step 2: resume format.

  • resumes
  • February 24, 2017

After you finish researching your target companies, the next step in writing your resume is to format your introductory pitch in the style your potential employer is used to seeing. Formatting for your target is essential. First, your target organization will appreciate that you understand its company and culture. Second, the proper resume format helps to highlight the parts of your resume that are most relevant to your potential employer.

We will go over two resume formats in this guide — reverse-chronological and skills-based (or functional) formats. Both have strengths depending on your chosen target companies and work-related experience.

benefits of a reverse-chronological resume format.

  • This is the more effective resume format if you have previous experience in the industry that you are job seeking in.
  • When listing your experience, you will begin with your most recent work history at the top of the page, creating a new block of text for each job after that.
  • Each text block should include the company name, dates you worked, your position and a bulleted list of your highlights as an employee.

how to make a reverse-chronological resume.

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your career objective
  • Your experience
  • Your education
  • Your skill set
  • Business associations, memberships, volunteer work
  • References (optional)

benefits of a skills-based resume format.

  • The skills-based resume format highlights your skills and abilities rather than work experience.
  • This style of resume is a great choice if you do not have a lot of work-related experience, large employment gaps, frequently changed jobs or took on different job titles over a long period of time at a single employer.

how to make a skills-based resume.

  • Contact information
  • Bulleted list of different instances in which you used that skill
  • Abbreviated listing of experience
  • Testimonials from clients or employers (optional)

standards for all resume formats.

  • Length: Keep it to one or two pages maximum (depending on years of experience), unless you are applying for a highly technical position that requires additional explanation.
  • Borders: Common resume borders are usually one inch on each side. The default borders on Microsoft Word should suffice.
  • Font type: The most common font is Times New Roman, but Arial, Century Gothic, Garamond and Georgia are also popular. Make sure you select a font that’s easy to read.
  • Font size: The most common font size is 12 points; however, you may need to slightly increase or reduce this size to fit all of your information on one page.

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Step 3: contact information