Crafting a resume for your dream job? Your resume’s format is more important than you might think.
If the information on your resume isn’t laid out in a way that’s visually attractive, intuitive to follow, and highly scannable, a hiring manager isn’t going to see or retain that information. Spacing, layout, fonts, and your resume’s overall visual appearance all affect its readability and effectiveness. It’s one of the reasons so many job seekers elect to use a professional resume writer.
A well-written resume can take hours to create and polish.
So it’s understandably discouraging when the document you spent hours crafting doesn’t make it past the dreaded applicant tracking system (ATS).
Whether you’re creating a new resume from scratch, or polishing an existing one, it’s vital you use the right format if you want to get noticed and stand out to hiring managers. But what’s the difference between different formats – and which is the best resume format to use? Here’s the information you need:
Chronological vs. Functional Resumes
There are two common types of resume formats:
- Chronological Resume Format: This is where you list your most recent work experience first and then work backwards. This is the most common resume and for good reason: hiring managers prefer this approach.
- Functional Resume Format: This format focuses more on skills and abilities, rather than listing a reverse chronological work history. It can be tempting to use this type of format to hide career gaps and/or job hopping. However, hiring managers are savvy and will quickly pick up on the tactic. In fact, we strongly recommend against using a functional resume format.
So now that we've ruled out a functional resume format, what does a chronological resume entail?
This is the best resume format to use because it’s simple and easy to follow for hiring managers. It includes:
- Your name, email, phone and city/state at the top.
- A one (maximum, two) sentence branding statement highlighting your unique background.
- Your work history listed in reverse chronological order, with bulleted points under each job title explaining your role and relevant achievements.
- Your educational history, including the school where you went, the year you graduated and your degree.
- Any other pertinent information, such as volunteer experience, technical skills, or other abilities that are important for a potential employer to know about.
Need more help with your resume?
Check out our resume templates for some great examples. Or simply give us a call. We know the best resume formats to use in 2018, all so you can stand out to employers and get a call for an interview. To get started or learn more, contact us today at 832.930.7378.
Resume writing sounds easy enough. You write out your job history and experience, then sit back and wait for the interview offers to come in. But when it comes to actually putting pen to paper, many candidates get stuck. With so much on the line, it’s a lot of pressure. Where do you even begin?
Start with the format of your resume. Once you have your work and education history properly organized into a clear format, the details become a lot easier to edit.
So, what’s the best resume format?
The answer’s easy: Reverse chronological. This is where you list your employment history in reverse order. It means your current job will be at the top of your resume and you’ll work your way backward through your career history, with your oldest job being last. Each position on your resume should include your job title, the company name and location, and the dates of employment, with a bullet list of responsibilities and accomplishments underneath.
September 2013 – Present
- Responsible for greeting customers in person and on the phone…etc.
That said, there are many schools of thought about the best resume format to use, with some recommending creating a functional resume. Rather than listing work history in order, this type of resume focuses instead on skills and experience. For instance, it puts the most relevant positions and experience you have front and center, whether it’s your most recently held job or not.
The problem with this type of resume is that it’s often used to hide a spotty work history or big gaps in employment. Hiring managers know this, which is why functional resumes are often a red flag for them. Not only that, but the reverse chronological resume is the industry standard for resume formats in 2017, 2018 – and beyond – and the format most hiring managers favor. That’s why it’s the best resume format to use.
If, however, you have decades of experience and aren’t quite sure how to get it all to fit, list your most recent 10 to 15 years of work experience in reverse chronological order. Then create a headline for “Prior Work Experience” and simply list out your job titles, employer names and dates of employment.
Need more help creating a resume that gets results, so you can land a great job?
Call ResumeSpice. As one of the country’s leading professional resume writing services, we know the best resume formats to use, as well as what hiring managers look for on resumes. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.
Most job seekers know that their resume is the most important part of their application packet. Having a subpar resume can easily land you in the discard pile, so it’s important to get it right the first time.
But, with the plethora of information available on how to write a resume, do you really need a resume writing service to handle the work for you? Some people feel confident handling the formation of their resume alone, while others would prefer the help of a professional. However, in many cases, you don't know what you don't know. There's a tremendous amount of advice online, but how much of it accurate information that you should be a following? A true resume expert can put you on the right path with techniques that actually work.
However, there are certain circumstances where choosing a resume writing service is a very smart move. Here are a few to consider.
When You’ve Been Off the Job Market
If it has been a while since you were a job seeker, it could be wise to work with a resume writing service. Why? Because the standards used to judge resumes have changed significantly over recent years and it can be hard to restructure your last resume based on current trends.
A professional resume writer understands the idiosyncrasies associated with these documents as well as how to make your information stand out from the crowd. They have often spent years studying the form and function of resumes, effectively giving them insider knowledge that you don’t possess.
When You Need Personalized Advice
Even if you have a general understanding about constructing resumes, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from professional advice. If you have your dream job in your sights, working with a resume writing service can ensure the document is properly tailored to the position, upping your chances of scoring an interview.
Personalized advice can also be helpful if you are about to take a big step in your career. If you’ve recently finished a degree or gathered enough experience to make a leap forward, working with a resume writing service helps ensure you don’t miss any key details simply because you aren’t as familiar with what the upper-level hiring managers want to see.
Another instance when you can benefit from professional advice is in dealing with a gap in your career. Resume writing services understand how to minimize these deficiencies, allowing your resume to be viewed more favorably when it is reviewed.
When You’re Not Getting Results
If you’ve been sending your resume out for months and you haven’t landed an interview, then this could also be a sign you need a professional resume writer on your side. Sometimes, it’s hard to spot issues in your own writing, and having another set of eyes on your resume might allow issues to be more easily identified. Resume writing services can make important modifications to your resume, ensuring it makes the best impression possible and helping you score more interviews.
If you think you could benefit from some resume help, the team at Resume Spice wants to hear from you. Contact us today and see how our professional services and skilled consultants can provide the assistance you need to succeed.