The word resume surrounded by question marks

How to Format a Resume

by Lauren Hardy, on February 18, 2020
Part of creating a resume is choosing the right format to explain your work history.

Crafting the right document means choosing a resume structure that attracts hiring managers and reflects your relevant skills, experience, and education. Here are some resume formatting basics to aid your job hunt

Resume Basics
Before you dive into the details, you need to establish a basic structure for your resume. Here are some baseline elements to consider in your layout:
  • Margins should be one-inch on all sides.
  • Pick a standard, easy-to-read font such as Calibri, Arial, or Verdana.
  • The font size should be 11 or 12 pt.
  • Divide your resume into sections and add a space between each section.
  • Use bullet points to highlight certain features.
  • Line spacing should be single or 1.5.
  • Avoid photos or graphics that clutter your resume.
  • Try to limit your resume to one or two pages.

A well-structured resume projects a professional image. Also, hiring managers like resumes that are clean, organized, and easy to scan. If your resume is cluttered, wordy, or hard to follow, it is likely to be passed over.

Choosing the Right Resume Format

How you organize, prioritize, and display your qualifications will depend on the type of job you are applying for, where you are in your career, and which information is most relevant. Different formats can help you organize your resume in a way that best represents your professional profile.

The four most common types of resume formats include:

1. Chronological: List your work history, starting with the most recent job. If you have a solid history that aligns with the desired position with no gaps in employment, a chronological resume format may be your best option.

2. Functional: Your skills and experience appear on the resume first, with less emphasis on times and dates. If you have gaps in your employment or are switching your career path, you may prefer a functional format.

3. Combination: A combination resume format allows you to detail your experience and skills while presenting a narrative of your history. This type of resume is most suitable for a more comprehensive profile.

4. Targeted: All information directly targets the position you are applying for with little room for marginal additions. When you create a targeted resume, you should have a sharp focus on accuracy and conciseness without embellishments.

Whether your prospective employer views your resume on a laptop, phone, or paper, your resume's readability is vital to you being considered for the job. It pays to create and present a professional resume that truly stands out. 

Looking for a new job or career path? Check out our current job listings. 
Lauren Hardy

Lauren Hardy is a Human Resources Specialist and valued member of the LandrumHR team. She is a Florida native with eight years of HR experience, three of which have been in the staffing industry. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys cooking, traveling, spending time at the beach, and attending local sporting events.

View more blogs by Lauren Hardy