What Type of Resume Writing Format is Best?

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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.

For instance:


Administrative Assistant

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.