Resume Structure & How to Organize a Resume

Resume Help

Only a brief amount of time will be spent by a recruiter scanning your application materials.

Your resume will be placed in the rejected pile if it has an unclear and unorganized format.

It’s not what you want.

Take heart.

You’ll know exactly how to leave a lasting first impression on any recruiter in a matter of minutes.

This piece will demonstrate:

  • The three most common resume formats.
  • advantages and disadvantages of each resume format.
  • pro advice on writing a resume.
  • What all effective resume structures ought to share.

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How to Structure Your Resume

Get to the point—

There are three primary ways to organize a resume:

  • Chronological resume
  • Functional resume
  • Combination resume

The overall format of each of these sorts of resumes is shown below:

Three Types of Resume Structure

Remember—

There isn’t an one ideal format for a CV.

Depending on your work experience, career path, and the topics you want to emphasize, your resume structure will differ.

Looking closely at the aforementioned graphic, you’ll see that the centre part of each résumé varies.

The experience section takes up the majority of space on a chronological resume. The skills section is the biggest on a functional resume. The majority of the space on a combo resume is taken by skills and experience.

And this is precisely how you should decide which resume format is ideal for your needs:

  • Use a reverse-chronological structure to draw the recruiter’s attention to your experience.
  • Pick a functional resume if you wish to highlight your skills.
  • The combo resume can be your best option if the position you’re applying for requires an experienced professional with a distinctive set of abilities and experience.

Now—

Let’s examine each kind of resume structure in more detail:

Chronological Resume Structure

The most flexible and well-liked resume format, among both job seekers and recruiters, is the chronological format.

Why?

First and foremost, scanning is really simple.

According to the most recent Ladders study, recruiters typically take 7.4 seconds to read over a CV.

Not much time remains, is it?

Because of this, a solid resume format is one that:

allows job seekers to structure and organize their CV content simply and enables recruiters to focus quickly on the most crucial details.

And the chronological resume functions just like this.

Listed below are some tips for structuring your resume in a chronological order:

  • Contact Information
  • Profile Resume (resume objective, or resume summary)
  • Professional Background
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Details

Recall what a chronological resume’s most crucial section is.

work history.

So—

The following is a sample resume format for experience:

  • List your most recent position first, then the one before that (s).
  • Include your name, the name of your employer, and the dates you worked there.
  • Be dependable. Allow the other entries to follow suit if you bold a job title in one of them.
  • Each item should contain up to six bullet points outlining your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Start each bullet point with a potent action verb from your resume.
  • As many bullets as you can should have numbers included to demonstrate your real-world impact.
  • List your most significant accomplishments in a separate subsection to draw attention to them.

And—

Choose your experiences wisely. Prepare a resume that is specific to the position.

Let’s now examine the advantages and disadvantages of the chronological resume format.

PROS
  • simple for hiring managers to scan
  • ATS scans will undoubtedly pass.
  • accentuates your expertise.
CONS
  • needs to be formatted carefully and consistently.
  • holes in your career are revealed.
  • Bad for people who shift careers.

Yet another thing

Although the chronological resume format heavily emphasizes professional experience, it’s still an useful resume format for new graduates.

What makes that possible?

You are free to reorder the sections, though. If this is your first resume and you have no work experience, you might choose to start with the education section.

Want to maximize the chronological resume format? Visit our article, Chronological Resume Template & 20+ Examples [Complete Guide], right away.

Functional Resume Structure

The functional resume format highlights your qualifications and transferable talents. For this reason, it’s also known as the skills-based resume.

If you want to draw the recruiter’s focus away from your professional experience, this resume format is effective.

The following sections make up the structure of a functional resume:

  • Identifying Data
  • Resume Objective
  • a list of the skills
  • Added Capabilities
  • Experience
  • Education

The abilities description and resume aim are the two most crucial parts of the functional resume format. Make sure to correct them:

  • Outline your best qualities and discuss how they help you to be a perfect fit for the job in the resume objective.
  • a website with a link to your work samples or portfolio (e.g. blog, personal website, etc.)
  • In the abilities summary area, concentrate on up to five of your most pertinent skills. Be precise and mention the circumstances in which you had to employ them rather than just listing them.
  • Don’t undervalue your software expertise. Describe your strengths and, if possible, provide statistics to back them up.
  • Use only bullet points or create concise, straightforward paragraphs instead.

When you think about it, the functional resume format appears to be the best option.

Well—

You might be shocked to hear that it probably won’t get you anyplace.

Why?

The most crucial hiring consideration, according to a startling 92% of recruiters, is the candidate’s prior work experience, according to the most recent Jobvite Recruiter Nation research.

What exactly accomplishes the combo resume structure?

tries to draw the employer’s attention away from your prior experience.

That’s unfortunate.

Plus—

According to the Ladders’ eye-tracking study, recruiters skim resumes for job names and subheadings.

And the format of a functional resume works wonders at concealing them.

Additionally —

Such a resume will be difficult for any ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to scan as well.

Pro tip: If you choose a functional resume structure, stay away from sending it through an ATS. Make every effort to locate the hiring manager or recruiter before sending the attachment through email.

The inquiry is:

So, for whom is the functional resume format appropriate?

In actuality, it benefits a relatively select group of applicants:

  • Creative independent contractors with a broad portfolio
  • military reservists
  • those those who don’t want to appear overqualified.

Pro tip: Seeking ideas for your imaginative resume? Check out our collection of the most inventive resume templates.

In summary,

Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of a functional resume format:

PROS

  • draws the recruiter’s focus to the candidate’s qualifications.
  • works well for creatives whose portfolio determines their employability.
  • aids transitioning military personnel in converting their knowledge into common language.
CONS
  • disliked by recruiters due to poor scannability
  • reduces your chances by hiding your professional experience.
  • probable failure of the ATS scan.

Read our tutorial on Functional Resume Template and Writing Tips for further guidance if you think the functional resume structure may benefit you.

Combination Resume Structure

The combination resume structure, as its name implies, incorporates the most effective aspects of both functional and chronological resumes.

The following is an example of a combo resume structure:

  • Contact Information
  • a list of the skills
  • Professional Background
  • Added Capabilities
  • Education

A combo resume’s skills summary and professional experience parts are its most crucial portions.

To make the most of it, structure the skills summary part of your resume as follows:

  • Pay special attention to your best qualifications for the job.
  • List up to four bullet points with a more thorough description for each talent.
  • Describe your abilities in terms of accomplishments, i.e., what outcomes each ability allowed you to attain.
  • Do your best to quantify everything. Numbers are more persuasive than words.

Regarding the section on experience—

  • Put your most recent employment at the top and follow the reverse-chronological sequence.
  • Make sure your job titles are displayed and format each entry consistently.
  • Each entry should contain up to three bullet points.

Pro tip: You are not need to include any more bullet points under the job titles when using a combo resume. Your major accomplishments are in the skills part of your resume due to the way it is organized.

A concise summary of the benefits and drawbacks of employing the combo resume structure is provided below:

PROS
  • equally emphasizes your experience and skills.
  • suitable option for those with gaps in their career history.
CONS
  • Only those with extensive experience looking for specialized roles should apply.
  • The most challenging resume structure to efficiently and effectively organize.

Want to create a combo resume that will land you a job? For more thorough guidance, go directly to our guide: Template for Combination Resume & 5+ Examples [Entire Guide]

Drag and drop skills and bullet points into your resume using our builder, and let the tedious information auto-fill. Use spellcheck. Check. Create a professional resume template right now for nothing.

Resume Structure—Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you want the recruiter to be able to see from your resume structure that—

More than 250 applicants, you will do the task more effectively.

Let’s look at the outcomes of the Ladders’ eye-tracking study one last time with this in mind.

The following are characteristics of poor resume formats:

  • Messy appearance
  • not enough empty space
  • lengthy phrases
  • Stuffing keywords
  • overly many columns

And—

terrible resume design (e.g. unclear division into sections, badly formatted section headers)

Once you’ve decided on the format for your resume that suits your needs the most, try your best to avert these errors.

Not confident that your resume is up to par? To make yourself enticing to any recruiter, read our tips on CV dos and don’ts.

BONUS: Resume Structure Fixtures or What All Resumes Have in Common

Finally—

Remember that all resumes are business papers before you begin writing yours.

They must all be formatted appropriately as a result.

Here is a brief checklist that will help you make sure your CV appears professional.

  • Ensure that the margins on the resume are set to one inch on each side.
  • Use a resume typeface that is clear and readable. Stay between 11 and 12 points.
  • Include a polished resume header. Put your resume’s contact information here.
  • Organize your resume into sections that may be accessed simply. Most resumes will include the following sections:
  • Contact details
  • profile resume
  • working knowledge
  • on a CV, education
  • Listed abilities
  • Consistently format each of these sections. Make sure your professional work title is bolded in each entry if you choose to do so.
  • Limit line spacing to one or use a maximum of 1.15.
  • Make your resume specific to the job offer. Try not to cram too much information in. Having said that, don’t worry if your resume is more than one page lengthy. Give it as much time as is required.
  • Only include images on your CV if the company requests them.

Remember—

If you want your resume to appear scannable and well-organized, you must use proper formatting.

Don’t know how to organize your resume so that any applicant tracking system can scan it. To understand how to create the ideal ATS resume, see our guide.

Additionally, a strong cover letter that complements your CV will set you apart from other applicants. You can create one using this cover letter builder. Here’s what it might resemble:

Key Takeaways

The following is a sample resume format:

  • Put your phone number and email address at the top of your resume.
  • Start off by creating a compelling resume profile to capture the recruiter’s interest.
  • To highlight your experience, use a resume structure that is chronological. All job searchers, including students and entry-level prospects, should use this resume format.
  • If you want to emphasize your skills, choose a functional resume. But keep in mind that this resume format is only appropriate for a certain group of job searchers and is generally avoided by recruiters.
  • To highlight both your skills and professional experience, choose a combo resume. However, this resume format is best suited for seasoned professionals or people with gaps in their career.
  • Verify that your resume is formatted consistently throughout the entire document.
  • Do not forget to format your resume in an ATS-friendly manner. Otherwise, it won’t ever get to a recruiter in person.

Do you have any concerns concerning the organization of a resume? Or perhaps you’d want to offer suggestions on how to set up your resume in the most advantageous way? Please get in touch with us. Please mention us in the comments section.