On the Job Hunt: A Guide to the Different Types of Resume Formats

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Your resume is used for selling yourself. It’s a way of making yourself appealing to potential employers and putting your best foot forward. As such, it’s critical to select which kind of “ad” – or resume format – you want to utilize.

There are dozens of types of resume formats out there. But which one is right for you?

Let’s take a deep dive into several different types of resume formats to help you find the one that best caters to your professional needs.

Chronological Resume

In this kind of resume format, you will list all of your professional experience in chronological order in the “experience” section. Simply put, it means that you start with your most recent employer, and then start listing the older employers backwards from there.

The official name for this type of resume is “reverse chronological” resume. This is because you are working in reverse through your relevant job experience.

Chronological resumes enable the hiring manager to easily view your career progression. They also put the most pertinent job experience at the top of the page.

A chronological resume is best suited for those who have no major gaps between employment. It is also ideal for applicants who have made consistent progress throughout their career, and have a robust record of skills for the specific position that they’re applying for.

This traditional kind of resume can convert PDF to Word since it uses hardly any images.

Combination Resume

One of the most popular resume formats to use is a combination resume. This resume style enables you to thoroughly detail your experience and expertise. It also backs up these claims with an extensive list of employment history. Extremely flexible to use, combination resumes allow you to customize your resume to the open position. Furthermore, it tells the hiring manager your employment journey.

A combination resume can contain an introduction, your contact information, and a section highlighting your educational background.

This type of resume works best for applicants who are trying to showcase their technical or transferable skills while also detailing their career history.

Functional Resume

Different from a chronological resume, a functional resume style highlights your employment experience and skills first. It takes the emphasis off of the dates you have worked. Your job history is secondary and will be listed under your skills information. It could also include an objective and summary section.

A functional resume works best for individuals who are just starting out in the workforce or are switching industries. It is also good for applicants who have large gaps in their employment history.

Targeted Resume

If you want to tailor your resume to the job that you’re applying for, you may wish to consider a targeted resume. Every detail you include on the resume, from your education and qualifications to your objective, should mirror the requirements of the open position.

To create this type of resume effectively, you need to thoroughly read the job posting. Job descriptions almost always include the duties, basic requirements, and skills necessary to be successful in the position.

A targeted resume will take you longer to complete as you will need to research each position. You will also have to customize it to meet the requirements of the job description.

The benefits of a targeted resume include a lot more callbacks than if you were to send out a generic one. This is especially true when your skills and experience cater to the job.

Infographic Resume

An infographic resume includes images and graphic design components in addition to text. While a traditional resume format uses plain text to convey a candidate’s experience, an infographic resume format utilizes design, color, and layout to highlight your eye for creativity.

If you’re an aspiring graphic designer, an infographic resume would be the perfect way to showcase your design skills. However, proceed with caution because 75% of companies use a software called applicant tracking systems (ATS). This software scans your resume to ensure it contains enough words to show to a hiring manager.

If your infographic resume does not contain the proper amount of resume keywords, it won’t get through to the person who you want seeing it.

A Resume with a Profile Section

A resume format that includes a section for a profile will include a short summary, work experience, and objectives as they relate to the job opening.

The profile section of the resume is very helpful to the applicant. This is because it can concisely explain your expertise to the hiring manager in an appealing manner. If you’re just starting out in the workforce, a profile can help shine the spotlight on the skills that you already do possess.

Nontraditional Resume

A nontraditional resume is a creative version of a traditional one that could include images, pictures, graphics, and other appealing visuals. It could be a digital resume, physical resume format that contains an infographic, or even a video.

These types of resumes are perfect for employees in the creative industry. 


While similar to a resume, CVs are different in that they are three pages or longer in length. A resume is used to apply to many jobs, while a CV is designed to apply for specific academic positions, such as a professor.

If you aspire to be a teaching assistant, instructor, research associate, or a PH.D. student, you should use a CV instead of a resume. This will help to fully detail your expertise and educational background.

Choosing the Perfect Types of Resume Formats

From chronological to infographic resumes, there are a ton of resume styles to pick from. During your job search, it’s important to know how to properly sell yourself to the hiring manager. A sure-fire way to get noticed is through the proper resume. While there are many types of resume formats out there, knowing which one is best for the position you are applying for is crucial.

If you’d like to learn more career advice, keep reading our blog.

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