Crafting an attention-getting resume will undoubtedly make it easy for recruiters to pull yours from the pile.
But how do you assemble the perfect resume?
You can put one together that is professional and readable by selecting the correct format. Three formats we will discuss in this article are chronological, functional, and hybrid.
Besides offering tips about the focus of each resume type, we will discuss other resume formatting tips. We’ll help you double your impact by showing you how to outline your skills and customize your accomplishments.
Each resume type works for different people so try to figure out which resume format works best for you.
Deliver a resume that will impress employers and allow them to see you are perfect for the job.
Below are seven formatting tips that will help you put together the perfect resume.
First, it’s essential to choose a presentation format that showcases your talents, employment history, skills, and other valuable mentions.
Our first three tips cover what resume styles are best for each type of candidate.
#1 Highlight consistent employment with a chronological resume format
The most traditional resume format is a chronological resume that shows your employment history.
On a chronological resume, you list work experience in reverse-chronological order. Your most recent job position should be at the top. The rest of your employment history should follow from the most recent to the oldest position.
Choose a chronological format if your employment history is consistent and shows an advancing career. Especially if you’ve spent the last several years in the same industry and your roles have improved over time.
Using a chronological format will also create an attention-getting resume that’s easy to read.
The format for a chronological resume typically includes the below information in this order:
- Contact information
- A summary of your resume’s objective
- Employment history
- Skills relevant to the type of work you’re applying for
- Education summary
Include a list of your special interests or volunteer work. This information will show the recruiter or hiring manager more ways you can add value to the company culture or particular tasks.
If you have a lot of gaps in between jobs, a chronological resume won’t work well.
Buta functional resume will, which we discuss next.
#2 Clearly outline skills using a functional resume format
A functional resume format is great for professionals whose experience doesn’t work well in a traditional outline format.
Many see a functional resume as being the polar opposite of the chronological format.
On a functional resume, you briefly list your work history at the very bottom.
The above sections focus on your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments.
Each section is flexible, and you can mix and match them depending on what type of skills and work history you have.
Bear in mind that some hiring managers may see this type of format as a way to hide weak points.
If you have gaps in your work history, focus on transferable skills rather than on companies you didn’t work at for very long. Highlight other opportunities you’ve had such as volunteering or study programs that bolster your skillsets for the job you’re after.
When using a functional format, make a clear presentation of your accomplishments and skills. Easy to find key skills will grab the attention of resume readers that skim.
#3 Customize experience and accomplishments using a hybrid resume format
A hybrid resume is also known as a combined or combination format.
This type of resume format has become popular because it combines the best elements from a chronological and functional resume format.
If you go with a hybrid resume format, you’ll have an easier time customizing your experience and accomplishments.
On a hybrid resume, you can also highlight skills at the top of the resume while still employing a chronological list of your past and current jobs.
The flexibility of a hybrid format makes it easy to create a resume that highlights your skills and work experience based on your preferences.
Effectively organizing your resume
Now that you’ve chosen a format style, we’re going to show you the top four tips for organizing your resume. We discuss what you shouldn’t forget to include and what you should focus on the most.
#4 Set up your resume contact information
The information you include on your resume depends mostly on the formatting you choose.
Research the best way to display your contact information based on the type of resume format you decide to use.
Below is a general guide to what resume contact information you should include and the order you should add it:
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Online portfolio link
- LinkedIn profile link
There are a few more details you should keep in mind regarding your contact information.
Your name should be the largest font on the page and including your middle initial is optional.
For your telephone number, make sure you have a professional voicemail message setup.
If it says something unprofessional like “Hey it’s Susan, I’m not here, so obviously you have to leave a message,” then you should change it to something else.
In regards to including a link to your online portfolio, make sure your portfolio link is relevant to the position you hope to get.
#5 Clearly outline your work experience
The core of any resume, regardless of whether it’s a chronological, functional, or hybrid type resume, is your work experience.
Generally, your work experience will take up most of your resume.
Include the name of the company you worked for, the location, job title, and how long you worked there.
You should also include your tenure for each position you had.
Here’s an example:
Johnson’s Media, Portland, OR
Marketing Manager (June 2017-Present)
Under the job headings, include your accomplishments and what type of responsibilities you had.
Make sure the duties and accomplishments on the resume are relevant to any job for which you are applying.
Include the core responsibilities but mainly focus on the skills that’ll relate to the company you hope to work for in the future.
#6 Include a solid education section
Including an impressive section about your education tells a hiring manager more about your knowledge and expertise.
However, your professional experience may stand out more. Take the time to think about whether the professional experience or education section should go first.
For example, if you have a lot of professional experience and you’d like to highlight that, then you should keep the education section short and sweet.
Include the following main points in the section about your education:
- University, community college, or technical school name (Don’t include the name of your high school unless you did not attend college)
- The city and state of where your school is located
- The month and year of when you graduated
- Include your GPA only if your GPA is above a 3.0
If you don’t have a lot of education experience, you can highlight alternative training and education.
For example, if you’ve participated in ongoing training after high school, emphasize your continuing education by creating a Professional Development section.
Under the Professional Development section you can include some of the following:
- Job-related training
- In-service training
- Online learning
- Self-directed study
#7 Stylize your resume
When you have all of your content typed up and feel confident your resume is looking great, it’s time to add the finishing touches.
Don’t be afraid to give your resume some personality.
How do you do that, you might wonder?
First, you should select a professional font and font size:
- Select easy-to-read fonts
- Use the same font throughout your resume
- Change the font size in descending order for bullet points, headers, and your name
Lines are another great way to break up your resume and allow hiring managers to process things more easily.
Don’t use line breaks until after your career objective or qualifications summary.
Another way to stylize your resume is by setting margins appropriately. For a safe bet, use one-inch margins. But, if you have a lot to put on the resume, it is acceptable to reduce the margins.
After you’ve gotten the hang of writing a resume and discovered what type of format works best for you, you won’t be far from a killer paycheck.
The ins and outs of writing an attention-getting resume come with practice, so when in doubt follow these resume formatting tips.
After you put together an incredible resume, you should have nothing to fear.
Now that you have the perfect resume, it won’t be long before you have landed your dream job! Nice work!
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