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What is the Best Resume Format?

Choosing a professional resume writing service is an easy way (not the cheap one though) of getting a good resume. Although it takes time to find a reliable company and place an order, the entire process still saves a lot time and energy, compared to writing a resume on your own. But there are those who prefer doing it on their own rather than having other people do it on their behalf. One of the most common questions such people ask is “What is the best resume format?” Because resume writing assumes tailoring the document for each and every job opening, such flexibility allows changing the format of resume in order to increase one’s chances on getting invited for a job interview. But the question is whether there is a resume format that is considered the most effective (at least in the eyes of the majority of those responsible for hiring decisions).

Resume Format to Choose

While there are some debates about the use of different resume formats, it seems one specific format is favorite among most HR managers – reverse-chronological layout. This resume format assumes listing professional experience (employment history) starting from the most recent jobs. In other words, under the work experience section you should start with the employments you have just ended. This is dictated by the desire of hiring authorities to know what candidates were doing recently. Imagine yourself as a hiring manager: would you be more interested in what a candidate did a month ago or 20 years ago? The answer is obvious. What one did 20 years ago is considered an outdated experience most employers are not even interested in. Besides, a reverse-chronological resume format allows hiring authorities to better navigate through the content of the document. Some companies are even suspicious about the candidates when their resumes are written in a different format.

But reverse-chronological layout isn’t the only option job seekers have. Some use a chronological layout which assumes listing jobs starting from the first one and ending with the most recent employment. This is a bad choice today because employers have to look for the information they need (most recent jobs). Lastly, there is a functional or skills-based resume format. When job seekers use this layout, they basically focus on their skills rather than experience. In a functional format, skills and accomplishments are not tied to specific jobs as they are listed under a separate section. This often puzzles some HRs as they try to figure out which skills are related to which employments.

With that being said, it is obvious that the best resume format is a reverse-chronological one. However, job seekers should be aware that choosing the right format doesn’t guarantee they will be invited for an interview. The thing is that most job seekers submit resumes written in a reverse-chronological format, only few of them get a chance to be invited for an interview. Therefore, while the best resume format can help you organize information in the right way, it will not secure a job interview. One needs to work hard to make sure that resume addresses specific needs of a potential employer by providing relevant value proposition.

It is also important to remember that work experience isn’t the only section listed in a resume. There are other blocks of information that play an important role in generating interest of hiring managers. Education, trainings, major accomplishments, memberships and affiliations, technical proficiency – these are all things that contribute to the overall success of a resume. It is a mistake to concentrate only on work experience; other things sometimes are more important than they seem they are. At least for those making hiring decisions.