The term resume format is used to describe the layout, or elements, appearing in the written document. A resume is typically used by job applicants to communicate their work experience and skills to potential employers.
The ideal resume format will vary with the work history and experience of the job seeker. The best resume format to use is one that will produce the best marketing results, as evidenced by hiring companies approaching the applicant to schedule a job interview.
There are three mainstream resume formats in use today: chronological, functional, and combination resumes. Each of these resume formats has its strengths and weaknesses. While each of these may present slightly different information, the major components of each format include:
- Objective Statement: a brief statement of career and position objectives, which are usually aligned with the job opening.
- Summary of Qualifications: a brief statement of the important qualifications the applicant possesses.
- Skills: the abilities the applicant has acquired over the course of their career.
- Accomplishments: a listing of the applicant's notable achievements.
- Work Experience: the companies and job titles / positions held by the applicant, usually presented in reverse chronological order.
- Education: the educational degrees the applicant has received, year of receipt, and the name of the granting institution.
- References: sometimes listed on resumes using a simple statement like: Resumes will be Furnished Upon Request.
A comprehensive list of resume formats, examples, as well as cover letters are available to download for free. These documents can be found in the downloads section of this publication.