The resume format is the first and most important thing to consider. With so many formats online, choosing the wrong one can significantly negatively impact your positioning.

Remember, a good resume format is easy to scan and allows the most important information to stand out.

So, which of the various types of formats is the right one, or better yet, the one that is most suited for you?

Here are the standard resume writing formats you can choose from:


By far the most common and well-recognized resume format.

Lists your work history in reverse order, starting with your current or most recent job and working backwards.

For the most experienced personnel, this is the best option.

It is easy to write. Emphasizes steady employment record.

Employers like to see job titles, level of responsibility, and dates of your work history, especially the progression.

Use to display past career growth and development in the same career. Or when the name of a former employer may be significant to a prospective employer


This is a fantastic option for those just starting out in their careers or have limited work experience.

Focuses on skills and strengths important to employers.

Omits specific dates, names, and places & de-emphasizes a spotty work history.

Allows you to highlight specific strengths and transferable skills that might not be obvious when outlined in purely chronological order.

Use to showcase useful skills. Use it if you are a new graduate, have limited work experience, are changing careers, or doing freelance work, or you do not want to call attention to your age


Blends the flexibility and strength of the other two types of resume formats.

It’s a rare format, but it’s useful for career changers because it emphasizes their transferrable skills.

Shows off a strong employment record with upward mobility.

Shows how your past skills can apply to the new career/job you are seeking.

Used to show off your skills developed over time instead of the specific positions you have held.

Use when you are making a career change and the names of former employers may not be obvious to the prospective employers.

Also, remember that resume formats are country-specific, so do your research before starting to build one.

I have a series on this on my website To read about country-specific formats click here

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