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Resume Layouts: Best Examples for 2024 (+Writing Tips)

Your resume layout needs to be clean and scannable. Otherwise, recruiters will reject your resume in 7 seconds. Luckily, this guide will show you how to do it right.

Resume Layouts: Best Examples for 2024 (+Writing Tips)

First impressions are important.

That's why you need to choose the best resume layout there is.

Truth be told, hiring managers don't read all resumes, they scan them. That's why if you want the job, your resume needs to help them to make the right choice.

In this guide we’ll show you:

  • Three most popular resume layouts for different types of jobs. 
  • How to pick the best resume layout for your needs.
  • Different layout templates - simple, professional, creative, basic, and modern 

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Looking for more information on resume writing? See our other articles:

Looking for more resume examples? Check out these ones:

1. Basic Rules for Resume Layout

There are certain basic formatting rules that can help you create a good resume layout in no time.

Set the Document Margins

If the resume is a picture of your professional life then the margins are the frame—you need to make sure they don’t dominate the whole. The best size for resume margins is 1 inch all around. If you need more space, don’t make the margins smaller than 0.5 inch.

Prepare an Eye-Catching Header

The resume header is the topmost section of a resume that includes your contact details. See to it that it has all the relevant (and up-to-date) info. Make it pop out so that the recruiter won’t have to fumble for your phone number if they want to give you a call.

Pick the Best Resume Fonts

Comic Sans, Papyrus, Neuland Inline. None of those should end up on your resume. Not even if you go for the most creative resume layout. So what resume fonts to use? Simple and legible. Your resume is a professional document, so don’t spoil it with a theme park font that’s difficult to read.

Also, you need to strike the right balance between the font size and document length. Don’t make the font look minuscule to be able to fit in as much as you can on a single page (if you have too much information, write a two-page resume). For body text use the font size of 11–12pts. For section headings, use 2–4pts larger fonts.

Expert Hint: Studies reveal that it’s recommended to avoid extremes when it comes to line spacing. So stick to single-line and if your text looks too dense increase the spacing to 1.15. But avoid double-spaced lines.

Use Relevant Section Headings

The most important thing about your resume layout? It has to be scannable. One way of making it easy for the recruiter to scan is to use appropriate resume section titles. So, put the word Experience above the experience section, don’t call this section My Life in Numbers, for example. With simple headings, you can rest assured that both the ATS and recruiter will know exactly where to look for the information they’re after.

Pick a free MS word resume template or a Google Docs resume template if you want to speed up the process. 

Include the Right Sections in Your Resume Layout

Typically, resume layouts consist of several separate but interrelated sections. Here’s a list of most commonly used ones:

Depending on the section, you will want to use different formatting to make the most of the space you have. For example, the career summary works best as a short paragraph, whereas a list of bullet points is perfect for presenting your experience and key achievements.

Set the Right Limits on Length

Einstein famously said everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. As to the length of a resume, it should be as long as necessary, but not longer. Don’t try to squeeze everything into a single page and don’t write a novel. Two pages should be more than enough to present your expertise.

2. How to Choose a Good Resume Layout for Your Professional Needs

Now that you know how to format your resume layout properly, let’s have a closer look at how to make the most of your document.

There are three common resume layouts: chronological resume, functional resume, and combination resume. Each of them has certain strengths and weaknesses, and you should be aware of them before you start making your resume.

Resume Layouts: Three Most Popular Types

Three Types of Resume Layout

The chronological resume is the most universal type of resume layout. It’s suitable for job seekers at all stages of their careers: from students to entry-level applicants to seasoned pros. This kind of layout recounts your professional life in a reverse-chronological manner. However, since it’s based on a timeline of your employment history, it may not be the number one choice for those with employment gaps.

Here’s a chronological resume layout example:

Create your resume nowresume layout chronological

The functional resume brings your skills to the fore. In contrast to the previous resume layout type, this one isn’t preoccupied with chronology or dates. In fact, you can skip dates entirely if you’re not comfortable using them. Functional resumes are a good choice for creatives who treat a resume as an addition to their portfolio, or those who want to mask gaps in employment.

Here’s a functional resume layout example:

Create your resume nowresume layout functional

The combination resume, as the name suggests, brings together the best elements of each of the other resume layouts. It usually consists of a large section that summarizes your skills and smaller experience and education sections.

Here’s a combination resume layout example:

Create your resume nowresume layout combination

Now you know the three most popular resume layouts. 

However, if you're still struggling with resume writing, read our comprehensive guide on how to write a resume

You may also want to check our resume examples for different types of jobs and industries. It'll definitely help you get started. 

Let's now move to the gallery of resume layout examples 

Expert Hint: When should you use a resume, and when is it better to use a curriculum vitae? It depends. CV and resume actually have a different meaning across languages. Read about the difference between a resume and a CV.

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3. Best Resume Layout Examples: Gallery

Have a look at these resume layout ideas:

Professional Resume Layout

Create your resume nowprofessional resume layout

This resume layout consists of three distinctive sections—each of a different color. The main part of the resume is where the resume profile, experience, education, and certification sections are. The gray sidebar on the right gives you extra space for presenting your contact details and extra skills.

Simple Resume Layout

Create your resume nowsimple resume layout

This single-column resume layout is versatile enough to appeal to both experienced and inexperienced candidates writing an entry-level resume. Simple resume icons next to each section’s heading make it easy to navigate. The bars representing your level of proficiency make the resume skills section pop out.

Creative Resume Layout

Create your resume nowcreative resume layout

This creative resume layout incorporates an infographic-like timeline that guides the reader’s eye from section to section. The prominent resume header makes it easy for the recruiter to quickly find your personal details.

Expert Hint: Not all Free Resume Builders are ATS friendly. To make sure your creative resume reaches a human reader, send it directly to the recruiter's inbox.

Modern Resume Layout

Create your resume nowmodern resume layout

This two-column resume layout combines modernity with classical elegance. The main resume section gives you a lot of space for the details of your experience and education. Notice how visible the job titles are. The sidebar is where you can put your contact details and accentuate key skills.

Expert Hint: Studies show that recruiters only spend about 7 seconds scanning a resume. In this time they look at specific areas and search for particular information. Use bold and italics to direct their attention to the most important bits.

Basic Resume Layout

Create your resume nowbasic resume layout

This layout is minimal in form but utilizes the space on a single page to the maximum. Also, the qualifications summary section stretches from margin to margin giving you plenty of room to highlight your top achievements.

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.


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Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

Key Points

The best resume layouts highlight just the information recruiters look for as they’re scanning the resume for the first time.

  • See to it that your resume layout is simple and clear. Mark resume sections clearly and add relevant section titles.
  • Stay away from fancy fonts. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
  • Make sure your job titles stand out. They’re one of the things the recruiters are most interested in.
  • Do add a resume summary or objective. They serve as a short overview of the entire document.
  • Avoid messy look. Write short sentences and leave plenty of white space.
  • Pick the right resume format. Chronological resumes are the most versatile but you may want to consider functional or combination too.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your observations on the best resume layouts? We’d love to hear from you! Give us a shout out in the comments below.

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Resume Layouts

What is the best layout for a resume?

You need to choose one of the three main resume layouts, depending on several factors:

  • The reverse-chronological resume is the most popular layout and fits most applications. Use it if you’re an entry-level candidate or are making a resume for a position and field of work similar to your previous one. This layout works if you have no gaps in employment.
  • A functional resume is a great layout for hiding gaps in employment. It also showcases your transferable skills as your strongest suit. It’s great for industries that treat portfolios as the most important part of your application.
  • Combination resumes (chrono-functional resumes) are a hybrid of the previous two. They are usually used for writing career-change resumes. They work for industry professionals and can also hide gaps in your employment.

As a rule of thumb, the best resume layout is the reverse-chronological resume. This layout is the most ATS-friendly. It emphasizes your work experience, clearly showing the recruiter your strengths and the benefits you would bring to the company.

How to layout a resume?

Apart from choosing a fitting resume template, there are a few things you must do to create an appealing resume layout:

  1. Choose a professional resume font, and make the headings larger than the rest of the text.
  2. Make each resume section clearly separated from the others.
  3. Utilize bullet points to segregate information in a clear, visible way.
  4. Set proper resume margins, and utilize white space on your application.
  5. Maintain consistent resume formatting across the entire document.
  6. Don’t go overboard with the length of the resume. Aim for 2 pages maximum.
  7. Pick a fitting resume template.

How to improve your resume layout?

To improve your resume layout, apply the following tips:

  • Prioritize Readability: Use a clean resume font with appropriate size and consistent formatting throughout.
  • Simplify and Streamline: Avoid excessive graphics or unnecessary information that can distract the reader.
  • Quantify Achievements: Numbers not only draw the reader's attention, but they also add credibility to your resume.
  • Optimize for ATS: Use an ATS-friendly resume template to pass the automated scanning stage of recruitment.
  • Customize for each application: Create a targeted resume to fit the specific job or industry you're targeting.
  • Proofread and Edit: Thoroughly review your resume for any typos, grammatical errors, or inconsistencies.

Remember to format your resume properly: Use a readable font, set 1-inch margins to create white space, use clear and bold section headings and utilize bullet points to present information in a scannable format.

What kind of resume layout do employers prefer?

Most employers prefer the reverse-chronological resume layout. It’s the most common resume style and works well with ATS software. It’s also the most familiar style to recruiters, making it the easiest one for them to read.

Should my resume and cover letter layouts be the same?

Your resume, cover letter (and, in some cases, your portfolio) are all parts of your job application. And all of them should maintain visual cohesion. It's recommended to maintain a consistent visual style and formatting between them. This primarily applies to the chosen visual template, fonts, and their sizes, resume header & contact information, and the overall structure.

How to layout references on a resume?

Including references directly on a resume is not a common practice. Instead, creating a separate document, known as a "References Page," is more typical, which you can provide to employers upon request.

Remember to always ask for permission from your references before including their information on your resume or sharing it with potential employers. Also, don't include the phrase "References available upon request" on your resume. It's generally understood that you will provide references if requested.

What is a portrait layout resume?

A portrait layout resume refers to a resume format that is designed and formatted vertically, with the longer side being the height of the page. In contrast, a landscape layout resume is formatted horizontally, with the longer side being the width of the page.

In such a resume layout, the various sections, such as contact information, summary, work experience, education, and skills, are arranged in a top-to-bottom sequence.

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW

Experienced in the education management industry, Maciej shares his knowledge for every step of your job hunt, from landing an internship to moving to an executive position. Maciej has helped job candidates at all stages of their career paths, from interns to directors to C-suite members, to thrive in their job. His mission is to help you find the right opportunity and create a job application that gets you the career you deserve. Maciej holds a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in communication and education management.

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