Learn the dos and don'ts of resume writing, along with what not to put on a resume and how to build a good resume without making critical resume mistakes. Over 50 resume dos and don'ts with examples and tips.
There are a lot of different styles of resumes to choose from:
Chronological, functional, or combination. Visual or minimalist.
The world would be a wonderful place if you could send ten different versions of your resume to the prospective employer so they can pick out the one they like the most.
The sad truth is—
You only get one shot.
And if your resume style of choice doesn’t do a great job, the recruiter will quickly go for the next one from the heap.
But don’t worry.
This article will show you:
- The differences between professional resume styles.
- How to choose the best resume style for your needs.
- List of examples of different resume styles.
- A brief resume style guide to get your resume in shape.
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Looking for other resume writing resources? Check out our guides:
- Best Open Office Resume Templates
- Best Free LaTeX Resume/CV Templates
- Career Change Resume
- Pages Resume Templates for Mac
Classic Resume Styles
Let’s jump right in—
There are three traditional resume formats: reverse chronological, combination, and functional style resumes.
Each of these resume styles is suitable for different job seekers and scenarios.
This is the most common resume style out there. And for a good reason.
A chronological resume format focuses on your professional experience and achievements, starting from the most recent ones and moving back in time. It’s easy to navigate for the recruiters and parsable by all sorts of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) software.
A typical reverse chronological resume consists of the following sections:
- Resume header
- Resume summary or resume objective
- Professional title
- Work experience section
- Additional sections
The chronological resume style is a great choice for candidates with a consistent career progression, as it makes it easy to present their relevant achievements on a resume.
It’s also suitable for students and entry-level candidates without a long employment history. Its traditional resume layout and chronological order are perfect for structuring information in an orderly and approachable manner.
The functional resume style is also referred to as the skills-based resume.
This style of resume puts your professional skills in the limelight. What skills to highlight on a functional resume? Always list the relevant skills that match the position.
Your functional style resume doesn’t have to (or even shouldn’t) focus on all skills you have. Instead, choose the strongest ones and build your resume around them.
A typical functional style resume template includes such sections as:
- Resume header
- Resume profile
- Skills summary
- Additional skills section
- Work history
This style of resume works best for creatives who need to have a portfolio of work, military transitioners writing their military-to-civilian resumes, as well as for candidates who don’t want to come across as overqualified.
This resume style isn’t favored by the recruiters. Why? It's not as easy to scan as the chronological resume. Plus, the ATS may have a hard time parsing it.
The combination resume style, as the name suggests, combines the best elements of two previous resume styles, and puts both your experience and skills in the spotlight.
A typical combination resume (or hybrid resume, as it’s often called) consists of such sections as:
- Contact information
- Skills summary
- Additional skills
- Professional experience/job description
It’s a very flexible resume style and because of this, you can rearrange the order of resume sections to suit your needs.
This type of resume is suitable for candidates with a lot of experience behind their belts targeting specific roles. It’s also good for career changers, as well as those who want to detract the recruiters from gaps in their employment.
If you decide to go with this resume style, you need to know it may be challenging to get it just right.
Pro Tip: Regardless of which classic resume style you decide to go for, always make sure your resume is tailored to the job offer.
New Resume Styles
With more and more people entering the workforce, the job search has become more competitive than ever.
No wonder candidates are looking for new ways of making themselves visible.
Experimenting with resume styles is one way of grabbing the hiring manager's attention.
Modern resume styles can help you stand out when applying for jobs in creative fields.
Mind you, though.
Too much of a good thing is not such a good thing.
When choosing one of these modern resume styles, make sure it fits the position and company culture.
Creative Resume Styles
Creativity knows no limits.
For this reason, a creative resume style may refer to a small detail you decide to add to your otherwise traditional resume (e.g. a rating scale for your skills), or a resume that features a customized graphical element that covers the entire page.
Take a look at our selection of creative resume templates to get inspired, and pick the creative resume style you like.
Pro Tip: Creative resume styles may also include extra sections, not found in other types of resumes. Or quite the opposite. They may not include certain sections at all and replace them with nonstandard elements.
Visual Resume Styles
Resume science says a recruiter spends about 6 seconds scanning your document.
What better way to impress the recruiter than make your resume visually striking?
Don’t let the visuals push the content of your resume to the back. Your resume’s looks are to aid its content. Not replace it.
Our gallery of visual resume templates will help you find the direction.
Infographic Resume Styles
Infographics have taken the Internet by storm.
And honestly, there’s nothing surprising about it.
They look great and are informative at the same time.
Just like a good resume should.
This style of resume is bound to attract the recruiter's attention. But beware: infographic resume styles will almost certainly fail to go past the ATS scan, so send them directly to the hiring manager’s inbox.
And if you’re looking for ideas, head straight to our hand-picked selection of the best infographic resume templates on the Internet.
Pro Tip: Make sure both your resume and cover letter are in the same style.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Resume Styles by Length
The style of your resume may refer to a number of things.
One of the most common elements that differentiate one resume from the other is the resume length.
One-Page Resume Style
There's been much debate going on about how far back a resume should go, and it doesn't look like there's a single best answer.
That said, a one-page resume style does have its benefits.
For one thing, second pages tend to go M.I.A. The best way to avoid incomplete resumes is to fit all you need on a single page.
Plus, a single-page resume is much more approachable to the recruiter.
A typical job offer attracts about 250 applications. Reading all of them is a daunting task, all the more so if each resume in the pile is longer than one page.
If you find this resume style appealing, check out our collection of one-page resume templates.
Pro Tip: One of the best ways to fit in more on a single page without making it look cluttered is to make a two-column resume.
Two-Page Resume Style
Two-page resumes aren't extinct.
In fact, you may have a good reason to opt for this style of resume, like—
If this isn't a good enough reason for your resume to span two pages, what is?
According to this study, over 77% of employers expect a seasoned worker’s resume to be at least two pages.
Pro Tip: Make sure your resume is free from some typical resume mistakes, and check out our resume writing tips.
Current Resume Styles
Here’s the thing:
Every fashion comes and goes.
The latest resume styles today will be out of style tomorrow.
With this in the back of your mind, let’s take a look at several professional resume styles that have gained quite a following recently.
Minimalist Resume Style
The less is more principle has become popular over the past few years.
And, truth be told, it’s the kind of fashion that could stay around for a bit longer.
The minimalist fashion is popular with business-style resumes and bullet-style resumes.
The resumes made in this style focus entirely on content and scannability.
Explore our selection of minimal resume templates, and pick out the one you like.
Simple Resume Style
As already mentioned, simplicity is the most prominent design trend lately.
It’s no surprise that simple resume styles have gained so much traction with a wide variety of applicants.
A simple resume is not a simplistic one. After all, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
This may explain why so many executive-style resumes deliberately avoid any ornamentation for the sake of simplicity and clarity. Well-organized and readable bullet points with plenty of white space around are much clearer than long paragraphs.
If you’re looking for simple resume templates visit our gallery and pick the one that’s best for you.
Basic Resume Style
Basic resume styles are particularly suitable for students and entry-level candidates who may not have a lot of work experience or employment history but who don’t want to fill up their applications with fluff either.
As a matter of fact, basic resume styles are suitable for just about anyone who wants to focus on the content.
Your basic-style resume doesn’t have to be boring at all.
Browse through our selection of basic resume templates and find the one most appealing to you.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Here’s all you need to remember about resume styles:
- The most popular traditional resume styles are: chronological resume, functional resume, and combination resume.
- Some of the new resume styles comprise: creative resume style, visual resumes, infographic resumes, minimalist resumes, basic resumes.
- You can also categorize resume styles by the length of the document.
- When choosing the best resume style for your needs always make sure it fits the nature of the job (traditional vs. modern) and the company culture.
- It’s not just the style of the resume that’s important. See to it that your resume is tailored to the job offer.
- And don’t forget to choose a matching style for your cover letter as well.
Not sure what resume style to choose? Give us a shout out in the comments below! Always happy to help.