categories over the typical chronological experience, this format allows you to drive home your technical abilities and your accomplishments. It’s a great way to give your qualifications a clearer structure and appeal to the employer’s mindset.
By listing the most applicable skills and accomplishments you have to offer first, you’ll immediately stand out from the competition. Read this article on writing a functional resume for more tips on how to use this valuable format.
Student Resume Format
Whether you’re a newly minted grad or a high-schooler looking to make an extra buck or two with a part-time gig, our Student Resume Format can help you create a well-organized and appealing job application.
The clean, simple layout makes it easy for employers to pick out your current educational achievements as well as those core qualifications and soft skills, like critical thinking and good time management, key to getting a job early in your career.
You may also want to beef up your resume with additional sections, like an ‘awards’ section or a ‘relevant coursework’ section, that don’t appear in this particular student resume format. And for more info, read our article on creating the best resume format for a college student.
Professional Resume Format
Professionals with significant work experience often stand out because of particular achievements they have made in their career. Our Professional Resume Format allows you to bring these highlights to the top of your application.
After a short summary statement, you have the opportunity to list the handful of accomplishments that are most pertinent to the new job you’re hoping to land. Follow this up with a list of your former positions to describe your contributions in more detail.
If you have any professional certifications, you can include these in either the highlights section or the education section at the bottom, depending on where they fit into the role. Remember that less is often more – choose only what feels most applicable to your goals.
College Resume Format
Regardless of where you are in your college career, putting your best foot forward in your job search is an important step in propelling yourself towards your goals. We recommend using our College Resume Format to give your resume a nice clean look that is relevant to your experience level.
The layout makes it easy to emphasize the coursework, clubs, and extracurricular activities so vital to students looking to communicate their value. Don’t forget to begin your application with a summary statement that captures the main strengths of your candidacy and that drives home why you are interested in the position. Then, list the most pertinent qualifications you have to offer. Depending on the job, this may be a technical skill, academic certification, or any other kind of subject matter expertise.
When describing your work experience and educational background, make sure that you are catering the information directly to the needs listed in the job description. For additional insight into how to use this format to your advantage, read our piece on what resume sections to include as a college student.
Modern Resume Format
When vying for your next job, you need a resume that is optimized for the current standards in today’s job market. We designed this Modern Resume Format to gel with these ever-changing trends. Use it to give your application a leg up.
It’s important to mention that though this resume reflects the look du jour, it’s still built to make it through an automatic applicant tracking system (ATS), which is the technology that employers use to review and track job applications.
Speaking of which, you must make sure to include keywords that are listed directly in the job description in your resume if you want it to breeze through the ATS into the hands of a human reviewer. This doesn’t mean you should lie, but it’s important to use the right terminology in order to get your application through the system.
Additionally, you want your resume to feel like a story. Writing a summary statement and listing the most relevant information first will help you do so. For more, read the full article on resume formatting trends.
Two Page Resume Format
While most professional resumes are one page, your experience level may demand more space. Our rule of thumb is that if you have 10 years of working experience, you can move onto a second page. Our Two Page Resume Format is a great way to execute this.
The general order and layout of the two page resume is the same as a one pager, but it’s a good idea to include a few bullet points summarizing your experience before you dive into details. This will help employers put the specifics of your resume in context and get the gist of your application more quickly.
We don’t recommend going past two pages. Less is often more, and two pages should be plenty to share the most important information in a digestible format.
Basic Resume Format
Whether you’re vying for your first job or taking the next step in your career, you need to make sure that your application meets the basic standards of today’s job market. Our Basic Resume Format is a great tool for anyone who wants a no-frills, no-fuss layout that can get the job done.
It may not be fancy, but it nonetheless presents all of the key sections in an easy-to-read, ordered manner.
However, just because your resume format is basic, it doesn’t mean the information within your resume needs to be basic. Be sure to take your application to the next level by starting with a strong opening summary statement that proves your unique value and highlights exactly what benefits you’ll bring to your future employer. Then follow on with well-formatted qualifications and experience sections that highlight your key accomplishments and shed light on what you’ve achieved on the job in the past.
Chronological Resume Format
If you have spent most of your career in similar jobs, and especially if you have moved up in your field, a chronological resume may be right for you. The Chronological Resume Format shown here is a good resource help you make the most of this classic style.
Contrary to a functional resume format, which lists relevant skills first, a chronological resume tells your story through your career path thus far. This makes it really easy for employers to see where you are coming from and how the new position fits into a clear narrative.
When using this format, be sure to describe your experience in a way that speaks directly to the job description. Use active verbs and be succinct. For more tips, read on to learn how to make a chronological resume.
Hybrid Resume Format
Rather than choosing between chronological or functional resume formats, many jobseekers may find that it’s to their advantage to combine features of each. Our Hybrid Resume Format balances the weight of your most relevant skills with that of your career path, the result of which is a design that makes a well-rounded case for your candidacy.
Employers are most concerned with understanding how your experience and qualifications fit into the job at hand, and the hybrid format helps you tell this story. Especially if you have gaps in your employment history or if your carer has taken an unconventional path, feel free to play around with this format to make it work for you.
No matter what, make sure that you write a compelling summary statement and include keywords which appeal directly to the job description. To learn more, read this article on building out a combination resume.
Resume Format for No Work Experience
Congratulations, you are almost ready to take on your first position as a working individual! Writing a great resume is the first step to connecting with potential employers and eventually landing that coveted first job. Use our Resume Format for No Work Experience to get started.
Beyond organizing your information effectively using this layout, be sure to stay focused on your primary goal, which is to show employers what you can contribute to their work environment. Try to avoid focusing too much on your own career objectives.
And depending on your education level and the kinds of relevant experience you have – internships, volunteer work, extracurriculars, etc. – consider how you can order your resume in a way that appeals most directly to the job description. For further guidance, check out this article on formatting an no work experience resume.
Standard Resume Format
The job market is competitive, and your resume is often your first and only asset when trying to land a position. While there are many accepted formats, our Standard Resume Format ticks all the right boxes and will help you put your best foot forward in your job search.
Start taking advantage of it today by filling in the header with your name, email address, and phone number. Then write a summary statement to capture the essentials of your qualifications and career trajectory. Below, include a section listing your skills and competencies most relevant to the job.
Finally, detail your previous jobs and academic background using bullet points which highlight significant accomplishments and contributions. Use active verbs, be specific, and write as clearly and succinctly as possible. And don’t forget to proofread.
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- 1. Introduction
- 2. What to Include in a Resume
- 3. How to Write the Resume Summary Statement
- 4. How to Write the Education Section in Your Resume
- 5. How to Write the Work Experience Section in Your Resume
- 6. Action Verbs to Include in Your Work Experience Section
- 7. How to Write the Resume Skills Section
- 8. Should I Include References in My Resume?
- 9. Common Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
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