Your Guide to 7 Different Types of Formatting for Resumes

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jan 27, 2020

Jan 27, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

In 2020, the unemployment rate is expected to average 3.5%. There'll be a slight increase to 3.6% in 2021 and then up to 3.7% in 2022.

While unemployment rates are far better than the usual average of 5.73%, there will still be an increasing trickle of unemployed people looking for a job. If you're starting to dread your current job, it may be a sign you need a career change.

A recruiter or hiring manager sifts through hundreds of resumes a day. If you hope to compete with other job seekers and come out successful, you need a winning resume.

The formatting you use for your resume is a huge aspect that affects how professional it looks. It can be difficult to know how to arrange all the information into a coherent pattern.

There are several different types of formatting to choose from for your resume.

What Is a Resume?

A resume is a concise document that summarizes your education, work history, credentials, awards, skills, and references. Sometimes a resume may also include a career summary objective within the format. Bulleted lists are preferred in resumes to help keep information organized and brief.

The three most common US resume formats are:

  • chronological
  • functional
  • combination

While these three styles typify the standard American resume format, there are other formatting options available. The type of format you use will depend upon the type of job you're applying for.

7 Different Types of Formatting for Resumes

The seven different types of resume formatting we'll cover are:

  • Chronological Resumes
  • Functional Resumes
  • Combination Resumes
  • Profile Resumes
  • Infographic Resumes
  • Tailored Resumes
  • Mini Resumes

Each style of formatting highlights something different about you in the resume. If you have an older version of your resume stored on your computer as a PDF, look into how to convert it to Word (like here: https://setapp.com/how-to/convert-pdf-to-word-on-mac) There’s no reason to start from scratch if you don’t have to.

1. Chronological Resume

This style of formatting puts your work history at the forefront and starts with the most recent job. Out of all the formatting choices, the chronological resume is probably the most common.

On average, the people in charge of scheduling interviews and hiring most prefer the chronological resume. It allows them to skim with ease while still gleaning pertinent work history information.

If you have extensive work history with a great record, this format option is a great choice for you. It can help to highlight that you’re a dependable employee who remains with their employer for years at a time. It can also serve to highlight how often you promoted.

2. Functional Resume

A functional resume focuses on two aspects of its formatting: skills and experience. A work history section is often replaced with something like accomplishments that help highlight achievements relevant to the career you're applying for.

The purpose of a functional resume is to center the skills you've developed over your career. If you have a time gap within your employment, this format is best suited to you. It takes the focus off of years of experience, and instead places it on the skills you have that make you the best-qualified candidate for the job.

3. Combination Resume

As the name implies, the combination resume combines aspects from both chronological and functional formatting. The top portion of the resume often focuses on skills and qualifications. After that, a work history is included in chronological order.

The work history in a combination resume isn't the focal point, so it's kept brief. The purpose of a combination resume is to showcase your skills that relate to the job you're applying for, then back up that information with work history.

4. Profile Resume

This style of resume creates a "profile" of you that functions as a sales pitch. The profile resume often includes a section for a summary of skills, experiences, and goals that correlate to the job being applied for.

If you have a vast amount of experience that's hard to fit onto your resume, a profile resume helps to sum all of it up. On the reverse, if you have little experience, the profile resume can help focus on your relevant skills related to the position.

5. Infographic Resume

For those seeking a graphic design job, the infographic resume is often preferred. They feature graphic design elements instead of relying on text to relay information.

6. Tailored Resume

If you're looking for a formatting option for your resume that is highly specific and tailored for a particular type of job, then this style is what you want. It highlights your unique experience and skills that tie into the career you're seeking.

Crafting a tailored resume takes longer than other standard formats. It forces you to be honest with yourself and remove excess information that doesn't somehow relate to the job you want. A tailored resume also helps provide you with talking points for when you introduce yourself to employers and recruiters.

7. Mini Resume

As you probably guessed from the name, this style of resume is short and to the point. They've been known to even fit on business cards. 

A mini resume is meant to give a brief overview of your career qualifications and achievements. It's not the standard resume you'd want to send to a job but is great for networking events.

Get Creative With Your Resume

Gone are the days when every resume looked similar. There are multiple types of formatting options at your disposal, each specialized at highlighting a specific aspect of yourself. 

Technology has helped to enable anyone to build an informative resume that is also aesthetically pleasing. Software like Word now comes preloaded with resume templates to help make the task easier than ever.

Be creative and try out different formats. It may take hours of your time to create multiple versions of your resume, but the effort will pay off. Instead of sending a resume that’ll blend in with the hundreds of others collecting in someone’s inbox, yours will stand out for its originality.

We hope this article on resume formats helped inspire you to try out several different options. If you feel like your resume is outdated and boring, it probably is! Increase your odds of hearing back from an employer by updating your resume with fresh formatting.

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