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The format of your resume is a crucial element that can help capture the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager and help you stand out from other applicants.

There are several different ways you can format your resume depending on your background and objectives. Our recruiters from Southwest Search share the best ways for your career objectives. Let’s check them out!

Pro Tip: You can use a free professional resume template online or we have also provided a general template that you can download in the link at the bottom of this article.

Chronological Resume

 A chronological resume lists your work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent position at the top. This is considered the most traditional resume format.

A typical layout for a chronological resume typically includes the following layout:

  • Contact information
  • Objective or summary statement
  • Relevant skills
  • Professional experience
  • Education
  • Additional information (i.e., volunteer work and special interests—optional)


When should you use a chronological resume?

This is a great choice for anyone whose employment path has shown a consistent career path and growth. This is a great choice for someone who wants to stay in their current industry.


Functional Resume

A functional resume is different than a chronological resume. It tends to focus on relevant skills rather than work history.

A typical layout for a functional resume typically includes the following layout:

  • Contact information
  • Objective or summary statement
  • Summary of relevant skills
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Additional information (i.e., volunteer work and special interests)


When should you use a functional resume?

If you have had a long gap in your work experience, are a first-time worker, or are making a change in your career path, a functional resume might be the best option for you. By highlighting skills that transfer across industries and your most relevant accomplishments, you can emphasize the right qualifications for the position you want. This also prioritizes the information that’s most important to a recruiter rather than focusing on a work history that doesn’t align with the job.


Formatting a Resume

Indeed took a survey where they polled recruiters about formatting resumes for success. Let’s look at each of these components in detail. Consider how you might apply each of these when drafting or updating your resume.


Margins Matter!

Setting proper margins for your document ensures the information fits within the readable space on the page. Standard margins for resumes and other professional documents are one inch on all sides.

Pro tip: Make sure to Left-align all the text on your resume. It is the easiest format for reviewers to read.


Select a Font that is Readable

When selecting the font for your resume, be sure to select one that is easy on the eye. You should also avoid “light” or “thin” fonts which can sometimes be difficult for people to read on a screen or paper. Also, keep your font sizes to 10-12 points. Anything smaller or larger can be hard to read or look unprofessional.


Bold your Section Headers

By bolding or increasing the font size by one or two points for section headers can help employers quickly find the information they are looking for. You can also apply these styles to your name and contact information at the top of your resume.


Ask for Feedback

Make sure to ask a friend or colleague for feedback. It can be helpful to have an outside perspective and feedback. While they should look for grammar and spelling mistakes you might have missed, they should also pay attention to your formatting.

Are you ready to get started? Use the link below to download a resume template (formatted for Word) to help you stand out above the rest!

Are you looking to make a career change or just exploring a new job opportunity? Let our team of recruiters at Southwest Search help make your transition easy and find you the perfect opportunity no matter where you are in your career. Head to the contact us page and get in touch with us today. It’s free and easy!

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