Each resumes is written to tell a story about what you’ve done, what you will bring to the company, and eventually who you are. The more conveying a story is, the more chances you have to land an interview. At the same time, a resume is an extremely flexible document that allows job seekers to adjust their experiences and skills depending on their target jobs and career goals.
In other words, candidates can alter the format of the document as well as tweak their content based on their needs and wants. However, the challenge is to know which resume format will help you tweak the story in a way that will land more interviews.
Unfortunately, not many job seekers are concerned about choosing the right resume format to showcase their accomplishments and skills. One format doesn’t fit all (and unlikely ever will).
1) Reverse Chronological FormatThis is the number one choice for most job seekers. Although it may seem that a reverse chronological resume is somewhat ordinary, employers and recruiters prefer this format over the others. The reason is simple – a reverse chronological format allows hiring managers to quickly skim through the document and locate necessary information (remember that decision-makers on average spend 6-10 seconds on reviewing a resume).
This format implies you will list your work experiences starting from the most recent ones. This helps to hire managers to see one’s recent experiences first, which is exactly what they want. Besides, this layout helps see career progression, including which positions you have held and for how long.
Therefore, candidates with consistent work history that have an upward career trajectory should choose a reverse-chronological format. It helps narrate a story with the most recent plot and flows in the reverse order of occurrence.
Because this particular resume format places a huge emphasis on work experience it is sometimes criticized for being experience-based rather than accomplishments-based. However, one can easily substitute generic bulleted statements with the list of accomplishments. This way you will be able to show the results of your work under each employment.
If you are an entry-level candidate or you have significant career gaps and inconsistent employment history, you may want to consider one of the resume formats below.
Use this format if
- You have no employment gaps
- Your recent work experience relates to the target job
- Most of your work experience is in the career field you want to land your next job in