best resume formats

Resumes are more like advertisements. In such a case, you need to determine which type of ad/format you would likely use to begin the process of resume writing. Depending upon the type of job that you are applying for, different resumes may go well.

Table of Contents:

  1. Types of Resume format
  2. Functional resume format
    1. Pros of a functional resume:
    2. Cons of a functional resume:
    3. Conclusion
  3. Chronological resume format
    1. Pros of chronological resume format:
    2. Cons of chronological resume format:
    3. Conclusion
  4. Combination resume format:
    1. Pros of combination resume format:
    2. Cons of combination resume format:
    3. Conclusion
  5. How to Choose a Resume Format?
  6. Here is the guide that one must follow.
    1. Keep the format simple:
    2. Keep the formatting the same:
  7. Resume Format vs. Applicant Tracking system
  8. Resume Format Resources

1. Types of Resume formats:

The four standard types of resume are functional, chronological, combination, and target. We will discuss each resume type in detail and give our recommendation about using them in which situations.

  1. Functional Resume Format
  2. Chronological Resume Format
  3. Combination Resume Format
  4. Target Resume Format

2. Functional resume formats:

The most popular resume format of all is the functional resume format. The functional resume format focus and highlights a person’s abilities and achievements. It will be helpful for those recruiters who have more interest in your skills rather than the education details. Now the question here is when and why to use them?

Take a look:

•    Use this format if your working experience is minimal in the field

•    If there are gaps between your work history

•    Use this format if you change your job frequently

•    If you want to change your career

The functional resume format helps you in getting the interview call instantly.  If you’re going to start writing your functional resume then begin it with mentioning your personal information like address, name, email, and phone number. Then, write your professional profile. In the professional profile, talk in detail about your skills, abilities, and achievements. After this, provide the relevant skills for the job you are applying. Write about your professional experience in any company or firm. End it with your education details with a conclusion.

Pros of a functional resume:

It helps to cover up gaps if someone has in his employment history.

Functional resume format helps to highlight a person’s technical skills as well.

If there is some career change in your employment history, it covers up irrelevant experience then.

Cons of a functional resume:

If the recruiter is traditional, it is not a good format for him to understand things.

Using a functional resume will show you as an experienced person in a formal work setting.

Also, the applicant tracking system (ATP) will find it hard to pinpoint the critical sections in the resume.


Functional resume format is not advisable because hiring companies and manager wanted to know about you in detail, what you accomplish in the past and about your targeted goals, and what one wants to achieve. Persons who have worked in more significant or creative industries and have enough work experience never go for a functional resume format. However, if your job career has some gaps, then it is a better option for you to write a resume using a functional resume format.

3. Chronological resume format:

This format is very old; the widely and mostly used while applying for a job position. This resume format should use if the very recent things to old one. Chose chronological resume format if:

•    A freshly graduate with experience through internships or paid jobs.

•    If your work history shows your progress.

•    A person having a working experience from larger organizations.

•    Do not write in this resume format if you have employment gaps and no experience at all.

In making your chronological resume, write your personal information, e.g. your number, name, and email. Then, talk about your professional profile, e.g. talk about your work or any internship experiences, relevant skills, and achievements. Then, talk about the accomplishments that you made in the previous job in small bullets. The education details will go recent one to the beginning.

Pros of chronological resume format:

Chronological resume format allows you to indicate all of the various accomplishments and responsibilities from different positions that you have achieved in a descriptive paragraph or bullet points following each job that you have done in the past.

Among other resume formats, the chronological resume format is the easiest one because it is only a list of past experiences.

It is the most routine and common resume style which is read by the Application tracking system easily.

Cons of Chronological resume format:

Not best resume format for those who have changed job roles often.

This format is not good for changing careers as it mainly focuses upon the experiences that a candidate can offer which is not a strength for the candidate looking for changing his/her profession.

This format is so well known that it would not make your resume to stand out in the crowd.


Chronological resume format is best to use if you have a rich and consistent professional experience. It would be best if you have minimal gaps between your jobs and you worked for various clients or employees in one industry.

4. Combination resume format:

This is a potent tool if you to get a job interview. If the chronological and functional resume format does not look suitable to you then try to write your resume is combination format. This is good way to demonstrate your skills to get a higher position.

Use the combination format in your resume if:

•    You have great experience, multiple achievements, and persuasive skills.

•    It will help the hiring manager o looks around the skills that are fit for that job position.

•    If you are applying for IT jobs, technical work and for scientific positions.

Write name in bold letters at the top of the resume along with email, home address, and mobile number with headings; this will include all of your personal information. Next in the professional box, mention your achievements, your professional background, and relevant skills. The most critical skill that is also relevant to the applied position must go to first place. Write about your working experience. Your previous job experience must be at the top of all. Then write about your education and the institute where you studied. This could be a lengthy resume comprising of two pages.

Pros of combination resume format:

It is the most exciting format as compared to the formats mentioned above.

It is also useful in hiding employment gaps.

It mentions your experience and skills in a detailed way.

Cons of combination resume format:

It does not allow mentioning more about your education details.

To write up a resume in combination format, one needs great care to write up experience and skills in a way that the provided information did not overlap. This format is best and gives a complete look at your information in the resume.


If you are one of them who have experience of several years and a long list of skills, then combination format is best to mention plenty of information. This resume format is the best compromise with unrelated jobs and employment gaps. If you have some years of employment gaps, then a combination resume will highlight what you can do and what you have done in your past employment period.

5. Targeted resume format:

This format is correctly used to write about a particular position you are applying for a job. It highlights the experience and your skills that are relevant to the specific post. This resume is rewritten or edits for every new post.

Write a targeted resume if:

•    You wanted to impress the hiring manager to impress from your skills and experience that are relevant to a specific position.

•    If you are applying for different positions, it will help to customize your skills, experience, achievements and make you perfect for that job.

Talk about your education, personal information, skills, achievements, and relevant skills to the particular position when writing a targeted resume.

Pros of Targeted Resume Format:

The major advantage of using a targeted resume format is that it is straight forward and brief that makes it very easy for the employer to read.

It shows your research skills.

It is written explicitly according to the needs of the employer.

Cons of Targeted Resume Format:

The main disadvantage of this resume format is that it mainly focuses on one particular kind of job.

This resume format requires a lot of care and effort to write.

It is time-consuming.

It may become confused if it is not get organized well.

It must get revised for each job position.


This particular type of resume is best for those who have a single-tracked career and want to remain on the same career track. This means you can use keywords and language that are local to your activity sphere or industry. Also, you can demonstrate yourself as a strong candidate for the targeted position.

6. How to Choose a Resume Format?

In resume writing, choosing the right format for a resume is very important. Different types of resume formats allow you to highlight those professional attributes that you want. This influences how the hiring manager or recruiter will judge you on your qualification. To choose a resume format that perfectly blends with your skills and employment history evaluates your career history and your goals for the future.

When deciding upon the resume format, you should strike a balance between something unique and make you stand out in thousands. Avoid such formats which will confuse the recruiter to understand. There are four main resume formats which can be used depending upon your needs and experience.

Let’s take a quick look at them:

•    Chronological– It works best for those who are on a traditional career path. Means if you are on a career path for a long time and you are applying for the same position then chronological resume format would be best for your resume.

•    Functional– It is also known as a skills-based format. This format is controversial among hiring managers. It is suitable for those who have little work experience or no experience at all.

•    Combination– This resume format is best for those candidates who want to demonstrate their skills and have minor employment gaps.

•    Target– This resume format works best for those who have a single-tracked career and who are applying for the same career job.

7. How to Format a Resume in Right way?

After selecting the best format to write up your resume now, the next crucial step is to format it in the right style. Choosing the right words and arranging the information on a two-page or straightforward resume is not a piece of cake for everyone. Some people are experienced and have a list of skills, but they did not create an attractive resume and miss their chance to get the specified position. Learn how to format a resume in right way is necessary.

Here is the guide that one must follow.

Learn about who is going to read the resume:

Identification of your key audience is necessary while arranging your information and choosing the format. A resume should be professional enough that it should be understood by the hiring manager and the ATS system as well if you are submitting it online.

Few candidates like to submit a fancy CV to attract the manager; however, fancy resumes with irrelevant fonts are not readable by the applicant tracking system.

It is smart to play on the safe side, so it did not reject by the system or manager.

Keep the format simple:

Experts underline various reasons due to which a resume formatting should be simple. It is the 21st century where resumes are the first to check though applicant-tracking systems. If the software selected it, then I forwarded to the manager.

So what if your resume is not readable by the system due to formatting?

We know that fancy fonts always attracts while writing a piece of paper but this is not the right time to select when the piece of writing is your resume.

The standards fonts that one can use are Ariel, times new roman, Calibri, and Verdana because they are understandable by the systems as well as for humans. Moreover, manage your font size up to twelve. Small size text is hard to read and gives a messy look as well. However, one can bold or increase the font of section or header not just that you can write your name, email, or mobile number in a bigger font.

Another critical thing to remember is while submitting the resume in hard copy that never goes for colored printing. A resume should be black and white whether it is going to present in a solid form or soft form.

Keep the formatting the same:

Do not merge different fonts in a single resume. For example, if one section is written with times new roman font that all the parts should be in the same font. If you make one header in italic, then all headers should be in italic style. If you underline one heading, then all heading should be underlined. One can show his consistency in this way.

8. Resume Format vs. Applicant Tracking system

As the sun of online job applications rose, hiring managers and recruiters started to receive more job applications than they can handle. This situation has led most of the companies of using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a tool which filters, sort, and rank applicants.

Most of the ATS performs by paring resumes, and it allows the hiring manager or recruiter to search resume by the keywords to see the list of top-ranked candidates. It means that without the right keywords and skills, your resume would not even get a chance of a single glance of the recruiter. That is why it is essential to choose the correct keywords to make it through the Applicant Tracking System.

Resume formatting plays a crucial role in making your resume searchable in ATS. There are four things to keep in mind while choosing resume formats for working best under ATS.

•    Include your state, zip code, and city. Hiring managers look for local applicants first. If you do not include your location, your resume may not appear upon the search results.

•    Some of the ATS forms a digital applicant profile upon the base of your resume. This works like pulling information from different parts of the resume. In such a case, you are advised to use straightforward headings so that the ATS knows where the critical information lies.

•    Our research on ATS has found that the information related to work experience should get formatted in this order: Company name, Job state/city, the title of your job, starts and ends dates.

•    File types: The format .docx of files appears at the top in ATS even better than those of pdf.

Whichever resume format you chose for your resume, you will get more interview calls when your resume content is tailored to the job description of each job.

9. Resume Format Resources is one of the best websites to generate your resume builder professionally. This site offers the best resume writing tips and advice. Along with the tips, there are thousands of resume templates ready to download. These resume templates are categorized by design style, experience level, and situation.

Some of the world-class professional has designed these templates in classic, advanced, basic, and creative styles. You would surely find what you are looking for on Also, this website has a resume builder who works the rest of your work on its own.

You can create your professional resume with a resume builder in 3 easy steps.

•    Select resume template

•    Fill your skills, personal, summary, education and experience details.

•    Download your resume in PDF format after customizing it.

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