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Tips and Examples of Three Common Resumes 2021

You can format your resume in various ways, but the most common resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination .

A good resume can catch the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager and assist you to shine from other applicants. You can format your resume in various ways, but the most common resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination. Each of these resume types can be useful according to your background and objectives. When making particular formatting choices such as margin size or font style, you aim to hand over an easily scannable document that permits employers to quickly figure why you’re a good fit for the job. In this guide, we will explore the best ways to format your resume for your career objectives. Let’s start by looking at the three main types of resumes and which would be best for you.

What are the most popular resume formats?

The three most common resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination. Consider your professional history and the role you’re applying for when deciding which resume format you should use to consider your professional history and the role you’re applying for. If you have limited work experience, for instance, you might instead focus on academic work, volunteer positions, or apprenticeships with a functional resume instead of a chronological resume, which prioritizes job history.

In the next sections, we’ll explore each resume format type in detail, including which is best based on common job search situations.

Resume format 1: Chronological resumes

A chronological resume lists your work experience in reverse-chronological order, beginning with your most latest position at the top. This is the most traditional resume format and for many years continued the most common.

The format usually includes the following information in this order:

  • Contact information

  • Objective or summary statement

  • Relevant skills

  • Professional experience

  • Education

  • Additional information (i.e., volunteer work and special interests—optional)

When to use a chronological resume

A good option for anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, advancing career path. For instance, you might choose a chronological resume format if you’ve used up the past several years in the same industry and each role you’ve held was more senior than the last. It’s also frequently practiced by people applying to a position in the same or similar field to most of their work experience. However, you may want to consider a functional or combination resume if you have numerous gaps in your employment history.

Resume format 2: Functional resumes

Focus more on connected skills than work history. The functional format focuses on the applicant’s skill set related to the role you are applying for.

A functional resume format typically counts the following information in this order:

  • Contact information

  • Objective or summary statement

  • Summary of relevant skills

  • Work experience

  • Education

  • Additional information (i.e., volunteer work and special interests)

When to use a functional resume

If you have one long gap or numerous employment gaps in your resume in the past five years, are a first-time worker, or are drastically changing career paths, then consider a functional resume. By highlighting skills that transfer across industries and your most relevant accomplishments, you can stress the right qualifications for the position you want. This also prioritizes the information that’s most crucial to a recruiter rather than focusing on a work history that doesn’t associate with the job.

Resume format 3: Combination resumes

A combination resume is a mixture, of the chronological and functional resume types. This resume format allows you to stress both your work experience and related skills. Because your skills and employment will consume most of your resume space, you may need to eliminate optional sections such as a summary statement, volunteer work, or special interests.

A combination resume format typically includes the following information in this order:

  • Contact information

  • Objective or summary statement

  • Summary of most relevant skills

  • Work experience

  • Education

The combination resume is a more flexible format, so you should list either your skills or your work experience first depending on which you consider more important for the role. For instance, if you have lots of unique skills that are specifically useful to the industry in which you’re applying to work, you might consider listing them above your work experience. It can also be helpful to search for clues in the job posting to understand what is most important for the employer in an ideal candidate.

When to use a combination resume

A combination resume may be best for you if you're making a small career transition or have various employment history related to the role you’re applying for may not be straight away clear. For instance, you might use a combination resume if you’re applying for a people manager position and you have broad experience managing teams but you’ve never officially had a “manager” job title. This format can help showcase your leadership achievement and transferable leadership skills.

Related: How To Format a Fresher Resume (With Tips and Examples)

Why are these the best resume formats?

These three resume formats are some of the best options because they’re easy to read and the most likely to be processed through an ATS without critical errors. Recruiters often have to review many resumes for one job role. They can read a resume in a standard format more easily and thoroughly because they know where to find the information they’re looking for. For instance, if a role needs a special skill, a recruiter will search for it in your skills section, either above or below your work experience. They have a restricted amount of time to go through reviewing each resume, so they may move on and assume you don’t possess the qualification if it takes too long to find the correct information.

How to format a resume

The aim of formatting your resume is to build a professional-looking, easy-to-read document. Employers have a limited time to look through your resume, so your formatting choice should make information clear and easy to find.

1. Apply appropriate margins.

Setting proper margins for your document ensures the information fits within the readable space on the page. Standard margins for resumes and other professional documents like cover letters or resignation letters are one inch on all sides. If you require more space to describe your related skills and experience, then you might reduce your margins to .75 inches. If you decide to adjust your margins, you should keep them at or above .5 inches. Text that spans outside .5 inch margins is often left out when the file is converted to a PDF or processed by an ATS.

2. Select a professional, readable font.

When deciding what font to use for your resume, keep in mind that it should be clear and easy to read. There are two main categories of fonts which are serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have tails while sans serif fonts do not. Sans serif fonts (or fonts without tails) are generally good fonts for resumes because they have clean lines that are easy to read. However, there are fonts like Georgia that are still widely accepted among employers as simple and professional. Here are few examples of the best fonts for a resume:

  • Avenir

  • Calibri

  • Cambria

  • Constantia

  • Corbel

  • Franklin Gothic

  • Garamond

  • Georgia

  • Gill Sans

  • Helvetica

3. Make your font size 10 to 12 points.

Generally, you should stay between 10 and 12 points. If you have a shorter resume and are trying to fill space, select a 12-point font. Anything larger might appear unprofessional. If you have a lot of information on your resume, start with a 10-point font and increase it if you have space. If your resume is still more than one page with 10-point font, avoid reducing your font further. Instead, see if there is an opportunity to make your ideas more concise by removing any unrelated or extraneous information, combining ideas, or making your ideas briefer with shorter sentences and fewer filler words. Here are a few other ways you can use to make a shorter resume:

  • Consider removing filler words such as “like,” “with,” “a,” “and” and “that.”

  • Instead of listing each function of every job you’ve held, pick 2-3 key impacts you made in those roles.

  • If you have two similar points, consider combining them into one brief statement.

  • Adjust the spacing between sections.

4. Feature section headers

Bolding, underlining, or increasing the font size by one or two points for section headers can help employers quickly find the information they are searching for. Section headers should be differentiated from the section body in a clean, professional way. You can stylize your headers in a few different ways:

  • Use a “bold” font on your section headers.

  • Increase the size of your section header fonts to 12 or 14 points.

  • Underline your section headers.

5. Use bullet points where appropriate.

Using bullet points in your experience, skills, or education sections helps employers to easily read the most relevant information from your background. Bullet points should be used to list your achievements. Avoid using only one or two bullet points in a single section. If you have less than three pieces of information, simply list them without bullets in sentence form or use other punctuation to separate different ideas. For instance, when describing a role you’ve held in the experience section of your resume, you would use bullets to communicate how you were successful in that role:

  • Consistently operated overhead cranes, hoists, power tools, and other project equipment safely

  • Anticipated needs of 11 on-site workers and delivered parts to 23 field technicians

  • Completed weekly service reports, time cards, and other related project equipment paperwork

6. Ask for feedback.

After finished writing and formatting your resume, ask trusted friends or colleagues to review it. It can be helpful to have an outside perspective and feedback. While they should look for grammar and spelling mistakes you might have missed, they should also pay attention to your formatting. Ask them to look for readability, consistency, and a professional look and feel.

Resume without a good formatting is not a 'good' resume. We must understand that recruiter has many resumes to go through for one job position. A neat and formative resume would be such a favor to the recruiter and it'll leave a good impression on you. Thus, your chances to be employed is high. You can increase your chances too by registering at Recruit Hero where we provide better talent insights for candidates to be best matched with more relevant and in-demand jobs available in Malaysia. For more info, follow our social media accounts, Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter!


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