Letter & Resume Tips

Resume Formats 2020 — Types that Work Best8 min read

December 11, 2019 6 min read
resume format

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Resume Formats 2020 — Types that Work Best8 min read

Read­ing Time: 6 min­utes

Your resume is more than just a doc­u­ment. It acts as a link between you and your poten­tial employ­er. Your resume for­mat show­cas­es your qual­i­fi­ca­tions, your skills, your accom­plish­ments. It serves as your first impres­sion because it reach­es the recruiter before you do. Think of it as a mech­a­nism to mar­ket your­self to your dream com­pa­ny. So your resume for­mat must stand out from the mass­es that are com­pet­ing for the same posi­tion as you.

Resume for­mats dif­fer accord­ing to the candidate’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions and work expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, a fresh­er look­ing for his first job will not have much to high­light in terms of expe­ri­ence.

But he can show­case his skills, tal­ents, and achieve­ments in a way that draws imme­di­ate atten­tion. On the oth­er hand, a pro­fes­sion­al who has been in the indus­try for more than a decade has lots of work expe­ri­ence and exper­tise which he can proud­ly dis­play on his resume. 

Key Elements For A Resume Format: 

  1. Per­son­al Infor­ma­tion: Every resume has to begin with the per­son­al infor­ma­tion of the can­di­date. This includes the name, address, email, and con­tact num­ber. This infor­ma­tion is essen­tial as it is the first thing that the recruiter reads. Also, your con­tact infor­ma­tion is impor­tant for them to reach out to you in case they are inter­est­ed in your appli­ca­tion.
  2. Objec­tive: This is your chance to get cre­ative. In an objec­tive, you get to phrase your pur­pose of job search. It can high­light what you are look­ing for, and also some of your skills which fit in with the desired role.
  3. Edu­ca­tion: In this sec­tion, as the name sug­gests, you write your qual­i­fi­ca­tions, the sub­jects you stud­ied, the school and boards you attend­ed, along with the rel­e­vant dates. This can serve as an excel­lent chance to men­tion your suit­able back­ground that makes you per­fect for the desired job. 
  4. Work Expe­ri­ence: Under this sec­tion, the can­di­date gets to talk about all the work expe­ri­ence they hold along with the com­pa­nies they have worked for and for how long. 
  5. Awards and Hon­ors:  Under awards and hon­ors, a can­di­date can men­tion all the achieve­ments and recog­ni­tion they might have gained over the years. But it is impor­tant to keep this rel­e­vant to the posi­tion you are apply­ing for. This sec­tion usu­al­ly comes at the end of the resume.

Types Of Resume Format: 

Gen­er­al­ly, there are three types of for­mats that are most com­mon for a resume. 

  1. Chrono­log­i­cal Resume 
  2. Func­tion­al Resume
  3. Hybrid or Com­bi­na­tion Resume

Chronological Resume Format:

The chrono­log­i­cal resume for­mat is the most well-known and usu­al­ly the default tem­plate for writ­ing a resume. As the name sug­gests, it show­cas­es your work expe­ri­ence in chrono­log­i­cal order.

This for­mat starts with either the cur­rent or most recent job posi­tion fol­lowed by the one before it and so forth. It dis­plays both your job role as well as the dura­tion you spent doing that job. It is usu­al­ly rec­om­mend­ed to include no more than 10 years of expe­ri­ence and elab­o­rate only on the first three job posi­tions in your resume, leav­ing the rest to be quite brief.  

Here is a sam­ple resume tem­plate for Chrono­log­i­cal For­mat:

John Doe

928-xxx-xxxx

[email protected]

linkedin.com/in/johndoe

Objec­tive

A pro­gres­sive-think­ing grad­u­ate from Ari­zona State XYZ Uni­ver­si­ty with a BA in Eco­nom­ics and an appetite for dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tions. Eager to join the media indus­try as a Con­tent Cre­ator to help exe­cute con­tent strate­gies, as well as cre­ate amaz­ing con­tent admired by the audi­ence. Com­pre­hen­sive back­ground in writ­ing and edit­ing dig­i­tal con­tent. 

Expe­ri­ence

June 2018–September 2018

Com­pa­ny XYZ

SEO Intern

  • Oper­at­ed with 3 SEO ana­lyt­ics tools to review rel­e­vant key­words along with edi­to­r­i­al super­vi­sion.
  • Worked with 2 man­ag­ing edi­tors to ensure arti­cles are opti­mized for Google.
  • Worked with the edi­to­r­i­al team to for­mu­late and pub­lish new con­tent ver­ti­cals.

Edu­ca­tion

XYZ Uni­ver­si­ty, 2016

Bach­e­lor of Arts, Eco­nom­ics

Rel­e­vant course­work:

  • Lin­guis­tics
  • Cog­ni­tive gram­mar
  • Sta­tis­tics 

Key achieve­ments:

  • Win­ner of a stu­dent essay-writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion
  • Edi­tor-In-Chief of booksnbeyond.com—online mag­a­zine

Key Skills

  • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion (writ­ten as well as ver­bal)
  • Search Engine Opti­miza­tion
  • Google Ana­lyt­ics
  • SEM­rush
  • Adobe Pho­to­shop

Inter­ests

  • SEO
  • Graph­ic design

Is Chronological Resume Format For You?

Chrono­log­i­cal Resume is not rec­om­mend­ed for fresh­ers or those who are seek­ing entry-lev­el jobs as it high­lights the lack of expe­ri­ence in the can­di­date. It is also not rec­om­mend­ed for those who have a gap in their careers. But it is excel­lent for expe­ri­enced work­ers who have a great sto­ry to tell and high­light their mile­stones over the years. This for­mat is also what most recruiters pre­fer and are famil­iar with. 

Functional Resume Formats: 

Unlike a chrono­log­i­cal resume, a func­tion­al resume is best for fresh­ers because it high­lights your rel­e­vant skills, tal­ents, and achieve­ments instead of focus­ing on your expe­ri­ence.

Work expe­ri­ence is not empha­sized, in fact, it is added right at the end men­tion­ing just the com­pa­nies and the dura­tion of the job. Since this kind of resume for­mat show­cas­es a candidate’s skills, it is also called “Skills-Based Resume”. 

Here is a sam­ple resume tem­plate for Func­tion­al For­mat:

John  Doe

(123) xxx-xxxx

[email protected]

Objec­tive

Expe­ri­enced and ver­sa­tile pro­fes­sion­al with strong met­ro­pol­i­tan out­lin­ing as well as peo­ple, man­age­ment, and research skills seeks a posi­tion in urban plan­ning and envi­ron­men­tal impact analy­sis with a prin­ci­pal city or For­tune 500 com­pa­ny.

Qual­i­fi­ca­tions

  • Back­ground man­ag­ing direct trans­porta­tion plan­ning and pro­grams
  • Adept at man­ag­ing urban plan­ning pro­grams and peo­ple
  • Able to antic­i­pate and project orga­ni­za­tion­al change
  • Back­ground as an admin­is­tra­tor of office oper­a­tions

Skills

  • Skilled in Gov­ern­ment Guide­lines
  • Qual­i­ty Con­trol
  • Urban Plan­ning
  • Geology/Hydrology
  • Site Eval­u­a­tions
  • Com­put­er Soft­ware Tools
  • Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Mit­i­ga­tion and Research

Employ­ment His­to­ry

ABC Corp.

Senior Process Engi­neer, Sep­tem­ber 2016-Present

ABC Corp.

Process Engi­neer: Tech­ni­cal Sup­port, Sep­tem­ber 2012-Sep­tem­ber 2016

Stars Corp. 

Tech­ni­cal Pro­fes­sion­al, Sep­tem­ber 2010-Sep­tem­ber 2012

Edu­ca­tion

Mas­ter of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion (2015)

ABC Uni­ver­si­ty

Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (2012)

XYZ Uni­ver­si­ty

Is Functional Resume Format For You?

A func­tion­al resume is the best kind of resume for­mat for fresh­ers i.e. can­di­dates who don’t have rel­e­vant work expe­ri­ence to show. It is also per­fect if you have a lot of incon­sis­ten­cies and gaps in your careers. Those who are con­tem­plat­ing to switch their field or try­ing to enter a new kind of indus­try with no pri­or work record can also use this type of for­mat to high­light the skills they pos­sess which might work well for the desired job role. 

Hybrid Or Combination Resume Formats: 

As the name sug­gests, this type of resume for­mat is a com­bi­na­tion of both chrono­log­i­cal and func­tion­al resumes. It adds the strength of both for­mats and gives you the best of both worlds.

Hybrid Resume For­mat high­lights your skills and tal­ents as well as your work his­to­ry and achieve­ments, hence pro­vid­ing equal empha­sis to both ele­ments. 

Here is a sam­ple resume tem­plate for Hybrid For­mat:

John Doe

IT Man­ag­er

[email protected]

202-xxx-xxxx

linkedin.com/in/johndoe

Skills Summary

Pro­gram­ming and App Devel­op­ment

  • Refined and built 20+ mobile apps and 30+ web­sites imple­ment­ing an excep­tion­al user expe­ri­ence.
  • Named BCD M&E’s “Top Pro­gram­mer of The Year” for three con­sec­u­tive years 2009–2011.
  • 15+ years of expe­ri­ence in C, C++, Cocoa, and Objective‑C.

Lead­er­ship

  • 8+ years of expe­ri­ence in team man­age­ment (teams of 10–50 col­leagues) and project coor­di­na­tion.
  • Designed and imple­ment­ed a new IT man­age­ment mod­el with Apple’s New York Branch, increas­ing the quar­ter­ly pro­duc­tiv­i­ty by 33% and result­ing in an increase in employ­ee sat­is­fac­tion.
  • Trained and men­tored 50+ junior devel­op­ers for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion exams (88% suc­cess rate).

Addi­tion­al Skills

  • Adobe Pho­to­shop
  • InDe­sign
  • CRM Plat­forms
  • Google Ana­lyt­ics

Experience

IT Man­ag­er

EFG Corp.

2013-Present

  • Accom­pa­nied the IT team in for­mu­lat­ing mobile apps pro­vid­ing the best user expe­ri­ence for cus­tomers.
  • Pol­ished, eval­u­at­ed, and exam­ined inno­v­a­tive and new appli­ca­tions using sur­fac­ing tech­nolo­gies.
  • Guide for peo­ple that present tech­ni­cal sup­port and instruc­tion while work­ing in con­junc­tion with the busi­ness team. 

Senior IT Pro­fes­sion­al

XYZ Corp. 

2006–2013

  • Devel­oped, reviewed, and test­ed web­sites for inter­nal and exter­nal stake­hold­ers, led inno­va­tion in mobile appli­ca­tions.
  • Coop­er­at­ed with pro­cure­ment teams in opti­miz­ing pro­cure­ment process­es.

Soft­ware Engi­neer

ABC Glob­al

2003–2006

Education

MS in Com­put­er Sci­ence

The City Col­lege of ABC

2002

BS in Com­put­er Sci­ence

The Uni­ver­si­ty of XYZ

2000

Is Hybrid Resume For­mat For You?

The hybrid resume works best for peo­ple seek­ing mid to senior-lev­el posi­tions as it empha­sizes both, your work expe­ri­ence as well as the rel­e­vant skills you have mas­tered over the years. So it is rec­om­mend­ed for those who have a dis­tinct career record as well as recent col­lege grad­u­ates.

Those can­di­dates who are mak­ing a change by apply­ing for a high­er posi­tion can use this for­mat to show their amaz­ing skill set which is nec­es­sary for the job, all the while not remov­ing focus from the rel­e­vant work expe­ri­ence they have. 

Tips To Make A Professional Resume:

  1. Try to keep your resume crisp and pre­cise. Avoid exceed­ing more than 1 or 2 pages.
  2. Be hon­est but not neg­a­tive. Be hum­ble but not brag­gy.
  3. Avoid includ­ing too many details in per­son­al bio, like birth­days, mar­i­tal sta­tus, reli­gion, etc.
  4. Don’t use per­son­al pro­nouns (I, me, etc) 
  5. Prac­tice easy to read font with font size with­in 12–14.
  6. Use web­sites that pro­vide the option for resume for­mat down­load to make your resume.
  7. Uti­lize pre-made resume tem­plates avail­able on the inter­net or MS Word to avoid errors.

Washija is a versatile writer. She has a passion for content creation and is an avid reader.
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