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  • Writer's pictureErika Overhoff

Resume Formatting Explained!

You may not have put much thought into resume formatting. After all, isn't a resume simply a workup of your employment history? There are certain situations in which you might not want to put focus on work history. Proper formatting can majorly help or hinder your shot at a call back. We are starting to fade away from the All-Purpose Resume and are turning towards the Personally Branded Resume. After all, your resume is your sales pitch. It should focus on what you can bring to the table without creating questions or shedding a negative light. Lets run through the different ways to format a resume, and find out what works best for you!


The Chronological Resume is the most popular format. It focuses on employment, starting with your most recent position. It also utilizes employment dates to highlight your job stability and loyalty. It is great for those who want to highlight promotions and increased responsibility. This format often begins with a brief summary, and ends with Education.

This type of format does not work well for those who have a patchy work history. This includes employment gaps, multiple positions within a short period, or unsubstantial experience.


The Functional Resume is more focused on abilities. It presents the skills you've acquired, with less focus on where they came from. A functional resume does not emphasize the dates of employment. Someone lacking employment history, reentering the workforce, or changing careers would benefit from this type of resume. This is because it provides the ability to showcase transferable skills.

For example, let us say a Hairstylist is seeking a sales position. A recruiter might glance at their work history, and assume styling hair has nothing to do with sales. However, the Hairstylist might have been commission based, sold products, or marketed their services. Therefore, a Functional Resume would be best.


You guessed it! A Combination Resume (also known as the Hybrid Resume) is a blend of both Functional and Chronological Resume formats.

I am a huge fan of this format because it is so flexible. It grabs the attention of the reader by illustrating your talents and abilities right off the bat. You are then free to provide either a snapshot, or full detail of those abilities. This format is super customizable and fits a wide range of job seekers.


Targeted Resumes don't get a lot of attention because they are so time-consuming.

But wait! This format is worth the time because it generates results. Targeted Resumes are written each time to mirror a specific position. These resumes are always right on point. The Targeted Resume will follow a cover letter. This format requires accuracy in order to work. Never exaggerate your abilities when building a Targeted Resume.


You are now an expert on resume formats, and can safely choose what works best for you. Are you wondering which format I prefer? I refuse to believe in the generic resume. They are not one-size-fits all! Therefore, I choose the format that aligns with my client's skill set, work history, achievements, and overall career goals. However, it is pretty tough to fail with a Targeted Resume. If your core resume is in good shape, it should not be much work to tweak it. I will always have a soft spot for the tailor-made resume.

Would you like to create a Targeted Resume, but your core resume is a mess? No worries, message me at for help!


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