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Resume Formats

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About Resume Formats

This section provides brief descriptions of traditional and modern resume formats, along with samples of each.

Chronological Resume Format

The chronological resume format is the most popular. It's also called a reverse chronological resume format, because it lists work history in reverse chronological order by date, with the most recent job listed first.

That makes it easy for a hiring manager to see career progression; for example, from an entry-level to a senior job role. It also makes it easy for a hiring manager to detect work-history gaps. Subsequently, some job candidates to use the functional resume format to de-emphasize their work history gaps.

Functional Resume Format

The functional resume format emphasizes experience, skills and other qualifications, while de-emphasizing where and when applicants used them (work history). It de-emphasizes work history by listing employers near the end, with specific job duties, employment dates or both omitted.

The functional resume format might work for students who have just graduated from college with little "real-world" experience, applicants who have work history-gaps of more than a year, and job seekers who are attempting to transition from one career or industry to another.

However, think twice about using a functional resume format. It might indicate to employers that you're hiding something, such as work-history gaps, because it suits the purpose better than the other resume formats. If you have no need to de-emphasize work history, consider using the chronological, combination or technical format instead.

Note: All of the resume format samples linked below show employment dates. You might omit employment dates to de-emphasize large work-history gaps, more than the format does on its own. But, again, think twice about that. Unless you have more than your fair share, gaps of a year or less are no big deal. Employers know that it might take up to a year for applicants to find new jobs, especially in weak job markets.

Combination Resume Format (Hybrid)

Sometimes, combining a functional format with a reverse chronological format makes the most sense. This is called a combination resume format and less often, a hybrid resume format. Skills that are relevant to the current job search are placed in a special section by function, while the Professional History or Work Experience is presented in a standard, reverse chronological order.

A combination resume format offers the best of both worlds, and is very popular with modern job seekers and hiring managers. It is the best resume format for those who have performed pretty much the same duties for many years, regardless of the number of jobs held. The summary (or similarly titled) section helps to eliminate redundancy and repetitiveness when listing one's job duties, and presents them up front.

Technical Resume Format

These days, a technical resume is often referred to as a separate resume format. But it's essentially one of the traditional resume formats above with some tweaks, such as summaries of relevant technical skills and certifications listed immediately after the qualifications summary.

Most often, a technical resume format is essentially a combination resume format, typically tweaked to land information-technology or information-systems (computer) jobs. But the tweaked format is appropriate for any technical job, when one of the traditional resume formats above won't do.

A technical resume format emphasizes technical experience and skills by incorporating nouns, buzzwords, acronyms and other industry-standard terms, tailored to match those in job descriptions. Whether technical or not in nature, such terms are called keywords in scannable resumes.

Note: Resume format samples 1 and 3 linked below incorporate graphics. Don't do the same in your technical resume, unless appropriate.

Scannable Resume Format

As is a technical resume, a scannable resume is often referred to as a separate resume format these days. But it too is in one of the traditional resume formats above, with some tweaks.

The reason it's called a scannable resume format, is that it's specifically designed to be "scanner friendly" for scanning into computers. It's also designed to be "search friendly" through applicant-tracking software, by packing it with relevant, industry-standard and job-specific terms (keywords).

See Scannable Resume Design for more information, along with scannable resume format samples.

More Resume Format Samples

See more resume format samples written by the professional resume writers at ResumeEdge.Professional Resume Formatting

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