There are differences between a resume format and a resume template. Below is a brief description of four different types of formats commonly used by job seekers.
Chronological Resume Format
A chronological resume in which the information is organized dates the most recent position, working backward 10-15 years. This stresses the positions you held and the companies where you worked.
Recruiters and hiring managers like this resume format because it’s easy to read and demonstrates job seekers’ continuous career growth. This format is used when the individual has steady advancement, no employment gaps, and is applying for the same work.
Functional Resume Format
Relevant skills or functions organize a functional resume. These accomplishments are near the beginning of the resume, rather than with past jobs. The record of employment is listed but without responsibilities. Hiring managers and recruiters dislike this resume format, as it’s easier to disguise a poor work record. This works well for problem careers, job hoppers, older workers, career transitioners, academic deficiencies, or limited experience.
Combination Resume Format
A combination resume mixes the above formats. Information is organized in relevant skills and functions, followed by job titles, companies, and a brief description of responsibilities. This powerful presentation shows relevant skills and accomplishments initially but is later supported by the strong employment section.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) Format
There is also the Curriculum Vitae and an electronic scannable resume. Many job seekers confuse the difference between a curriculum vitae and a traditional resume. In certain parts of the world, a curriculum vitae is preferred over a resume.
Many job seekers will use this resume style when applying overseas. A resume tends to be shorter, more concise, and only contains information pertinent to the jobs it is being used to apply for. If you are submitting a curriculum vitae, it will be longer and more comprehensive. CVs are often used when applying to academic programs and degree programs.
Keep personal information at the top of your resume, including name, address, telephone number, cell phone, fax, and email address.
After the identifying contact information is the type of job or career you wish to secure, this is not mandatory. Still, the resume and cover letter should focus on the position and skills required with or without it. Avoid clichés and meaningless sentences. Example “challenging full-time position that will be rewarding and offer room for advancement.”
The remainder of the document depends on the resume format chosen. List in order of the most relevant education or experience. Again professional judgment makes a difference. Various factors in background and experience determine the choice.
After the education and employment sections, you can include other information (honors, affiliations, community work, languages).
Prune unnecessary words and proofread your resume numerous times. Get someone else to assist in proofreading – you don’t want any typos.