How to Choose the Best Resume Format for a Job

How to Choose the Best Resume Format for a Job

Begin with the Route Map that defines a professional resume such as your choice of design, spacing and font selection and content arrangement to boost your winning rate by 50%. According to resume coaches, if your resume format for a job is appropriate, you’ve won half the battle!

Types of Resume Formats

It is important to maintain a consistent simplicity in your resume to make it compatible with popular Resume and Automatic Applicant Tracking Software such as ATS. Candidates are recommended to avoid fancy resume format for jobs, as most of the standard ATS software fails to read it.

We have compiled Four Types of Resume Formats and their Pros as well as Cons to choose the best format that fits your Resume.

1. Chronological

The most common formatting option for resumes today, Chronological Resume is also an easy-to-read standard resume format.  This format lists your work experience in a reverse chronological order, placed at the beginning of the resume, under the contact information.

To edit your resume to match the chronological format, list the Timescale, Employer Name, Job Role, Duties and Achievements for every listed job after checking its relevancy with the job description.

–        Pros
  • ATS can easily read resumes in Chronological Formatting.
  • Chronological Resume portrays Authenticity to the Profile using Timestamps.
  • Reverse-Chronological format palpably spotlights the Career Growth of a Profile.
–        Cons
  • Chronological resume format is too generic and often found in 98% of the resumes.
  • This format will magnify the Missing Years or Gaps in Job Experience History.

2. Functional

By changing the focus from your work experiences to technical skills, a functional resume is considered the easiest resume format. It is necessary to list your past employment details sans skills, duties, achievements or timescale in a functional resume to make it work.

Also called the Skill-Based Resume Format, Functional Resume is ideal for candidates who just switched careers. The functional format helps to highlight your transferable skills from past jobs without highlighting job-hopping history. This type of resume focuses on your function as a professional using your technical skills and abilities.

–        Pros
  • Good for Candidates with employment gaps as there is no timestamp.
  • Functional Resume is perfect for those applying for a Specific Job that requires you to elaborate your complete set of relevant skills that apply to it.
  • Functional Resume is excellent when Changing Careers as it highlights skills and hides Work History.
–        Cons
  • Lack of Job History also makes the resume seem fake or made-up due to the lack of proof of qualifications.
  • Missing timestamp in a resume is considered a red flag as it raises suspicions about your work experience.
  • Functional Resumes are not compatible with ATS-applications as there are no dates or standard section headers to recognize relevant buzzwords.

3. Hybrid or Combination

For candidates who aspire to have a balanced portrayal of skills and work experiences in the resume, the combination resume format fits best. It combines the pros of both the formats to highlight the complete set of technical skills that make you the best candidate.

Hybrid resume uses a Resume Summary or Qualifications Summary after the Objective to portray your career graph and specific set of responsibilities under skill-based headers.

–        Pros
  • Combination Resume is best to list diverse duties in one workplace or under the same
  • If you’re applying for a competitive role, hybrid resume helps to exemplify your best qualities.
  • Combination Resume is ideal for candidates who just switched their careers.
–        Cons
  • Often, listing all your skills as well as achievements can expand the combination resume beyond recommended resume size.
  • It is not uncommon to find repetitive points that seem like duplicate content in a hybrid resume.

4. Job-Specific Formats:

Other resume formats useful for candidates who need job-specific resume formats to magnify their profile or to adhere to the instructions of the recruiter are listed below.

· Academic CV

One of the longest CV that is often considered biographical, Academic curriculum Vitae can go up to a length of ten pages!

· Linear

Considered the least used format of the resume, Linear Resume format uses short and vague content without quantifiable specific information to describe credentials.

· Achievement-Focused

Often termed as the modern version of the hybrid resume, achievement-based resume format includes professional achievements and qualifications that prove your candidacy.

· International CV

Useful for candidates seeking job offers from around the world, International CV is a detailed Resume in Chronological Format.

· Portfolio

Ideally used by artists, Portfolio format is excellent to showcase photos, writing samples, graphics and similar other creative samples.

Tips to choose the Best Resume Format for a Job

Simplicity and consistency in formatting are the golden rules to create a good resume format that fits the job you’re applying to.  Moreover, haphazard formatting such as erratic Font Choices and Work Experience History also affects the readability of your resume.

1· Applies to the Job Description

Candidates must choose a resume format that highlights your credentials in the best way. Depending upon what the recruiter has requested you to focus, candidates must adhere to a format that proves your comprehensive understanding of the job role.

2· Readability

It is important to choose a font such as Sans-Serif Font that is scientifically proven as easy to read on multifarious digital readers and screens. You can also experiment with different font sizes before finalizing on one for your professional resume.

3· Fits the Recommended Size

As functional and hybrid format may lead to exceeding the size limit on the resume of an experienced candidate, it is best to pick a consistent resume format that keeps your resume within 5 MB or two pages.

4· Work Experience

For candidates with extensive work experience, chronological or hybrid format fits perfectly while those with gaps in their resumes must use formats such as functional to mask the red flags.


It is ideal to use a good resume format that helps to highlight your technical background and expertise without compromising on the visual appeal or neatness of your profile. Moreover, you must pick a format that accommodates maximum entries without decreasing the professional worth of your profile.

As a bonus tip, after completing your resume formatting, print out the resume and do a test of its readability and appeal, by asking your friends or family to assess it.

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