How To Pick The Right Resume Format
There are three types of resume formats: reverse chronological, functional or skills-based, and a combination of the two. The choice depends on the type of job you are applying for and your level of experience.
The 3 resume formats are:
1) Reverse chronological resume format – This is the most popular resume format and is ideal for people with plenty of work experience that is relevant to the position theyre interested in.
2) Functional/skills-based resume format If you lack relevant work experience because you are a student/recent graduate, or you are looking to make a career change, the skills-based format is a better choice.
3) Combination resume format The combination resume is a great choice for job-seekers with a very diverse skill-set. Its useful if youre applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields, and you want to show all that in your resume. Say, for example, youre applying for a senior management role, and the requirements are expertise in Management, Sales, and Software Development.
So, which one do you go for?
In 90%+ cases, youd want to stick to the reverse-chronological resume format. This is the most common one, and most HR managers are used to this. Hence, in this guide, were going to focus on this specific format.
If youre a recent graduate, or possess a diverse set of skills & work experience, you might want to pick one of the other 2 formats. Check out our guide to resume formats to learn how to write either.
The Best File Format For Attaching Your Resume
On the other hand, many job seekers pass out their resumes like business cards while job searching. If you are sending a direct message to someone and attaching your resume, you may want to send it as a PDF. This will preserve your formatting and look the same across computers.
However, take note: sending your resume as a PDF does NOT mean it’s a good idea to use a creative or graphic resume format. Computers, hiring managers, and recruiters all prefer traditional, single column resumes that can be quickly understood.
Should You Use A Pdf Or A Word Document To Submit Your Resume
Most employers will accept either a Word document or PDF file, leaving the decision up to you. Although both file types have their own pros and cons, PDF is usually the better choice. Sending your resume as a PDF file will preserve the formatting and ensure that the document looks exactly the way you intended.
Before submitting your resume, be sure to check the employers instructions. Some employers will specify the type of file you should submit, and in that case, you should adhere to their requirements. Sending a PDF when they asked for a Word file may leave them with a negative impression of your ability to follow directions.
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Resume Readability In Computer Systems
Some companies ask that you upload your resume directly to their website. In this case the majority of these companies will ask for a CV in Word format, instead of PDF. This is because the content of a Word document can be more easily read by their operating system. The opposite is true of a PDF document.
-> Advantage for Word
Divide Your Information Into Clear Sections
All the information on your resume should be divided into clear sections. This makes your resume easier for employers to scan through and find the information theyre looking for.
At a minimum, here are the five resume sections you need to include:
If you want to highlight more information on your resume, you can add additional sections for things like your volunteer work, awards, or publications.
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How To Ace Your Next Interview
Youve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, its time for the next step – the dreaded job interview.
Whether youre an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someones prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isnt the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and youll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers.
Putting It All Together
Whew! Did you get all that?!?
We promised you a much deeper look into resume formats and I think weve managed to deliver just that!
Making sure you have the right resume for the right job means more than just filling in your qualifications, it means selecting the right format and ensuring that youre organizing it properlyand now, thanks to this article, you shouldnt have any problems!
And as alwaysgood luck!
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Applicant Tracking Systems And Your File Format
ATS is software which the majority of companies now use to screen your resume. The resume the ATS processes as a good match for the position are sent forward or recommended to the hiring manager.
Over 76% of resumes submitted aren’t considered, and an incorrect file type may be one of the reasons why. Other resumes are scored poorly by the ATS for lack of keywords, experience mismatch, or complicated formatting. Always send a Word document to ensure your resume goes through.
Also note that a PDF may be locked, meaning that an ATS would be unable to scan the text in your resume.
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Name The Cv File Properly
A CV is a professional document and the file name will be seen when its attached to emails, so take a few seconds to name it properly.
If I receive an email application and the CV attached has a messy name like 01978373final draft or Daves admin CV then I will instantly get the impression that the candidate is a bit sloppy not a great start if you want to get shortlisted for roles.
To format your CV in the best way to name your CV is simply use your full name followed by CV.
This is how a recruiter will view your application so the file name matters hugely when it comes to CV formatting and making the perfect CV.
Renaming a file is pretty easy take a look below
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Email Body For Sending A Resume: Keep It Crisp Yet Formal
Start off with a formal greeting and address the hiring manager by name .
In the first short paragraph you should state who you are, why you are sending this email and what the email contains.
Continue the next paragraph with a short but effective introduction of your best and proudest achievements. Of course, only mention those achievements that are relevant for the job. Close this paragraph by saying what value you would bring to the company and which skills you will use to accomplish this. In the closing paragraph you need to say that youre looking forward to hearing back from them and meeting in person. You may add a captivating call for action but be careful not to sound rude or overly keen.
Yours faithfully or Yours sincerely .
And finally, a professional signature is a must! Remember to include your contact details.
Remember, you want to keep the body of the email short and succinct. Dont go in too much detail otherwise you might loose the hiring managers attention.
Keep in mind that you simply cannot elaborate on every accomplishment and every work experience due to limited space. The email needs to be informative and concise
Result: Resume Pdf = 3 / Resume Word = 2
In our opinion, the best format to make your resume is in PDF. However, many recruiters are still not ready for a PDF resume and will prefer a resume in Word. For this reason we recommend you save your CV in both formats.
That way, you can send both versions of your resume to the recruiter via email and let them choose according to their preference. This will not only show your capability, but also your professionalism. One positive point!
Remember, the new version of Word offers the option to save your curriculum vitae in different Word formats. Be sure to choose Word 97/2003 or PDF. By doing this you wont have compatibility issues with your document.
The PDF Creator software is a free program that will allow you to save your documents in Word, Excel, unmodifiable PDF or others. Thanks to this software your CV will be free from any modifications.
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How To Make A Resume In 2021
For most job-seekers, a good resume is what stands between a dream job and Choice D. Get your resume right, and youll be getting replies from every other company you apply to.
If your resume game is weak, though, youll end up sitting around for weeks, maybe even months, before you even get a single response.
So youre probably wondering how you can write a resume that leads to HR managers inviting you to interviews daily.
Well, youve come to the right place!
In this guide, were going to teach you everything you need to know about how to make a resume:
How to Make a Resume – Step by step
So, lets dive right in!
Good Cv Formatting Wins Interviews
CV Formatting is extremely important and can quite literally make the difference between getting an interview or not getting an interview.
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Read Also: Resume File Name
Use Bullet Points For Your Work Experience
All the details of your work experience should be formatted in concise bullet points that highlight some of your key professional accomplishments.
Each bullet should start with a specific action verb that highlights what you did while at your previous or current job. You should also include hard numbers when possible to illustrate the exact impact you made while working in each role.
For example, mention the estimated dollar amounts you saved, number of sales you made, or customers you helped.
Heres an example of a resume experience section that uses good resume formatting:
Top 5 Resume Formatting Tips
1.Keep your format simple: Remember, you have 10-20 seconds to snag a hiring managers attention. Presenting them with a resume thats overly crowded, hard to read, confusing or just plain messy isnt going to get you the jobits going to get you thrown out. Watch your spacing, font size and margins. Keep it legible!
2.Keep it professional: Avoid cute fonts, gimmicks, scented paper, glitter, odd shapes, or anything that could potentially make an employer look at your resume and question your sanity. Dont print on cheap paper. Show an employer youre serious about the job.
3.Focus on what you did for past employers, not just the job you held. Anyone can push a button. Why were you the best button pusher there was? What set you apart from every other button pusher who came before you and will come after you? Dont just outline the job description. What were your accomplishments while doing that job?
4.Make sure youre selecting the resume format that best reflects who you are, your work history, and the job youre applying for. Keep in mind employment gaps, career trajectory, where you are in your industry, and where you plan on going. Make sure youre selecting the right format resume .
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Can I Send A Resume As Html And Txt Files
HTML and TXT formats should generally never be used when submitting a resume.
The only time you may want to use a TXT format would be for job board submissions that donât allow you to attach your resume.
To save your resume as a TXT file, simply follow the same steps we outlined above regarding Docx and Doc. After you click save as, choose âPlain Textâ or âTXTâ when you save it.
Formatting Your Margins And Spacing
When you format your resume you want to make sure that your leave enough margin space to allow for printing. If you try to adjust your margins and make them too narrow in order to fit more into your page, you run the risk of critical information being cut off if an employer prints it out.
Inversely, making your margins too large will leave your resume looking boxed in and squished. The general rule is to set your margins at one inch on all sides.
Think of your resume as a piece of fine artwork. Your margins should create a beautiful frame around it. If youre truly desperate for space, you can slightly adjust your top and bottom margins but try to avoid adjusting your side margins.
In terms of the spacing, keep your resume to single-spaced with a blank line between each section of your content.
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The Compatibility Of Word/pdf
If your resume is destined to be sent to many recruiters that have a PC or Mac, its important that your CV is visible when opened independently.
First, its important to know that Word has several different versions, such as: .doc and .docx . Nevertheless, many people are still using the 97/2003 version of Word. For this reason we recommend that you save your CV in this doc format to avoid compatibility issues.
On the other hand, its important to note that files in PDF format, dont have any of these inconveniences. This means that a PDF resume will be readable in Mac or PC without any problem whatsoever. It will be compatible with all computer versions.
-> Advantage for PDF
The Chronological Resume Format
This format works best for those with a long history of work experience. Each place of employment is listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent role first. Its followed by your education, skills, and any additional information. This makes it easy for recruiters to get an idea of your professional history, presented in an easily digestible format.
Why you should use a chronological format
- If you want to show career progression
- If you want to showcase different workplaces
- If you want an easily-recognized format to tell your story
Chronological resume example
Use a classic font that is easy to read, avoiding anything thats too decorative.
A resume is not the time to get creative with imagery. Depending on the role, a photo might help but anything else might distract from the information. Oh, and no emojis.
- Section headers
Often a resume is filled with words so section headers make it easy to navigate. Its better to make these stand out with a bold text, box, or color.
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When Should You Use A Reverse Chronological Resume Format
Are you on a steady career path that demonstrates vertical progression and continual career advancement?
Do you have a steady record of continuous employment without any significant gaps between jobs?
Are you currently applying for a position that is in the same field that youâve been working in, or one that is similar enough to make your previous experience relevant?
If so, then the reverse chronological format could be the best resume format for you!
When To Use A Chronological Resume
A chronological resume is a good choice for anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, advancing career path. For example, you might select a chronological resume format if youve spent the past several years in the same industry and each role youve held was more senior than the last. Its also often used by people who are applying to a position in the same or similar field to the majority of their work experience.
However, if you have multiple gaps in your employment history, youre looking to change careers or your work experience is heavily varied, you may want to consider a functional or combination resume.
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The Perfect Resume Format For Changing Careers
There is near-universal agreement among the experts when it comes to which resume format is best suited for those who want to switch their careers. The hybrid format is ideal for that purposeâand for several obvious reasons:
Organization: the hybrid format combines all your best and most attractive features into one neatly-composed package. It begins with skills, which is exactly what recruiters want to see when they recognize that your prior work experience is in another industry or job type.
Balance: the hybrid resume also succeeds in incorporating important information about your education and work history. Those chronological features help to demonstrate that your skills have practical application in the work environment. Thatâs critically important for recruiters who need to know that your skills can be applied on behalf of their company too.
Optimization: your hybrid resume can also be used to highlight those less tangible skills that every employer is seeking. Your skill at communication, leadership, and customer relationship management are all invaluable abilities that translate well from one job path to another.
In short, if you find that your career path needs a change, but are uncertain about which resume type will best enable you to get another company to notice you, the hybrid format definitely deserves consideration. Here are some more tips that can come in handy when switching careers.