It can be challenging to create an impeccable resume with the ever-evolving industry standards and tips from a bunch of websites. When you start to create your resume, you would be confused as to how you’re supposed to categorize your information.

This is where resume formats come in! 

Each resume format has a different way of assembling and displaying information. The resume format you choose should be a conscious choice based on your experience and objective. 

In this article, we will help you navigate through the options and help you choose the best resume format to get shortlists. 

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

The reverse-chronological resume format is the most common format, and it’s likely the one you’ll see if you apply for any job in the current industry. How this works is that it lists your most recent work experience first and moves backward.

If you have a long work history or many accomplishments, you can use this approach to display all of them on one page.

If you’re applying for a new position that requires very little experience or skill but requires specific education credentials, reverse chronological order can make it easier for hiring managers to find those details without having to search through multiple pages of information about past positions and responsibilities.

Hiring managers love this format because of its transparency and the way it displays the most relevant experiences before others. 

Functional Resume Format

A functional resume is a streamlined document that highlights your skills and accomplishments, rather than explaining every detail of your work history. This approach can be especially useful if you’ve been out of the workforce for some time or have a career that isn’t immediately transferable to other industries. 

The goal here is to sell yourself on paper by highlighting the most relevant and noteworthy aspects of your professional experiences. This feature makes it easier for the applicants to showcase their skills as opposed to the reverse-chronological format which would make the skill difference obvious.

However, the functional format may not be the ideal choice for a recruiter because of its lack of detail and information. The best way to compensate for it is by filling the gaps in your cover letter.

Combination Resume Format 

In a nutshell, the combination resume format or the hybrid format is a combination of chronological and functional resumes. It’s ideal for job seekers who have an extensive career history but are looking to highlight transferable skills rather than their previous job responsibilities. 

For example, the format is perfect for someone who has worked in retail for 20 years but wants to be seen as more than just “a sales associate”.

The structure usually looks something like this:

  • Summary or profile
  • Key qualifications and accomplishments & Education/training

The hybrid resume format is an effective way to highlight your skills and accomplishments, as well as focus on your strengths and career goals. It allows you to showcase your value as a candidate, how you can make the most of your skills, and how you will be an asset to the organization.

For the same reason as the functional resume format, the recruiters may not necessarily be as satisfied with your resume because of the lack of detail and transparency. Hence, it is a good idea to make sure that your resume is on par with the rest of the applicants by drafting an excellent format.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the most appropriate resume format can be a challenge, and the best way to navigate this dilemma is by focusing on your career history and objective. Here is what you can take away from this article:

  • The reverse-chronological resume format is the most popular in the industry due to its transparency and the way it highlights the most recent and relevant experiences
  • If you are changing careers, the functional resume format would be the best bet for you since it does a great job of showcasing your transferable skills instead of focusing on your lack of experience
  • Say you want a mix of both, the combination resume format would be your best bet as it will allow you to reap the benefits of both the formats