What is an ideal job interview resume format?
Everyone knows that the information you put in your resume must present the best of your career trajectory.
But, what if the recruiters don’t even bat an eye to read it because your resume looks unprofessional and unorganized?
Studies show that recruiters receive at least 118 applications for a single job and out of which, only 20% of them get shortlisted for an interview.
These statistics emphasize how important it is for your resume to make a good first impression. So, how can you possibly achieve that?
One approach to making your resume look professional and enhancing its readability is by using a resume format for job interviews that highlights the best of your skills and experiences.
Read on to get an insight into the different job interview resume formats and get clarity on the following related questions:
- What is a job interview resume format?
- What are the 3 effective resume formats that you can follow?
- What is a combination resume format?
- How to format your resume for a job interview?
What is a Job Interview Resume Format?
A resume format for job interviews refers to the design, layout, and structure that make up a resume.
A well-formatted resume has distinct sections for different information like header, skills, professional experience, summary, and educational background of a candidate organized in a way that highlights the best of their potential.
Using a good resume format also allows recruiters to scan through the candidate’s resume easily and makes the resume look crisp and professional.
Some of the elements of the best professional resume format for job interviews include:
- Distinct sections with labeled headers
- Use of bullet points and action verbs
- Quantified achievements
- Correct spacing and margins
- Resume saved in PDF format
- Use of professional and easy-to-read fonts
- Minimal use of colors
- Consistent date format (DD/YYYY or DD/YY)
- Absence of grammatical errors
What are the 3 Resume Formats for Job Interviews?
Depending on the order of information and which section is highlighted the most, there are 3 types of resume formats that are commonly used by job seekers.
They are - reverse chronological resume format, functional resume format, and combination resume format.
Let’s take a look at the features and differences between the 3 resume formats:
Reverse Chronological Resume Format for Job Interviews
The reverse chronological resume format is a format that showcases the candidate’s most recent work experience or education qualification at the top, followed by the older ones.
It is the most commonly used format as it makes it easier for recruiters to scan through the candidate’s most relevant and recent experiences & skills.
Its popularity stems from the fact that it is ATS-friendly, easy to create, and is preferred by recruiters as well.
However, since this resume format highlights your recent work experience the most, it is not suitable for candidates with career gaps and career changes.
Functional Resume Format for Job Interviews
Also known as a skill-based resume format, the functional resume format highlights the candidate’s skills over their work experiences.
Instead of a detailed work experience section, a resume that follows this format includes a section for a summary of skills, wherein the candidate’s use of skills is elaborated.
The work experience section on the other hand only includes details like job title, employer name, location, and dates of employment.
A functional resume format is suitable for those who have career gaps, multiple job changes, and a lack of professional experience.
However, many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) used by recruiters to filter resumes are not able to parse resumes with this format.
Combination Resume Format for Job Interviews
A combination resume format, as the name suggests, is a combination or hybrid of the reverse chronological and functional resume formats.
It combines the elements of the two formats and highlights both the work experience and skills of the candidate. However, it is time-consuming to create and is not suitable for freshers who lack work experience.
But, on the positive side, it is ATS-friendly and can be used by candidates who have career gaps and multiple job changes.
Also Read: How to create a two-page resume format?
Job Interview Resume Writing Tips
Given below are some tips that you can follow while formatting resumes using any of the commonly used resume formats:
Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description
Understanding the needs of the recruiters from the job description provided in the listing will give you a better idea of which information you need to highlight in your resume.
By tailoring your resume to the requirements of the recruiters, you will have better chances of getting shortlisted for the role.
Use Bullet Points and Action Verbs
When describing your professional experience, consider using bullet points and one-liners instead of bulky paragraphs to make it crisp and concise.
Also, using action verbs like “managed”, “led”, “organized”, “increased” etc. while writing bullet points can make it more impactful.
As for describing your achievements and duties, ensure to quantify whenever possible as using numbers will give the recruiters a clear idea of how you can add value to their company as well if they hire you.
Use Professional Design Elements
The format of a resume not only includes its layout, sections, and content, but also includes design elements such as fonts, spacing, margins, and colors.
Ensure to use professional and easy-to-read fonts like Ariel, Times New Roman, & Calibri instead of fancy fonts with special characters that can’t be parsed by the ATS as well.
As for the spacing and margins, keep a 1” margin on all sides of your resume and keep adequate white space between sections so that your resume doesn’t look cluttered.
Proofread and Save it in PDF Format
Once you’re done drafting your resume, make sure that you proofread it to avoid any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
You can either proofread it manually or use tools like Grammarly to detect any errors or typos.
And if you’re sharing your resume through an email or on any online repository, save it in a PDF format so that your resume remains intact.
Key Points from the Blog
- A resume format for job interviews refers to the design, layout, and structure that makes up a resume.
- A well-formatted resume has distinct sections for different information like header, skills, professional experience, summary, and educational background of a candidate organized in a way that highlights the best of their potential.
- Depending on the order of information and which section is highlighted the most, there are 3 types of resume formats that are commonly used by job seekers - reverse chronological, functional, and combination resume format.
- The reverse chronological resume format is a format that showcases the candidate’s most recent work experience or education qualification at the top, followed by the older ones.
- The functional resume format highlights the candidate’s skills over their work experiences.
- A combination resume format as the name suggests, is a combination or hybrid of the reverse chronological and functional resume formats.
- The format of a resume not only includes its layout, sections, and content, but it also includes design elements such as fonts, spacing, margins, and colors.
- If you’re sharing your resume through an email or on any online repository, save it in a PDF format so that your resume remains intact.