Resume Formats and Layouts - Best Practices

Knowledge base
Resume Formats and Layouts - Best Practices

A good resume can catch the attention of a hiring professional more seamlessly than anything else. It helps you to stand out from other applicants and increases your chances of getting a call back from the hiring team. Choosing the right resume format showcases your skills, optimizes your resume and will uplift your professional standard. 

Most Popular and Efficient Resume Formats

Although we can't claim a particular format as the best resume format; modern recruiters and HR professionals have narrowed it down to three standard resume styles. 



Hybrid or combinational

These three major formats cover almost all kinds of job seekers out there. Each format is designed to highlight the core strengths of the applicant or to cover flaws like employment gaps. 

Chronological Resume Format

This is the most standard and commonly used resume format. It is also known as the 'reverse-chronological' format. It lists your current or recent job at the top of your work history segment, followed by your previous experiences. This format is ideal if you want to show that your most recent work experience fits the applied job description.This format presents the candidate in terms of career growth and promotions. 

Chronological format is best for; people who are looking for a job change in a similar field, applicants who want to showcase their career progression and growth in a similar niche, and those who don't have large work experience gaps. If you are a job hopper or considering applying to a new industry this might not be the best format for you. 

The reverse chronological or chronological format lists your information in this order:

Contact details

Objective or summary statement

Professional experience

Relevant skills


Additional information 

This format is ideal for:

 Professionals seeking a career similar to their previous ones


Entry-level candidates

Candidates without relevant experience in the applied niche or industry

Functional Resume Format

This format outlines the resume in terms of skills and abilities. It focuses more on your skills than work history. The functional format is ideal for applicants with employment gaps as it removes focus from the work history. This format is ideal for; people who are reentering the workplace after a lengthy break, those who are looking forward to big career change in a different industry, and for people who want to focus on showcasing a specific skill set. You should totally avoid this format if you are an entry-level candidate or if you lack the relevant skills required for the job in question.

Functional format lists your information in this order:

Contact details

Objective or summary statement

Summary of relevant skills

Work experience


Additional information 

This format is ideal for:

Creative job seekers

Candidates who don’t want to seem overqualified

People who are planning to return to job after a break

Combination Resume Format

This format combines elements from functional and chronological resume formats to emphasize the work history and expertise of the applicant. It is ideal for applicants with relevant skill sets and a lengthy career history. If you are a master at what you do or if you want to transfer to a new industry, this might be the best format for you. Combination resume formats do not emphasize educational backgrounds so it is not appropriate for freshers and entry-level applicants.

Combination format lists your information in this order:

Contact details

Objective or summary statement

Work experience

Summary of most relevant skills


Work experience section and skill section can be swapped based on the layout or the applied job nature. Both of these sections will acquire the maximum space and hence adding other experiences or activities might clutter the resume. 

Resume Formatting: Effective Tips To Follow

Margins and alignment

Setting proper margins help in enhancing the readability of your resume.Usually, a 1-inch margin value on all sides is the standard, but if your content is shorter it can go as high as 1.5 inches. Unless your template has a design element that affects the text structure, it's always better to stick with left alignment. 

Font and font size

Experts agree that the font size shouldn't fall below 10.5" - 12". Here are some of the best font styles to choose from:

Book Antiqua



Trebuchet MS

Arial Narrow






Highlight content with section headers and bullet points

According to BeHiring, the average time spent by recruiters for a CV is 5-7 seconds. Recruiters do not read resumes -- they scan. Bolding, underlining or increasing the font size for section headers can help recruiters scan the document swiftly. Adding appropriate bullet points or lists on relevant sections will make the document look compact and neat. 

Do you have any queries about choosing the best resume format? Or if you think we missed out any relevant information on resume formatting, feel free to give us a shout in the comments section below. 


Top Job Categories       Related Articles
Delivery Boy Jobs         Tips For Writing Job Application Letter
Electrician Jobs Resume Headline Examples for Jobs
Accountant Jobs How To Write Leave Application
House Keeping Jobs Resume Formats and Layouts
Receptionist Jobs Tips and Tricks for your Technical Interview
BPO Jobs 4 Tips to Prepare for Overseas Video-Skype Interviews  
Customer Care Jobs  Common Interview Questions