Best Resume Format 2022

Samples and Tips for All Types of Resumes

CV San Francisco

To get your dream job, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd.

This means you need to think outside the box and get creative.

But not too creative.

You still need to structure your resume properly and make sure it can be read by any pesky ATS software while captivating recruiters.

What you need is a resume format template that makes your document look professional, visually appealing, and ensures it conveys information effectively.

In this guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know about the format of a resume and making the best possible resume for your profession.

Want to start your resume already? Try our resume builder. Choose a template with your preferred format. Fill it with info. Get help from our expert guidance, and download it in minutes.

Most Common Resume Formats

So you want to get ahead of the pack.

But to be the best, you have to beat the best.

And as the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them.

In the world of resume writing, that means using one of the verified resume formats which have been proven to work again and again.

These are the 3 bastions of resume excellence, which bring results more than any other type of resume format.

They are also the most common resume formats on the market today, and they go by the name of:

  • Reverse-chronological (also known as chronological resume format)
  • Functional (also known as skills-based resume format)
  • Hybrid (also known as chrono-functional or combination resume format)

But what’s the difference between the three?

Later in the guide, we’ll go through each format’s particular strengths and weaknesses, for now, here’s what each one’s main focus is:

  • The reverse-chronological resume format highlights your work experience more than anything else.
  • The functional resume format gives more emphasis to your skills and abilities.
  • A hybrid or combination resume format places equal importance on your experience and skills.

Keep reading to find out which one you should pick.

What is the Best Resume Format for Me?

So which resume format is the one that will help you scale the mountain of career success?

This might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it depends.

There are various details that will affect what resume format will bring you the most results.

And once again, we’ve compiled these for you below.

Here are the main factors you need to take into account when choosing a professional resume format:

Your level of experience

If you have a lot of experience in your field, then a reverse-chronological format will help you emphasize it.

What to write a resume with no experience? Go for a functional resume format to draw attention to your skills instead. Got a bit of experience and also a few skills? Try out a combination resume.

The field you want to work in

Looking for a creative position? Then pick a functional resume format that focuses more on your skills and portfolio projects.

While if you’re applying for a more managerial or strategical role, then a reverse chronological format will do a better job of illustrating your expertise.

If it’s a specialized technical position for highly experienced senior candidates, then a hybrid resume will bring you the best of both worlds.

Getting the hang of it?

If things are still a bit blurry, no worries, we understand.

This is a lot of new information to process. So here are some real-life examples to make things clearer about what might be the best resume format for you.

Real-Life Resume Format Examples

Michael is a developer who joined a big tech company straight out of college.

He’s worked there ever since, for a total of 5 years, and he now found an opening at a growing start-up that is scaling fast.

They’re looking for an experienced full-stack developer to take over the tech side of the business and manage their young programming team.

In this case, Michael needs to show his professional achievements and career progression to prove that he’ll be able to immediately perform if hired.

Which resume format did he use? A reverse-chronological resume. This type of formatting helped him highlight his successful work experience to the startup’s CEO, and he got the job.

Now let’s imagine a different scenario.

Valentina is a high school graduate that has helped her mom run their small family café ever since she was a youngster.

During these years, she learned everything from preparing and serving hot drinks, to picking appropriate desserts, and even cleaning and fixing the machines.

However, she doesn’t have any real barista experience to show. She wasn’t working on a regular basis as an employee, only occasionally helping out after school or during her summer holidays.

But what about all the skills she learned? She was already basically a full-blown barista while still in high school!

That’s what a functional resume format is for.

With this type of layout, recruiters would notice her plethora of skills, despite her not having held a real barista position in the past.

Now we move on to the pros and cons of this format versus the others, let’s take a look at one last example.

Clara is an entry-level nursing student that just graduated from nursing school.

But she’s not just any nursing student.

She spent a large portion of her studies volunteering at the Red Cross, helping out in homeless shelters, and she even completed an internship at a local clinic.

However, she has limited full-time experience, and she’s looking to apply to become a fully-fledged nurse at a large hospital.

Luckily, because of her experiences and studies, she has all the necessary skills to become a nurse, even though she lacks the major hospital experience she might need.

This is why she went for a combination structure when writing a resume format.

By using this format, she was able to show that she has comprehensive nursing knowledge and skills, while also having some early-career experience to boot.

Think you already know which professional resume format you want to use? Access a pre-designed resume template in our builder.

1. Reverse-Chronological Resume Format

Have you been paying attention?

Then you should already know that a chronological resume will highlight your work history above all else.

It’s no wonder that it’s the most commonly used format, and that it scores better with applicant tracking systems (ATS) than any other type (more on ATS software later).

It’s a standard resume format, but it gets the job done, and it gets it done well.

If you’ve got some experience under your belt, this is the layout for you. It’s also a simple resume format that doesn’t take too much brainpower to make.

Reverse-Chronological Resume Format: Examples

The key part of any reverse-chronological resume is work experience.

That’s also what most hiring managers care about.

After your contact details and resume summary, you’ll need to start with your most recent or current job. List the name of the company, the dates worked and the title you held.

Then write 3-6 bullet points underneath the position, focusing on achievements and responsibilities which are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Make sure to also back up as many claims as possible with numbers and facts from your past experiences.

Use action verbs and keywords from the job description to score extra points with ATS systems and prospective employers alike. Then repeat the same for the other jobs you had.

Here’s a resume format sample of work experience from a reverse-chronological barista resume that does all this:

Do ✅

Head Barista
Starbucks | Los Angeles, CA
2019 – 2021

  • Lead Barista in the busiest shift times.
  • Oversaw the work of 2 other baristas.
  • Organized the execution of 6 promotions directed by the store manager.
  • Provided on-the-job training to 4 full-time baristas.
  • Won the “Employee of the Month” award 2 times.
  • Delivered excellent customer service and beverage delivery.

Barista
Nomad Coffee shop | Los Angeles, LA
2017 – 2018

  • Educated customers about 50+ coffee varieties.
  • Sanitized coffee equipment multiple times in the same shift.
  • Made individualized coffee recommendations.
  • Restocked work and dining areas.
  • Responsible for tracking online store orders (average of 60 orders per week).
  • Achieved 99% guest satisfaction.

Below, we’ve also made a summary of the general structure for this type of resume:

  • Contact Information
  • Resume Summary or Objective
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Sections

Not convinced yet? Check out the following helpful table.

Reverse-Chronological Resume Format: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

Easy-to-read for recruiters, as they are used to this kind of format.
Always readable by applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Easy to show your top achievements and most impressive responsibilities.

Disadvantages

If you don’t have much experience, your professional profile may seem lackluster.
You may blend in with other candidates due to the prevalence of this resume format.
Gaps in your work history will be clearly shown

2. Skills-Based / Functional Resume Format

You’ve got the skills to pay the bills, but not the experience to show for it.

Don’t worry, a functional resume format will take care of that for you. What is a functional resume?

With this design, your skills and abilities will be given the limelight, and recruiters won’t be too bothered about your lack of experience.

Functional Resume Format: Examples

All functional resumes should begin with a contact details section (make sure to also link your portfolio if you have one).

Follow it with a resume objective, presenting your career goals and the most important skills you’ve gained so far.

Then comes the pièce de résistance, your skills summary section.

Here, you select the 4 to 5 skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. But don’t just list them. Give examples too, and use bullet points or simple paragraphs.

You can then add additional skills, work experience, and your education.

Below, you can see an example of a skills summary from a full-stack developer functional resume that performed better than 92% of other candidates.

Do ✅

SKILLS SUMMARY

Android and iOS App Development

Developed full-stack mobile applications which analyzed, interpreted, and visually presented data. Found and repaired over 300 bugs on application systems.

Cross-Team Communication

Scrum Master of 5-person team. Mentored team members to improve company-wide JavaScript and Python knowledge. Worked closely with the UX team to optimize JavaScript and PHP codes, improving latency and user journey.

SQL Databases

Applied new data processing systems for SQL databases that improved efficiency by over 20% and saved $350,000 per year. Introduced new SQL security measures reducing the risk of data theft by 35%.

And here’s a summary of the general order of sections for this type of resume:

  • Contact Details
  • Resume Objective
  • Skills Summary
  • Additional Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Education

Still not sure if this is a good resume format for you? Check out the table below.

Functional Resume Format: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

If you’ve gained experience from personal projects, freelancing, or volunteering, you can highlight it effectively.
Great for non-traditional industries where candidates need to showcase their portfolio or skills.
Can be used by people trying to change careers with employment gaps.

Disadvantages

Can be a red flag as hiring managers might see it as an attempt to hide things.
Often fails the ATS resume test.
Difficult to read for recruiters that aren’t used to it.

If you think a functional resume format is for you, go ahead and make one with our professional resume builder:

3. Hybrid Resume Format

You’re not just a jack of all trades, but you’re also the master of many.

You want to create a resume that glitters with impressive career progression, alongside a plethora of hard and soft skills.

How can you show off all these qualities in one beautifully-structured resume?

With a hybrid or combination resume format that places equal importance on your technical abilities and your experience.

Hybrid Resume Format: Examples

Similar to functional resumes, the focal point of a hybrid resume format is still the skills summary, followed by a work experience section.

Again, make sure to add up to 4 bullet points beneath each skill, outlining your professional accomplishments to back up your claims.

The work experience section should then include your title, the company name, the dates worked, and the location.

Under each job, list 3-6 bullet points presenting your accomplishments, responsibilities, and any related facts or figures.

Finally, you can include your education and some relevant additional skills.

This is how to expertly put this all together in a skills summary and work experience section from a hybrid health administration sample resume format:

Do ✅

SKILLS SUMMARY

Patient Care

Reviewed the coordination of care for over 200 patients in a major hospital. Managed schedules for more than 15 general practitioners.

Healthcare Finance and Budgeting

Created 6 detailed funding reports every month. Developed hospital compliance measures regarding financing. Approved 30 medical and financial applications per week.

Human Resource Management

Liaised with 5 other department heads to coordinate the hiring of 22 new nurses over 3 months. Led program to upgrade the center’s electronic health records (EHR) system, improving site efficiency by 20%.

WORK EXPERIENCE

Hospital Administrator
St Hubert’s Hospital | Seattle, WA
2019 – 2020

  • Reviewed the coordination of care for over 150 patients.
  • Ensured hospital processes follow HIPAA regulations and safety codes.
  • Liaised with 5 other department heads weekly to maintain efficiency.
  • Oversaw the hiring of 20 new nurses over 6 months.
  • Identified improvements that saved $40,000 a year in hospital expenditure.

Healthcare Administrator
Yangtree Health Center | Seattle, WA
2017 – 2018

  • Managed schedules for 20+ general practitioners.
  • Led program to upgrade the center’s EHR system improving site efficiency by 20%.
  • Prepared 6 detailed reports every month on health center performance.
  • Identified and interviewed prospective new doctors, nurses, and administrative staff.
  • Created safety awareness program following the latest OSHA advice.

Here, you can also check out the typical section order for this type of resume format:

  • Contact Details
  • Skills Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Additional Skills

Not yet completely sold on a hybrid resume? Scroll down for the main pros and cons of this format.

Hybrid Resume Format: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

Validates your most important skills with relevant work experience.
Takes the pressure off work history without drawing red flags.
Shows the most valuable information first.

Disadvantages

Suitable only for candidates that have both work experience and skills related to the role.
Can be harder to create.
Feels repetitive at times if the same skills apply to different positions.

Reverse-Chronological vs Functional vs Hybrid Resumes

We know. You’ve been waiting for this moment.

A direct comparison between the three most common types of resume formats.

Why didn’t we share this earlier?

Well, we needed to teach you all the basic principles so that you don’t only understand how each format works, but why it does.

Here it is in a nutshell:

TABLA

How to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) With Your Resume

Long gone are the days where only a human would set eyes on your resume.

And no, we’re not talking about aliens.

Nowadays, most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically find the best candidates.

What even are those? Good question.

Featured Content: An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software that can be used to manage the entire hiring and recruitment process. It helps companies collect, scan, and store applicants to find the best candidates according to a set of pre-defined criteria.

Guarantee your resume is scannable by any automated hiring software, by using ATS resume format templates.

Bonus Resources (Layouts, Examples, Templates, and Extra Tips)

Resume formatting can be easier said than done.

That’s why we want to help our users by providing as much information as possible.

That being said, if you’re tired of reading and want to get started on your resume, here’s a link to our resume builder. By using this professional tool, you’ll be able to take advantage of expert guidance that will show you how to format a resume in minutes.

Otherwise, here’s some original resume-writing content related to specific professions and fields:

Top 5 Resume Templates You Can Use

Okay, that was definitely a LOT of information to digest.

We understand that making sense of it all and learning how to put it into practice might feel overwhelming.

But fortunately, our resume builder can take all that off your hands.

All you need to do is pick a template you like, no, one you love, and fill in your content. We’ll take it from there.

Here are 5 of our best resume format templates for you to choose from, but don’t forget, we have an entire library of resume templates for you to choose from.

1. Aldebaran

Aldebaran is a vibrant template that perfectly organizes your content through bolded section headings, the right amount of white space, and an engaging design. By using a conventional resume structure, it makes it easy for hiring managers to find the info they’re looking for.

2. Lyra

An eye-catching modernized template with an extra creative touch and plenty of white space to avoid overwhelming the reader. If you’re looking for a job at a younger company, this is the pick for you. You can’t go wrong with this elegant and easy-to-read design.

3. Miranda

This engaging and energetic layout maximizes content, color, and white space. Its design will draw the attention of recruiters fast and make it difficult for them to take their eyes off your application.

4. Altair

Here’s a minimalistic, clean, and stylish design that works great for any profession. It makes all key information visible at first glance and keeps things simple for the reader. A popular option among our users applying for business positions.

5. Meissa

For those applying to more creative positions, Meissa can help you showcase your personality while maintaining a well-organized structure. This modern design will make you stand out from the crowd and get recruiters talking.

Key Takeaways

You’re now an expert on resume formatting.

All you need to do is start your own resume and get cracking.

Here’s also a quick recap on all the most important points from this article:

  • Craft a resume that’s easy to read by following our style guidelines: lots of white space, professional fonts, section headings, and one-inch margins.
  • The best resume format for your job will depend on your particular career situation.
  • If you are unsure which type to use, reverse-chronological is always a good resume format to lean on.
  • Make sure your resume is ATS-friendly by using a basic resume format.
  • Use a professional resume template.

Now that we’ve got that covered, you’re 100% ready to get started with your own doc by using our resume builder.

Don’t miss out, candidates that use it get 2x the amount of interviews as those who don’t.

Be in the Top 2% Of Applicants That Get Hired.

Create your resume in just a few clicks and turbocharge your job search!