The 3 Best Resume Formats for Jobs in 2024 [+ Examples]

The best resume format prioritizes and points hiring managers straight to your top qualifications and puts the spotlight on the critical sections of your resume. This article features the best resume templates, top strategies and expert advice on how to pick the right format for an effective resume.

By Gabriela Bercenas | Content Strategist
Last Updated: May 13, 2024


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What Are the Three Resume Formats?

A resume format refers to how you organize the critical sections of your resume. The three most popular formats are chronological, functional and hybrid Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

What Are the Three Resume Formats?

The best resume format does three crucial things for your job search:

  1. Helps you score well on applicant tracking systems (ATS).
  2. Points hiring managers and recruiters directly to your best qualities.
  3. Downplays or reframes potential employment red flags like frequent job changes or lack of experience.

Choosing the right resume format for you will depend on your experience level!

Pro Tip


We use the term “resume format” to refer to how you write and frame the critical employment information on your resume. This term is often confused with resume formatting or layouts, which is how you set up the fonts, margins and structure of your document. Don’t worry — we’ll cover basic resume formatting rules below.

The chronological resume format includes five sections in this order:

  • 1. Name and contact information
  • 2. Summary statement or resume objective
  • 3. Professional work history
  • 4. Skills
  • 5. Education

A functional resume format includes six-to-nine sections:

  • 1. Name and Contact Information
  • 2. Summary Statement or Resume Objective
  • 3. Summary of Qualifications
  • 4. Professional Skills
  • 5. Work History
  • 6. Education

Additional optional sections:

  • 7. General Skills
  • 8. Digital Skills
  • 9. Additional Skills

A hybrid resume format includes five sections in this order:

  • 1. Name and Contact Information
  • 2. Summary Statement or Resume Objective
  • 3. Skills
  • 4. Work History
  • 5. Education

You can use our Resume Builder to shift and add resume sections based on your unique job-seeking needs.

How to Format Your Resume

Regardless of your resume format, make your resume easy to read by human eyes and applicant tracking systems (ATS). Follow these seven resume-formatting rules to help your qualifications stand out.


Having the right font will make your resume easy to read by the employer and the ATS scan. Go with a clean, clear font. Choose a font that is classic and easy to read. Avoid cursive, casual or fancy fonts like lobsterpacifico or comicsans.

The standard font size is between 10-12 points. The only acceptable larger font is for the header, which can go up to 14 to help mark the start of a new section. We recommend formatting your resume with the following fonts.



Use standard 1-inch margins along all four sides of your page. This helps maintain whitespace and minimize eye strain, making hiring managers more likely to read your resume. If you need more space, you can reduce your margins by half an inch, but no smaller.


Resume sections

Organizing your information into resume sections like Work History and Skills helps employers quickly find the information they need to fill open positions. You can mark your resume sections by choosing resume templates with clear borders along each section, adding an extra line break to create more white space, or using special font treatments or color.

Resume sections


Resume section headers give hiring managers a visual of where sections start and end. Give your headers special font treatments like a slightly larger font size, bolded or underlined text, or a different font color to help them stand out.


Bullet points

Bullet points or numbered lists make it easier for hiring managers to quickly find key information and easily scan your resume — rather than huge blocks of text. Using these short bulleted entries marks each of your core accomplishments or responsibilities.

Bullet points

Line spacing

Using strategic line spacing, also known as paragraph breaks, can help you add visual balance to your resume, create natural borders to distinguish the start and end of each resume section, and help avoid eye strain.

You want to use a single or a 1.15-line break within each resume section and a 1.5 or double-space line break between each resume section to help balance out blocks of text.

Line spacing

File format

Different operating systems can reformat or resize your resume, accidentally making it difficult to read. You can minimize this risk by submitting text, PDFs or Microsoft Word documents. Our Resume Builder relies on resume format downloads in these optimized file formats to help improve your application response rate.

File format

How to Choose with Resume Format Examples

To decide which resume format you should use, consider how your skills and experience match your desired role. Each resume format has a different focus, whether chronological, functional or hybrid/combination.

Here’s a quick guide with sample resume formats to help you choose the right layout for your job search.


The chronological resume is the most traditional and recognized resume format. This format dedicates the most page space to your work experience and is ideal for job seekers with over 10 years of experience.

pros Pros

  • This straightforward resume format is easy to scan and read. It quickly provides recruiters with a clear outline of your best accomplishments related to each job.
  • This format organizes your work history with a reverse-chronological timeline, showing your career progression and consistent employment.
  • This resume uses five consistent sections and headings, making it easy for applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan and grade your job application accurately.

cons Cons

  • The main focus on work history makes it easy for employers to spot work gaps or short stints with previous employers.
  • This format also highlights a need for more experience and non-transferable work experience from other industries.

Chronological resume format examples:


The functional resume is skills-focused rather than career or education based. This highly customizable resume is the best format to showcase your transferable skills and work-related training. Use this format if you have zero to three years of formal job experience.

pros Pros

  • Works great for recent high school and college graduates, career changers, people returning to the workforce or people with informal experience.
  • This resume format highlights relevant skills you’ve gained from an unrelated position or volunteer efforts.
  • The customizable nature of this format means you can create unique skills sections to highlight digital skills, marketing skills, construction skills and more.

cons Cons

  • The customizable nature means inconsistent section headers and layouts. This resume won’t score well with ATS used by Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn or Workday, to name a few.
  • Some employers find this format difficult to read because it starts with a bullet list of skills-based accomplishments instead of a timeline-based work history.
  • The minimal information related to your previous dates of employment can be read as a potential red flag.

Functional resume format samples:


A hybrid resume format, also known as the combination resume, combines the best parts of the chronological and functional resume formats and is organized to highlight both your skills and work history.

This format showcases your job-relevant skills and employment history with a clear timeline. We recommend this resume format for job seekers with three to nine years of experience, career changers or those applying for a promotion.

pros Pros

  • This format can help show off your career progress and potential with your developing skills, training and employment history.
  • Helps highlight promotions and professional development.
  • Hiring managers can easily read and find information and employment history.

cons Cons

  • The chronological focus of the work history makes it easy to spot work gaps.
  • The work history can also highlight frequent job-hopping or short-term jobs, making you look unfocused or unreliable.
  • The equal focus on a list of skills means this document can get longer than a traditional chronological resume. Some hiring managers don’t read past the first page, making this a risk.
Pro Tip


The hybrid resume format is also a great fit for military personnel transitioning to a civilian job. With this format, they can show how to apply their skills to the job they seek.

Combination resume format examples:

Why Use Our Pre-formatted Templates?

Writing a resume can be pretty overwhelming. However, you can build a professional and powerful resume in no time with a pre-formatted resume template.

There are tons of benefits to using a template to create your resume. Let’s highlight the top six reasons why JobHero’s pre-formatted templates will work for you.


Impressive layouts

A great-looking resume format is the best way to impress recruiters even before they meet you. Use a simple and readable template design that makes it easy for recruiters to follow your career accomplishments. Our pre-formatted templates have consistent spacing and the right fonts to create a visually appealing online and printed resume.



Templates save you time by simplifying your formatting! Instead of starting a resume from scratch, a pre-formatted template allows you to personalize your resume, section by section, easily. With preformatted borders, fonts and margins, we have the best resume formats to create your resume faster.



JobHero’s extensive resume templates are easy to use. Simply answer the questions based on your experience and industry and follow the prompts to complete each part of your resume.


Premium and free templates

Choose from various premium or free downloadable designs. Our templates let you build an effective, comprehensive and compelling resume to convey the message of who you are. Our resume templates are designed for every industry and job.



Our templates feature automated keywords and pre-written content and phrases to describe your skills, experience and accomplishments. These pre-formatted templates offer industry-specific terminology to help you create a targeted resume.



If you want to stay competitive in today’s job market, your resume must be ATS-friendly. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are automated software employers use to scan resumes for relevant keywords. Our templates are ATS-compliant because they are formatted in a way that is easy to scan. Our automated prompts also suggest the specific keywords needed to make your document distinguishable from the rest.

What Customers Have to Say About Our Builder

Resume Formats FAQ

What is the best resume format for any job in 2023?

For most candidates, the best resume format in 2023 is reverse-chronological. This type of resume format lists your resume information, work experience and education starting with the most recent job and working backward.

Recruiters also prefer this format because its neat timeline makes it easy to follow your career progression. The reverse-chronological resume format is:

  • Easy to read.
  • ATS-friendly because it is easy to scan.
  • Highlights your professional achievements.
  • Fuses the best parts of the chronological and functional resume formats to make your qualifications stand out in a neat timeline.

What are the top three resume formats today?

There are three main resume formats — reverse-chronological, functional and combination (hybrid). Each has a unique strategy based on your level of experience.

1. Chronological resume format

The best choice for most experienced candidates. Focuses mainly on the job seeker’s current and past career progress.

2. Functional resume format

Is ideal for fresh graduates or anyone with gaps or switching careers. Puts the spotlight on your skills instead of experience.

3. Combination (hybrid) resume format

Merges the best formats by combining the reverse-chronological timelines and highlighting your most marketable skills and achievements.

Can I change my resume format in JobHero’s builder?

Yes. JobHero’s Resume Builder lets you change and personalize your templates. Our extensive library of customizable, free downloadable resume templates is designed for every industry and job.

Once you pick your favorite template, you can effortlessly change the design or template.

Step 1: Find a template and click it to edit.

Step 2: Personalize the template with your career experience, font choice and colors.

Step 3: Proofread, download your resume and get it ready to send!

Are JobHero’s resume formats ATS-friendly?

The answer is yes! JobHero’s resume templates are designed for applicant tracking systems (ATS).

These beautiful resume templates have the proper layout, easy-to-read fonts and standard formatting. They are industry approved and make your resume ATS-friendly.

What is a good resume format for a student?

The best resume format for high school or college students is the functional resume format. This format prominently focuses on skills and education.

A functional resume puts your academic achievements as your most marketable highlights. You can highlight volunteer work, expected graduation date, awards, recognitions and internships.

This format is suitable for candidates without much relevant work history. Functional resumes emphasize the student’s strengths and abilities while downplaying a lack of work experience.

A functional resume is ideal if you:

  • Have little to no experience.
  • Are re-entering the workforce.
  • Are making a career change.
  • Want to focus on skills you’ve used in several unrelated jobs
  • Want to highlight your research and volunteer experience.