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The Job Seeker’s Ultimate Guide
to Resume Formats

Build a Resume Now

You’ve found the perfect job opportunity—now it’s time to land the interview. Whether you’re applying for your first job or for the next step in your growing career, it’s important to use a resume format that showcases the best you. Below, find JobHero’s guide to the three standard resume formats to help you choose the one that’s the right fit for you.

3 Standard Formats for Writing Your Resume

There are three traditional resume formats recruiters and hiring managers are familiar with: chronological, functional, and hybrid. Each format has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to consider your work experience and skills when determining the format that’s right for you. Each of these formats can also help with getting a resume through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), as they are all standard and accepted formats.

Learn about an ATS and how to get your resume past one.

Chronological

Resume Format
  • Prioritizes
  • Work History
  • Best FOr
  • Highlighting consistent work history
  • DRAWBACKS
  • Makes gaps in work history evident

Functional

Resume Format
  • Prioritizes
  • Accomplishments & Skills
  • Best FOr
  • Showcasing skills when work history has gaps
  • DRAWBACKS
  • Work history information is minimal

Hybrid

Resume Format
  • Prioritizes
  • Accomplishments & Skills
  • Best FOr
  • Mid- to senior-level career professionals
  • DRAWBACKS
  • Resume page length could exceed two pages

Chronological

Resume format

Chronological

Resume format

The standard format most job seekers choose to use is the chronological resume format. This format highlights work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent work first. Chronological format is a good choice if you have consistent work history in the same industry.

This format is good for:
  1. Job applicants applying for a position within their current industry
  2. Those with a long work history and record of accomplishments with little to no gaps in work history
  3. Job seekers applying to a well-known company, as this is the preferred format of most recruiters
  4. Learn more about the Chronological Resume Format.

Functional

Resume format

Functional

Resume format

A functional resume, also known as a skills-based resume, highlights a job seeker’s skills, rather than work experience. Functional formats are a great choice for those who have limited work history or who have worked in multiple industries. Using this format allows you to tailor your skills to align with the chosen position’s job requirements.

This format is good for:
  1. Job applicants who have held short-term positions or internships, have completed freelance work, or possess experience in multiple industries
  2. Job seekers with significant gaps in work history, with minimal work experience, or who are returning to the workforce
  3. Applicants transitioning into a new career
  4. Learn more about the Functional Resume Format.

Hybrid

Resume format

Hybrid

Resume format

The third standard resume format choice of job seekers is the hybrid resume, or combination resume. A hybrid resume format highlights both your skills and work experience, making it the perfect blend of the functional and chronological resume formats. This format is a best choice for applicants who are highly specialized.

This format is good for:
  1. Job seekers who are experts in their field or who have a significant amount of work experience
  2. Those who have consistent work history in the same industry
  3. Job applicants seeking a career change.

Resume Writing: 4 Tips from the Pros

Whichever format you prefer for presenting your experience, here are some important overall tips to keep in mind when writing your resume:

Make Your Name & Contact Info Stand Out

Place your personal information in the header of the resume page. Present your name in a slightly larger font size to help it stand out.

Write an Impactful Objective

Write a short two-to three-sentence paragraph that speaks to your overall objective, summarizes your work experience, and explains why you would be a great fit for the position.

Shoot for Less Than Two Pages

Try to keep your resume under two pages , if possible. Recruiters can receive high volumes of resumes and two pages is the preferred maximum.

Keep It Professional

Don’t add unnecessary design elements or colors that could make your resume look unprofessional or interfere with its readability. The safest bet is to stick with a black font on a white background.