A well-crafted resume format improves resume readability and improves the chance of getting shortlisted for an interview.
However, most professionals do not possess any knowledge about the correct format of a resume to effectively showcase skills and expertise to the hiring managers.
Formatting a resume can be a challenging job. But this guide will help you decide on a job-winning resume format that will get the hiring manager’s attention.
There are primarily three types of resume formats available for candidates.
This is the most common type of resume format, which most job candidates use. Reverse chronological resumes organize the work experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent experience. This resume format allows the candidate to effectively highlight continuous work history. It works best for professionals who are already established in their industry.
Functional resume format helps professionals highlight their resume skills rather than their years of experience. Although this is not the most preferred resume format among job seekers, it is a great option for a candidate with a career gap or if the candidate is looking for a career change. Even for inexperienced professionals, a functional resume format can highlight the transferable skills to the recruiters.
The combination resume format uses the best of both reverse chronological and functional resumes. Also known as a hybrid resume format, a combination resume format uses reverse chronological work experience to highlight a candidate’s work history. Also, it dedicates space for highlighting the candidate’s skills, similar to a functional resume.
Combination resumes are best for experienced professionals who have a strong work history along with highly specialized skills.
Often professionals do not know what sections to include in their resume and end up missing important information. Here’s are a list of must-have sections in a resume:
Apart from these key sections, the candidate must give equal importance to additional information such as, certifications, awards, training, volunteer experience, publications, etc. The goal is to provide as much relevant information as possible to the recruiter about the candidate’s experience.
Choosing the right format is not the end of the story. You need to ensure correct formatting of the resume:
Research has shown that recruiters only get 7.4 seconds to screen each resume. Hence, a well-crafted resume needs to be easily readable to help recruiters quickly scan the resume.
Here are some tips to improve the resume readability:
More than 40% of employers deploy an ATS system to sort resumes for hiring.
If the candidate uses a custom graphic or a fancy font, the ATS system will not be able to read it and discard the resume.
For this reason, always use a simple font, which is easily readable by the ATS system as well as the recruiters. Some simple fonts are:
Not only the font type but the font size also plays a key role in the screening process. Ensure to keep resume font size between 10-12 points.
Ensure that the resume sections are placed in the correct order. For example, the summary section must go on top of the resume, then the key skills section followed by the professional experience section.
Do not use paragraphs in the resume except for the summary sections. Use single-line bullet points for everything else in the resume.
Make sure to keep your resume within a single page. If the candidate has numerous relevant work experiences, then only extend the resume to the 2nd page. But never go beyond two pages. A 2+ page resume will reduce your chances of getting an interview.
A good resume format is a key part of how to make a resume. So, Ensure that the resume is well-formatted before sending it to the recruiter.
Here are the key takeaways from the blog: