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What is resume formatting?

Your resume's format contains the typeface you employ, the layout you create, and the entire aesthetic of your resume. You may choose to showcase specific portions using powerful font, or you may determine that sorting sections with additional space is adequate to make your material noticed. The format that you use is the representation of your resume on print or computer.

Which format do most employers prefer for resumés?

Image for part: Which format do most employers prefer for resumés?

The three most popular resume types are reverse-chronological order, functional, and hybrid. 

  • The chronological style is the most common and ideal for job applicants with significant work experience. This resume type highlights your job experiences and qualifications in reverse-chronological order.
  • Functional resumes, often known as "skills-based" resumes, that highlight job applicants' abilities. Functional resumes are the least common resume type in 2021. This structure differs from the other two types, it emphasizes your expertise instead of your professional experience.
  • The hybrid format is a fusion of the previous two types. It prioritizes both skillsets and experiences.

What is the best format for a resume?

Reverse-chronological order

Recruiters will find this resume format convenient to explore. It conveys your professional growth and presents the most recent and relevant experience at the top. Furthermore, it is appropriate for most occupations and is generally essential for teaching, government employment, and similar positions. 

What to include in a reverse-chronological resume format?

  • Contact details consist of your name, phone number, and email address. In certain situations, helpful connections, including a LinkedIn or personal portfolio profile, might be added.
  • Professional Statement - A quick 2-4 phrase synopsis of your job experience or purpose in pursuing a specific role.
  • Professional Title - Tailored to the particular position you're seeking.
  • Work Experience - List your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order, and if relevant, illustrate accomplishments over tasks.
  • Skills - Skills related to the job you want.
  • Education - Your academic qualification. Pro tip: If you have a B.A., you may be able to bypass high school.
  • Additional sections include volunteering, projects, portfolios, interests, etc. Even if they're not game-changers, they can assist you in covering gaps on your CV.

Who can use a reverse-chronological resume format?

It is best for;

  • The experts with a long history of employment.
  • People who have spent a long time working in the same industry.
  • Professionals who have demonstrated a significant ability to advance in their careers.
  • Ensuring that ATSs will review correctly.

What are the pros and cons of a reverse-chronological resume?


  • This resume format describes the growth of responsibility in your profession.
  • Employers value it, notably for executive and management roles.
  • It implies that you have the necessary experience and qualifications for the position.
  • Highlighting companies that are recognized and outstanding, adding weight to your credentials.
  • Ideal for displaying a consistent employment history.


  • If you have gaps in your career, are switching jobs, or have a wide range of expertise, this format is not for you. In this scenario, you must consider using a functional or hybrid resume format.

Functional Resume Format

This format emphasizes your distinct qualifications and skills. Work experience is generally overlooked or minimized. You begin by listing your best skills and then diversify them into precise and clear sentences. This style conveys credentials and achievements as well. Work experience is just briefly included at the end of the resume. 

Which sections should be included in a functional resume format?

  • Contact details;
  • Professional summary
  • Skills  
  • Qualifications/ Education
  • Certifications
  • Other relevant interests or voluntary work

Who can use a functional resume format?

It is best for;

  • Individuals with little or no professional experience in the industry.
  • Having many gaps in their employment history.
  • Someone who is shifting industries, sectors, or roles.
  • Candidates who have recently graduated from college and have limited job background.

What are the pros and cons of a functional resume format?


  • If you have space between employment, this is ideal.
  • Appropriate for individuals resuming to work after taking an extended break for individual matters.
  • It draws focus away from fresh grads' lack of experience and instead promotes essential talents.
  • Relevant when applying for jobs in a new region as a result of relocating or spouse transfer.


  • This resume structure reduces the importance of upward job progression and significant experience.
  • If you lack transferable or applicable abilities, this resume format is not for you.

Hybrid Resume Format

Although not as common as the previous two, this format may be viable if none of the other two types meet your requirements. The combination format blends the ideal aspects of the chronological and functional resume structure that is valuable and beneficial. A combination resume structure would often prioritize essential abilities and accomplishments at the top, accompanied by a chronologically arranged work record. This structure is adaptable, and you may tailor it to showcase your core assets.

What to include in a hybrid resume format?

  1. Contact Information
  2. Skill Summary
  3. Additional Skills
  4. Work Experience
  5. Education

Who can use a combination resume format?

It is best for the following:

  • Senior management jobs in which it is essential to draw on expertise from a variety of roles.
  • Individuals with extensive work experience.
  • Current college grads and students
  • Professionals with significant accomplishments seeking a career shift.

What are the pros and cons of a hybrid resume format?


  • It represents both a solid job description and essential talents and achievements.
  • If you're changing jobs and have an employment record that proves your credentials, this is the resume format for you.


  • This type is lengthier than the sequential and functional formats.
  • Employers may view lengthiness as a bad trait.
  • If the same abilities and duties exist in every role, it may look repetitious.

Does formatting matter in the resume?

Stylish paper and fancy tricks will not get your CV the recruiter's attention, but reliable content presented in an appealing style may very well. An excellent resume is a reliable blend of adequate information provided in an easily-readable manner. Without a decent structure, the employer will have to go through your resume to discover a few essential information that will catch their interest. The prospective employer will not have the time to do so your resume format should do it.

A solid structure underlines essential aspects of your history and persuades the prospective employer to continue reading. A recruiter is unlikely to be impressed by a CV that does not attempt to sell itself right away. A proper resume format puts all of the core material at the top and encourages the employer that your content is compelling. If you're a new hire or an experienced expert, prepare your resume to be relevant. The structure and flow of your resume are crucial in securing the interviews necessary to promote your career. The above-discussed ideas will assist you in crafting and structuring your resume in a way that will benefit you to get the job. 

What are the best ways to format your resume?

  • Eliminate employing more than two typefaces per page to protect your resume format from becoming too complex. Generally, using one font for headings and another for body text. To make your resume appear even better, choose the exact typeface and size for each header and the similar font size for all body content. You can create an alternative for your name, bigger than the other headers. For body content, pick a font size 10.5-12 with a professional typeface. Helvetica, Calibri, and Georgia are among the top resume fonts.
  • The use of blank space is essential for boosting the entire appearance and accessibility of your resume style. As a result, be careful to include enough line space and allow white space throughout resume sections. When you use hipCV resume templates, it will set your margins automatically. For formal papers, the usual margin size is one inch on every side.
  • In most contexts, your resume must not be more than a one-page document. There are a few exceptions, of course. If you have ten or even more years of extensive experience for the role you want, you might have to provide it on more than a single page. Likewise, if you're looking for a job in managerial or at the top management, you may offer some more necessary details. Although, you might attempt to limit yourself to one page.
  • A professional statement is present at the beginning of your resume, directly behind your name. It must explain your professional goals inside the organization in one or two sentences. Concentrate on what you intend to accomplish as a part of the organization instead of the overall career ambitions. Position this section towards the top of your resume and add a distinctive title to capture your attention instantly.
  • Applying bold, underlined, or italicized text to focus the viewer's interest in certain aspects of your resume, such as sections or titles, will help you. Aside from it, they enable the resume easier to navigate and skim. When describing your experience, talents, or schooling, utilize bullet points to express the information. Generally, use bullet lists for any three or more snippets of information. If you have less than three insights to offer, clearly state them in a statement or without bullets. Lastly, split paragraphs more than seven lines into two portions, with a suitable category title.

The resume format you select will have a considerable influence on its performance. As a result, it is critical to pick a style appropriate for your expertise and requirements.

Things to consider when choosing a resume format

Image for part:  Things to consider when choosing a resume format

First, select the format that is ideal for you. Then, fill in the blanks with your information to create an engaging document. Finally, after finishing it, implement the submission guidelines.

  • Consider the scope of your experience. It will assess the best resume format for you.
  • Identify your target audience. First, your resume is sent through an applicant tracking system. In other words, the chronological format is the most conveniently read and error-free. 
  • Use no distractions. Use a style that is appropriate rather than flashy. To seem elegant, choose fonts, color, and any visual components. A skilled designer's template is a great place to start. Pick between modern, creative, professional, or simple resume templates.
  • Provide your photograph. In specific cases, a picture is explicitly requested then, include one. Our resume templates contain variants to allow you to pick the best option for you.

Essential Resume Formatting Tips

Image for part:  Essential Resume Formatting Tips
  • Want to save yourself the trouble of preparing your resume? Just utilize a resume builder. The application will assist you in structuring your resume, and all you need to focus on the content!
  • Your resume should be a synopsis of your job experience, not a biography of your whole life, so limit it to one page.
  • Make use of standard section titles. For instance, your job experience must be referred to as Work Experience rather than Job History. It is because application tracking systems search for these titles to collect information.
  • Choose a resume typeface that will benefit you to stand out, like Calibri, Roboto, or Arial.
  • Create the following format for your job experience section: Organization name, place, job position, start and end dates, tasks, and accomplishments.
  • When it comes to duties and accomplishments, make a bulleted list of them. Emphasize accomplishments above tasks, and limit yourself to 6-8 bullets per role.
  • Save your résumé as a PDF document. ATS software can understand it. 

FAQs regarding resume format

Q1. What is the best format for a resume?

The reverse-chronological resume structure is optimum due to the following reasons;

  • It's readable and understandable.
  • It is popular among hiring managers because the majority of individuals use it.
  • In 2021, it is the most common resume format.
  • An ATS system easily detects reverse-chronological résumé.

Q2. What is the ideal resume format for students?

And once again, reverse-chronological resume format.

Though a functional resume might help you emphasize your abilities above your employment history, it has two main drawbacks:

  • Employers are unfamiliar with it, and they may suspect you're attempting to conceal the fact that you lack job experience.
  • This resume format is difficult for ATS to recognize.


  • There are three types of resumes: reverse-chronological, functional, and hybrid.
  • The reverse-chronological structure is the most common in 2021.
  • A functional CV highlights abilities over job experience and is typically common among career changers or students.
  • A combination resume is a fusion of functional and reverse-chronological styles that signifies job experience and expertise equally.
  • Both functional and hybrid resumes are uncommon, and ATS software struggle to interpret them.
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