Job Search: How to choose the format of a resume

Resume FormatChoosing the right font, size and format goes a long way in landing you your dream job.

How?

Well, recruiters go through many resumes in a day. If the format of a resume is not readable or looks too fancy and unprofessional, there is a very high chance that they’ll skip that resume and move on to the next.

Yes, we agree that through your resume you want to make a good impression. However, do not overdo it to the point that your resume looks amateur. You want your resume to look polished and legible.

How to choose the format of a resume

Font

Your resume could still be rejected even if you are the most qualified candidate if it is not readable. Using fonts such as Brush script or Comic sans will make your format of a resume look unprofessional and puerile. This is why choosing the right resume font is important.

Many organizations use applicant tracking system (ATS), a software that records and sorts job applications. This software usually doesn’t read complex fonts. So, to be on a safer side, go with the basics.

5 best fonts for a cv format:

  1. Helvetica
  2. Cambria
  3. Times New Roman
  4. Calibri
  5. Cambria

It is best to make your name, which should be on top of the resume, and other headings bold. Also, always use black color fonts. Do not use light and thin fonts that are difficult to read.

However, if you are applying for the position of a graphic designer, it is fine to be a little artistic.

Size

The readability of your resume depends mostly on the font size. Your layout should not be disorganized by either too large or too small fonts. Generally, the best font size for a cv format is 10 to 12 pts. Start with 10 pts and you can later adjust the font size to make your resume look more presentable.

One mistake jobseekers make is trying to fit a certain amount of content in one page, which is why they’d usually have to use a font size less than 10 pts. Avoid this at all costs. Not only does it decrease your resume readability but it also makes it look unpolished and unskillful. If you want the content to fit in one page, rather than using smaller font sizes, you could just rephrase or shorten some sentences.

Tip:

  • Your name and headings should be a point two bigger than the body.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Side margins should be at a standard width.

Resume Format

There are three main resume formats-

  • chronological
  • functional
  • and combination.

Chronological Resume Format

In a chronological format, your cv format is arranged in such a way that your experiences and educational background are listed in a reverse chronological order. Your most recent employment detail goes on the top followed by the one before that and so on. The best time to use this cv format is when you are applying for the same position in a different organization as it will be able to tell a story of your professional experience for the latest one to the first.

Order of a chronological resume:

  1. Name
  2. Contact details
  3. Career objective or summary statement
  4. Professional experience in reverse chronological order
  5. Educational background in reverse chronological order
  6. Skill, awards, certificates, etc.

Functional Resume Format

A functional resume holds skills at a higher standard than that of a chronological resume.
The best time to use a functional resume is when you have a career gap(s) or changing your career.

Order of a functional resume:

  1. Name
  2. Contact details
  3. Career objective or summary statement
  4. Skills
  5. Professional experience
  6. Educational background
  7. Award, certificates, etc.

Combination Resume Format

When you combine a chronological and a functional resume in one, you have a combination format resume. Here, your skills and professional experience will take up most of the spaces as they are the main focus. The best time to use this format is when you are applying for a new position and you have the relevant skills and enough experience.

Order of a combination resume:

  1. Name
  2. Contact details
  3. Career objective or summary statement
  4. Skills
  5. Professional experience in reverse chronological order
  6. Educational background in reverse chronological order
  7. Awards, certificates, etc.

Now that you have your complete guide on how to choose the best resume font, size and format, we hope your resume find you your dream job.

We will leave you here with our best wishes.

Good luck!

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