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Resume Formats to Land the Job You Want
Not all resume types are the same. Resume formats affect the way hiring managers view your job candidacy. Typically, recruiters spend no more than six seconds reviewing your resume - so it must be easy to scan. In addition, well over half of all major employers utilize applicant tracking systems, which require the use of specific keywords. This page will review the 3 main resume formats: functional, chronological and hybrid format to help you get hired faster.
How it Works
3 Key Takeaways
Chronological resumes are the most common
Chronological resume formats list your work experience in chronological order, starting with the most recent position. Candidates with consistent work history with no lapses between employment should consider a chronological format.
Functional resumes address gaps in employment
Functional resume templates are for those who have gaps or limited experience in their work history, including entry-level workers. This format emphasizes skill over experience. Your employment history doesn't rely on dates and specific jobs. Instead, it follows under your skills section, supporting your strengths.
Hybrid is a combination of chronological and functional resumes
As the name suggest, a hybrid resume formats incorporates both skills and work experience presented in chronological order. This format is flexible and tells a story. You can tailor this resume toward specific job applications that require unique experiences and skillsets.
5 Resume Components That All Job-Winning Resumes Have
Whether writing a hybrid, functional, or chronological resume, it is important to include five main components of information. Your work history and education are most important. You must also include your contact information and a list of your skills. Finally, a summary statement will display your best assets. The way you present this information is important as well. Use the tips below to help you.
1The header is the first section of information.
2Your summary statement is often the most important component of your document.
3When writing your work history, ensure the reader can scan the information easily.
4In most cases, the education section will be the last one on your resume.
5Place your skills section between the summary and the work history on most resumes.
Call Center Manager
Technical Project Manager
Development Operations Intern
3 Key Takeaways
When and Why To Use a Chronological Resume Layout
No matter your professional skills or overall experience, a chronological grid resume format is a familiar and effective way to demonstrate what you bring to the table.
Cut Straight to the Chase
While studying resume examples, notice that being concise and chronological is a key way to highlight for a recruiter that you are a good fit for a specific position.
Draw Attention to Top Skills
One benefit of the fast and simple resume format of a chronological resume is that a recruiter knows where you excel. Additionally, the chronological format makes your work history shine.
3 Key Takeaways
Put Your Best Work Forward
With a functional resume format, employers immediately know your most prominent professional and educational accomplishments. Rather than your work history, focus on your work skills.
Emphasis Your Skills Rather Than What You Lack
If you have promising skills an employer may value more than exact experience, use a functional format for resume. This professional resume format could provide you with the experience you need.
An Ideal Choice for Up-and-Coming Professionals
Your resume doesn't need to show the most experience to land a job. Using a functional format for your resume displays your top skills, which hiring managers could treasure in a jobseeker.
Select a resume template and customize
Mechanical Engineer Manager
Junior Sales Associate
3 Key Takeaways
Hybrid Combines Functional and Chronological Formats
Hybrid resumes begin with the skills and qualification sections of a functional resume format. Then, they use the employment history section of the chronological resume format.
Showcase Your Skills
Highlight your relevant job skills in a skills summary section. Follow that with a detailed work history section. Use bullet points to stay brief and focused.
Spotlight Relevant Work History
Focus the potential employer's attention on your relevant work history. Create a "Related Work Experience" section followed by an "Additional Professional Experience" section.
Best Resume Formats
Pre-Op/Post-Op Registered Nurse
HR Business Partner
Senior Office Receptionist
Senior Event Manager
3 Key Takeaways
Use Simple and Elegant Layouts
Readability is critical. Choose a well-organized resume format that balances both your text and white space no matter the type of format you choose.
Craft a Great Professional Summary
The professional summary is a short paragraph pitching job-relevant skills and achievements. Tailor this section to match the employer's job description.
Focus on Accomplishments
Don't let your work history become a boring list of job duties. Show how you benefited your employers with dynamic action verbs and metrics.
5 Key Things To Keep in Mind When Choosing a Resume Format
Applicant Tracking System Q&A
Don't let your resume end up in a black hole! For recruiters to even read it, you need to make sure it can pass an applicant tracking system. Use our sample resume templates and follow our advice in the Q&A section below to learn ATS-friendly content and formatting tips.
What is an ATS?
With the large onslaughts of resumes that hiring managers usually receive, they've turned to applicant tracking systems (ATS) to quickly find the most qualified candidates. An ATS reviews these resumes, then chooses ones that fit a potential employer's requirements. Although each ATS works a little differently, most software packages use keyword searching to review and select resumes.
How does an ATS work?
An applicant tracking system scans and processes incoming resumes, looking for industry-specific keywords and phrases from an employer's job description. The ATS then ranks each applicant's resume by relevance, saving those that pass its criteria for a recruiter to review. As for resumes that do not meet its criteria, an ATS will typically reject them.
Who uses an ATS to track applicants?
Your resume may encounter an ATS if you apply through a job board or with a large company. Third-party vendor names or logos may appear on their application pages while some request that you re-enter your resume's content into text boxes or submit it in a .doc or .txt format. You can use our resume templates to make yours ATS-ready.
Are there ATS-friendly resume formats?
An ATS usually cannot read headers, footers, graphics, columns, text boxes, or tables. Therefore, it's a good idea to choose resume layouts that do not include these elements. LiveCareer offers a wide range of ATS-ready resume formats that are tasteful, elegant, and draw a recruiter's eye to your winning content.
How can you maximize your chances of making it through an ATS?
Both content and formatting are key to getting your resume through an ATS. Read each job description and look for relevant keywords and phrases. Include them in your skills section and work experience but avoid the temptation to keyword-stuff. At LiveCareer, we've designed our resume formats to help your resume successfully pass applicant tracking systems.
How We Help You Build Your Resume
View the ResumesReview our collection of resume templates. The more familiar you are with the format examples, the easier it will be to write your own resume.
Choose a Format To Build Your Own ResumeDepending on your experience, select a resume format that works best for your situation. For instance, if you have less experience in your field, consider a functional resume over a chronological one.
Forget About ErrorsDon't worry about spelling and grammar. Our resume builder includes built-in error checking as you type, ensuring a spotless resume when you're finished.
We Provide Pre-Written Bullet Points To Add to Your ResumeWith thousands of jobs in our database, our resume templates have targeted premade bullet points you can use in your resume specific to your job title and industry.
Download and SendFinally, export and print your resume in seconds. Your resume can be sent as a PDF or Microsoft Word file, depending on your employer's preference.
Don't waste time with formatting. Check out our resume builder and discover how easy it is to create a professional, job-winning resume.
Resume Formats FAQs
When do I choose a functional resume format?
Functional resumes are useful when you do not have a lot of relevant work experience in a specific field. This resume de-emphasizes dates, puts eye-catching skills in a prominent position, and usually does not include a designated work history section. Use our resume builder to find more relevant bullet points to include in your resume.
When do I choose a chronological resume format?
Most jobseekers with continuous work experience use chronological formats. They emphasize experience as well as skills. In your work history section, list your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order, providing bullet points under each job heading that details your role and accomplishments. We can help you strengthen your experience with industry-specific keywords for thousands of jobs.
When do I choose a hybrid resume format?
Hybrid resume formats are less common. They utilize elements of functional resume skills place in chronological order. In general, you would use a hybrid format when the other formats are insufficient. Combined resumes can be useful when you have a minimal work history - generally 1 to 3 years of experience; are making a career change; have few gaps in your job history or have worked for the same employer in different roles.
Can I use more than one resume format?
Typically, you will send only one resume per application. However, if you are applying to multiple jobs at once, you may consider several formats. For example, you may have experience in one field and less in another. In this case, you would send a chronological resume to the former and a functional to the latter.
Which resume format is most versatile?
Hybrid resumes are the most versatile because they can be personalized to tell a story. Incorporating both skills and prior experience, combined resumes include more dates and details than functional resumes. They can also be tailored to suit a variety of fields.
Which resume format is best for an entry-level position?
Entry-level jobseekers usually opt for functional resumes. When you're a recent graduate or switching careers, you often have limited work history in a specific field. Instead, functional resumes list transferable skill sets supported by experience. If you are a new jobseeker, be sure to review our resume templates to get a better understanding of your prospective industry.
What is the most appropriate resume format for an experienced jobseeker?
Experienced jobseekers should use either a chronological or hybrid format, depending on the job. Chronological, experience-based resumes are the most common. If you have relevant experience, showcase your accomplishments in each role using quantifiable metrics to support your value in the field.
Use Our Online Resume Builder to Format Your Resume
The resume formats in our LiveCareer cover letter builder can give you an edge over the competition. Our resume formats help you write documents to standout from the competition. Use our online resume builder to put your best foot forward by:
- Selecting from eye-catching examples that stand out and are easy to adapt
- Taking advantage of one-click formatting that ensures your cover letter is organized and professional
- Using in the writing our suggested keywords and phrases to match the skills employers list in the job posting
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