Resume Formats: Which Resume Format is Best for You?

Updated: Oct 23

Regardless of your background, work experience and career path, the goal of a resume is always the same:

  • to show off achievements and expertise

  • to minimize any potential weakness

To achieve this goal, a resume needs to present information in a logically displayed format that's easy on the eye - usually in one of the three standard resume formats: chronological, functional or hybrid.

However, considering the unique career paths job seekers may have, the resume format that succeeds in a job search may vary. Your particular circumstances will dictate the optimal resume format for you.


Read on to learn how to choose the right resume format to presents your skills in the best light.


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What are the main resume formats?


The main types of resume formats are:

Being aware of all three resume formats will help you make the right decision about which to use depending on your experience, skills and industry.


Being aware of all three resume formats will help you make the right decision about which to use depending on your experience, skills and industry.

Read on to learn more about each resume format.





Chronological resume format


When you think of a resume, you probably think of a chronological, or more precisely - a reverse chronological resume format.


It's the most popular and widely accepted resume format and the one used by most job seekers.

It lists all of a person's employment history in reverse chronological order starting with their latest job first. It also has a (reverse) chronologically listed education section that should include any schools attended, degrees earned, honors received, or certificates obtained.


The focus of this resume format is on a candidate's professional history and relevant accomplishments.


As such, it provides a simple way for readers to see how long someone has been in the workforce and what sorts of responsibilities they've had.


Typically, it entails the following sections:

  • contact information

  • career summary

  • work experience

  • education

  • skills

The reverse chronological resume format is the most beneficial for candidates in job search situations where the experience or achievement of an individual is the most valuable information. The main weakness of this resume format is its lack of emphasis on transferable or functional skills.