How to Format Your Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 23 January 2023

Published 25 August 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Formatting your resume the right way can help you secure the job you want. In this article, we discuss different resume formats, what they're best suited for and provide a few examples for reference.

Related: CV Templates: How To Use Different Types for Successful Job Applications

Different resume formats

There are three common resume formats that are often used:

1. Chronological resume

A chronological resume highlights your education and work experience in reverse chronology - that means you'd start with the most recent of each, and continue downwards from there. This format includes the following elements:

  • Your name and contact information

  • Your work experience

  • Your educational qualifications

  • Relevant skills

  • Additional information

Related: How To Write Work Experience on a Resume (With Tips and Examples)

2. Functional resume

A functional resume highlights the applicant's skill sets rather than their work experience. It is the ideal format for those who have gaps in their employment history or perhaps are trying to switch to an entirely different industry. This format includes the following elements:

  • Your name and contact information

  • A summary of job-specific skills

  • Your employment history

  • Your educational qualifications

  • Additional information

3. Combination resume

A combination resume incorporates elements from both chronological and functional resume formats. Elements of a combination resume include:

  • Your name and contact information

  • Your work experience

  • Your educational qualifications

  • Relevant skills

  • Additional information

Tips for making your resume stand out

Regardless of which format you choose to use, certain universal rules apply when it comes to crafting a good resume. Here are some of them:

  1. Set proper margins

  2. Choose a professional, legible font

  3. Select a font size of 10-12 points

  4. Use section heads

  5. Use bullet points

  6. Proofread and edit before submitting

Related: A Guide on How To Format Biodata on a Resume (With Example)

1. Set proper margins

Setting proper margins can improve the readability of your resume. If your resume is lengthy, set 1-inch margins on all sides. Those with shorter resumes can consider using wider margins to make the page appear fuller.

Left-aligning all the text on your resume can also improve its legibility.

Related: Are Resume Writers Worth It? Benefits and Tips for Using One

2. Choose a professional, legible font

Easy-to-read fonts are a must when it comes to resumes. Cursive or fancy fonts may come across as unprofessional, so it is best to stick with these classics:

  • Avenir

  • Calibri

  • Cambria

  • Constantia

  • Corbel

  • Franklin Gothic

  • Garamond

  • Gill Sans

  • Helvetica

Related: How to Select the Best Font for Your Resume

3. Select a font size of 10 to 12

The font size you choose would also affect your resume's legibility. For best results, select a font size of between 10-12 points.

4. Use section headers

Section headers help organise all the information in your resume into bite-sized chunks that are easier to read and understand. To stylise your headers, you can:

  • Bold or italicise them

  • Use a bigger font size (14-16)

  • Underline them

5. Use bullet points

Bullet points help you list out important information quickly and efficiently.

6. Proofread and edit before submitting

Before you submit your resume, proofread it for grammar and spelling errors.

Related: How to Write an ATS Resume (With Template and Example)

Examples of different resume formats

Here are some examples of different resume formats:

Chronological resume

Susan Wang

+55-5555-5555

susanwang@email.com

Experience

Supply chain manager

Main Integrated Holdings, September 2017-Present

  • Collaborated with all on-site and off-site vendors and contractors, and ensured compliance with regulatory requirements

  • Trained project managers, and oversaw the hiring and training of 7 logistics administrators

  • Improved delivery time by 35% by identifying 10 new contractors and negotiating long-term contracts

Supply Chain Administrator

Derby & Paragon, October 2013-August 2017

  • Coordinated logistics for air and ground transportation, supervised vendor negotiations and verified all purchase orders

  • Managed inventories using supply chain software

  • Reduced transportation and warehousing costs by negotiating with suppliers

Education

National University of Singapore

September 2008-September 2013

Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Skills

  • MS Office

  • SAP

  • Inventory management

  • Process improvement

Functional resume

Daniel Kaw

+65-5555-5555

danielkaw@email.com

Areas of expertise

  • Retail sales

  • POS and electronic payment terminals

  • Microsoft Office

  • Service-based sales

  • Fluent in Malay and Mandarin Chinese

Skills

  • Salesmanship: Consistently exceeded sales quotas by 10-20%. Provided customers with detailed explanations of company products and services, leading to increased sales and positive customer feedback.

  • Service-based sales: Reduced customer turnover by 5% through the adoption of a robust customer feedback system that improved service delivery and conflict resolution time. Pioneered new upselling techniques that increased repeat business by over 10% and boosted overall revenue.

  • Interpersonal skills: Consistently given at least a 95% satisfaction rating on customer feedback surveys. Able to converse fluently with customers in Malay and Mandarin.

Experience

Hu Mai Limited

Sales representative

2017-Present

  • Implemented up-sell programmes and facilitated contactless payment systems

  • Increased customer loyalty, exceeded sales quotas and trained 5 sales associates

Education

American University of Kuala Lumpur, 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Read more:

  • A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Professional Resume

  • What Is Cover Letter for a Designer? And How To Write One

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed. The models shown are for illustration purposes only and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

Explore more articles