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Writing a resume may seem like a daunting task, especially when you haven’t done it in a while. You go online and… the number of different resume styles out there is overwhelming. Which one to choose? What is the best resume style for your situation?
That’s exactly what this article will help you find out.
In this article, you’ll see:
- What the three classic resume styles are.
- Which resume style is best for your needs.
- Examples of different modern resume styles.
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1. Resume Styles and Formats
There are three classic resume styles: chronological, combination, and functional. Each resume style differs from the other and works best for job seekers in different professional situations.
Let’s have a look at all of these resume styles one by one.
Chronological Resume Style
The chronological resume style is arguably the most popular of all resume styles. Its clear structure and high readability have been appreciated by both job seekers and recruiters the world over. Plus, it’s the most parsable resume style for ATS software as well.
The chronological resume highlights your job experience (the most important hiring factor to many recruiters and managers) and presents it in a reverse-chronological manner. This way your most recently held position appears at the top of the document and the previous jobs come next.
As you can see in the example above, a typical chronological resume consists of the following resume sections:
Chronological Resume Style—Sections
The chronological resume style is suitable for most candidates, including:
- Entry-level job seekers
- Mid- to senior-level candidates
- Job seekers pursuing corporate openings
In the vast majority of cases, the chronological resume style will work for those who pursue a steady career path as well as for career changers.
If you’re among the latter, read our comprehensive guide on how to write a career change resume.
Functional Resume Style
The functional resume style differs from chronological in several crucial respects. First off, it highlights your skills on a resume rather than experience. This is why a large portion of the resume’s real estate is taken up by a resume objective and a summary of skills.
Notice that the experience section is really kept to the absolute minimum. This is a deliberate choice that’s supposed to direct the recruiter’s attention entirely to your skills. In fact, the functional resume style often lacks dates and can help you hide career gaps on a resume.
Mind you though, studies reveal that most recruiters are primarily looking at your previous experience. So do ATS systems used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies. Why is this important? If your resume is to be assessed on the basis of the experience section, it will look pretty unimpressive if you go for a functional resume style.
So, who is this resume style suitable for? First off, for those who want to send their resumes straight to the hiring manager’s inbox thus bypassing the recruiter- and bot-scanning stages. Second of all, for candidates whose professional situation isn’t standard, including:
- Military transitioners
- Portfolio-based job seekers (e.g. artists)
- Candidates who don’t want to look overqualified
You may be interested in having a look at our step-by-step guide on how to write a military to civilian resume.
Combination Resume Style
As the name suggests, this resume style combines some elements of the other two. The space you get on a resume is evenly distributed between two main resume sections:
- Qualifications summary
- Professional experience
Qualifications summary (also referred to as skills summary) is a hybrid of a professional summary and a more traditional list of skills. The experience section on a combination resume style should focus on highlighting your professional achievements.
Also, just like all the previous resume styles, this one lets you include all sorts of additional resume sections, such as:
Expert Hint: Regardless of the resume style you choose, make sure your resume is targeted at a particular job offer. Generic resumes may seem easier to write but you may need to send hundreds of them before your phone rings.
So, who is this resume style good for? A combination resume style will work for seasoned pros targeting a specific position. It may prove quite handy and flexible for the needs of career changers. Also, people who want to conceal employment gaps may be inclined towards this resume style.
Also, your safest bet is to send this resume type straight to the recruiter’s inbox as some ATSs may have a hard time parsing it.
Comparison of Three Best Resume Styles—Infographic
The infographic below will help you see the main differences between each of the three resume styles:
Remember, when choosing the style of your resume do consider your professional situation as well as the mode of delivery. Not all resume styles will be compatible with ATS solutions used by large companies.
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2. Modern Resume Styles
It would be a huge understatement to say that the three resume styles discussed above are the only ones available out there. Thanks to increasingly advanced resume building tools and many candidates wishing to stand out from the crowd, the latest resume styles can assume a variety of forms.
Have a look at our selection of different resume style templates to see what options you have and find the style that’s right for your professional situation.
Infographic Resume Style
Infographic resume styles are suitable for all kinds of creative job seekers. However, if you use them, see to it you send them directly to the recruiter or hiring manager as they’re bound to fail the initial ATS scan.
Infographic Resume Style—Examples
Portfolio Resume Style
Portfolio resumes are a great choice for visual artists who want to give the recruiter a quick glimpse into their best works. Obviously, they can include links to larger galleries on their resume websites, for example.
Portfolio Resume Style—Examples
Expert Hint: Before you decide to use any of such unique resume styles, make sure both your professional context and the company profile warrant using them. Otherwise, you risk submitting a document that apart from not landing you a job may become a subject of office jokes. This is particularly important if you’re considering making a video resume.
Professional Resume Styles
The sheer variety of current resume styles is astounding. But too much choice might cause lead to the so-called paradox of choice where you may feel overwhelmed and end up never being satisfied with what you choose.
That’s why simplicity always comes out on top. The best resume style? In a word: professional. Here’s a selection of several professional resume styles that will always work.
One-Page Resume Style
The advantage of using the one-page resume format style is its compact size. Recruiters spend only several seconds looking at any resume initially, so they’re quite unlikely to look at page two anyway. Plus, if you set yourself with a limit as to your document’s length you’re more likely to only pick out your professional highlights. One-page resumes are great for writing your first resume with no experience.
Two-Page Resume Style
As your experience grows, so will the length of your resume. A two-page resume style is fit for you if your relevant experience calls for more space to be shown in its entirety. Mind you, relevant experience. If you fill two pages with things unrelated to the position you’re pursuing your resume will land in a bin, rather than land you an interview.
Expert Hint: See to it that the style of the resume header is the same on your cover letter. This way it will be obvious that both documents are part of the same document set.
Simple Resume Style
Simplicity never goes out fashion. Simple resume styles are universal enough to fit into any job-seeking context. It doesn’t matter if you’re making an accounting resume, a graphic designer resume, or preparing a resume for an internship.
Expert Hint: Your resume doesn’t need fancy ornamentation to look great. It’s often enough to use good resume font styles to achieve an aesthetically pleasing effect.
Executive Resume Style
Experienced job seekers need professional-looking resume styles that offer enough space to encapsulate a wealth of experience in an approachable format. That’s why a two-column resume is the way to go. Such a resume layout will let you make the most of the space you get on a single page. The one we present here also includes a nice visual with your initials.
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There are three main resume styles: a chronological resume, a functional resume, and a combination resume. Each of them is suitable for job seekers in different professional scenarios.
Apart from these three, there are many new resume styles candidates may consider using such as infographic resumes or portfolio resumes.
You should always base your choice of the resume style on your professional situation, experience, and the kind of company you’re applying for. For example, if you’re looking for a gig as a photographer you can experiment with a creative resume style. However, if you’re pursuing a managerial role, a more traditional and professional resume style will be your best bet.
How did you like our article on different resume styles? Do you have any helpful tips for choosing the best one? Let’s talk about it in the comments below, and, as always, thanks for reading!