Format of Resume – Types of Resume Formats | Contents of Resume

Format of Resume

Since the contents and layout of resume or curriculum vitae vary widely, there is no best way to write it. However, depending on the background and career goal, there can be three types of formats of resume. These are:

1. Chronological format resume

The chronological format is the most common way to organize a resume, as most employers prefer it. In this format, work experience dominates the arrangement of information. Work experience in usually placed after the opening section. This format is suitable for experienced job seekers. In this format, employment information like duration of employment, company name, and job title, etc. are listed by dates, the chronological format may be of two types: a. straight chronological order and b. reverse chronological order.

A. Straight chronological order: In straight chronological order, experience is listed with the sequence of date. That is the most recent employment is placed in the last. An example of straight chronological order of experience is shown below:

Straight chronological order resume

B. Reverse chronological order: In this approach, list of experience is given in the reverse way where the most recent employment appears in the first. An example of reverse chronological order of experience is shown below:

Reverse chronological order resume

2. Functional order

A functional resume or curriculum vitae focuses on the academic qualifications, skills, and accomplishments of the applicant. Therefore, academic achievements, skills and accomplishments section appears at the beginning of the resume. It is useful for candidates who have an outstanding academic record and possess special skills for performing a job. Fresh graduates who have little or no experience usually follow this format.

3. Combination approach

It is the combination of the previous two approaches. It combines the best features of chronological and functional approaches. Combination approach emphasizes on job skills and special capability that differentiate the application from others. Therefore, this approach is suitable for persons whose job-related skills and capabilities are superior to academic attainments. It also lists company names and dates of previous employments.

Format of Resume

Contents of resume

Contents and layout of resume or curriculum vitae vary widely. There is no single best way to write resume. However, a factual and effective resume usually contains the following contents:

  1. Opening section: Opening section of a resume generally includes following two items:
    • Identifying information: Identifying information includes name, contact address (both present and permanent), e-mail address and telephone number of the applicant.
    • Career objective: A modern resume includes a statement of immediate and long-term career objective of applicant. This statement helps the employer to evaluate what type of job the applicant likes. Career objective also helps the employer to categorize the applicants.
  2. Education or academic qualification: This section of resume contains a list of degree achieved along with name of the in situation granting the degree, year of obtaining the degree, courses taken, position obtained etc.
  3. Work experience: In this section, a list of employment and description of work experience are incorporated by following a reveres chronological order. It mentions employer’s name and location, duration of employment and position held.
  4. Achievements and awards: This section includes school and community memberships, offices held, honors, publications, language skills etc. of the applicant.
  5. Personal data: Personal data include applicant’s age, religion, gender, nationality, marital status, hobby, height, date of availability etc.
  6. Reference: Most resumes mention references from which the employer can seek information about the applicant. Generally, name of the former employers and teachers are mentioned as reference.


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