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What Are The Most Popular Types of Resume Formats?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

The first thing a person looking for a new job should do is create an impressive resume. It will be the first thing a potential employer will see, and it is the job seeker’s best bet on getting invited for the interview.

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As with everything else nowadays, crafting a resume starts with a Google search and, unfortunately, that’s where things can turn ugly really quick. A simple Google search will tell you that there are different types of resume formats, as well as different types of file formats job seekers should use.

That can get confusing and intimidating, right from the get go. Which format do I use? Which file type should I save my resume in? How do I send the resume, as an attachment or copy and paste in the body of an email? Those are all legitimate questions job seekers must get right, otherwise they’re risking their resume never getting into the right hands.

In this article, we will cover all the different types of resume formats, as well as file formats usually used and accepted, and the methods employers prefer, when receiving resumes.

Chronological, Functional, Hybrid, Targeted:

There are four types of resume formats in use today: chronological, functional, hybrid and targeted. Chronological is the most widespread and most popular. It is also the favorite type of resume among recruiters and employers, which is why I will cover this one first.​

  • Chronological resume format, just as the name suggests, sorts your work experiences and education in a chronological order, going from the most recent one. It lists company name, job position, obligations and responsibilities. It is also the most popular format for employers, as it makes it fast for them to see the most recent work history and skillset. If you have a solid work history and don’t have any gaps in your career, you should definitely choose this one.

  • Functional resumes formats are generally considered a bad choice, and should be used only in specific situations. Instead of focusing on jobs, and showcasing the progression of your career through time, it focuses on specific skills and experience. With employment history actually being secondary in this type, it is recommended for people with gaps in their work history, or for people who might lack experience in a certain field.

  • Hybrid resume format combines the best of the two worlds listed above, and is generally recommended instead of the classic functional resume. It lets you go into detail on both skills and experience, while offering the chance to create bullet points, or “skills summary” sections, for fast viewing. This type of resume is recommended for people who believe they need to go into further detail about their work experience.

  • Targeted resume format is completely customized for the job opening you’re applying for. It’s usually shorter than the chronological one, as it focuses only on skills and previous job experiences directly related to the current job opening. It is recommended for people who are career switchers or have done various, unrelated things in the past. That way, potential employers won’t have to waste time reading about previous job experiences which will bring no additional value to the company. This type of format is the most time-consuming one, as every new opportunity will also require a new resume, but it’s usually the most effective one, especially for people with multiple talents and skillsets.

Examples of quality resumes can be found on DoMyResume.NET website, on this link.

What File Types Are There When Saving My Resume:

OK, once you’ve decided on the resume format, and have created the document, now you need to choose which file type to save it as. The most common are MS Word, PDF, ASCII, and with HTML also growing stronger by the hour.

There are three things you should keep in mind when choosing the right file type: ease of reading, how companies Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software affects your resume, and any security measures the company might have set up.

  • MS Word is by far the most widely used format to save your resume and cover letter in.The reason behind this is simple.For one, you can edit and make changes to anything you need if it is saved as a MS Word document.The second main reason is because when you upload your resume to a company’s portal, the companies software system can easily read documents that are saved as MS Word format.

  • PDF files are the second most popular choice as the formatting stays the same, no matter the computer it’s being opened on, its resolution or screen size. They will also stay unaltered even when printed, which is sometimes not the case with ASCII-based files. This is a big bonus, considering that some people still like things printed out and sorted into physical files and folders. In some cases, the ATS software will require this file format.

  • ACII-based resumes are stripped of all formatting, which means they’ll stay the same in every email system. That way, they will be easy to import into any resume database, and can be viewed directly in an email. With many data breaches and hacks beginning with an employee downloading and opening an email attachment, this approach has become very popular as it doesn’t require downloading or running anything.

  • HTML type makes your resume available online 24/7. This one will require some basic knowledge of the HTML (hypertext markup language), or you might need to use an HTML resume-builder. Luckily enough, many are available online.

Resume-building evolved:

As you can see, building a resume has become a skill in its own right. Long gone are the days when you could just create a simple resume, print 500 copies and start sending. Today, you need to keep in mind what your career looks like, what your potential employer is looking for in a resume, and how their systems handle incoming resumes and similar files.

The reason why so many job-seekers are turning to professional resume writing services is because resume companies have the experts, job experience, talent for writing, and can manifest a job hunters skills a lot better than the job hunter themselves.

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