23 Resume Layouts to Consider for Your Resume

A resume layout can really elevate your resume’s style and design. How can you make sure that your resume layout works for your needs?


Resume Layout

So, you’re undertaking a new job search and it’s time to create an effective, professional resume that will lead to exciting new opportunities and, hopefully, a new job title. How can you create the best resume for each role? What is the best layout for a resume, and what are the best resume writing tips to help you get the right results? These are important questions to ask before you begin creating yours.

A layout that’s easy to scan

The resume layout you choose should be easy for recruiters to scan and consider at a glance. When a hiring manager or recruiter picks up your resume you will have only a few seconds to catch their attention. An aesthetically pleasing resume layout that is easy to absorb information is therefore key.

A layout that reads well in ATS

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) that scan resumes are very common these days, especially if you are applying to large companies that get thousands of applicants for each post. Ensuring your resume is ATS-friendly is crucial to making sure it is seen by hiring managers and recruiters.

A layout that prioritizes your best elements

Any job seeker who wants to land a good position should prioritize resume layouts that draw attention to their strengths, certifications and skills rather than any gaps in their work experience or skills section. There are a number of resume layouts and formats that you can choose from. If you are uncertain about which would be best for you, check here for resume examples and free resume templates for ideas.

Choosing the Right Resume Format for Your Needs

There are three main resume layouts to choose from and each has its own strengths and weaknesses to consider. These are the chronological resume, the functional resume, and the combination resume. 

Chronological resume 

The chronological format is the most commonly used format and is suitable for most job seekers with at least some amount of professional experience. This format requires you to list your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position. This format is popular because ATS can handle it easily, but if you have gaps in your employment history or lack experience, a chronological resume can highlight your weaknesses in these areas. 

Functional resume

A functional resume format prioritizes and emphasizes the skills and qualifications you have rather than your work history. If you use this layout, you can skip dates entirely in your work history, which is good for those without professional experience, or who have an eclectic work history. The main strength of this layout is the way it showcases your skills and training for potential employers. If you want to emphasize linear career progression, however, it may not be the right choice for you. 

Combination resume

As the name suggests, a combination resume layout draws a bit from the other two formats. A combination layout lets you balance your work history with hard and soft skills, with both supporting the other. This format is best for those who are changing careers or can point to a few years of related job experience.

Of course, choosing the right layout for your resume is only half the battle. You also have to format your resume in an effective and aesthetically pleasing way to make sure recruiters and hiring managers take notice.

Resume Layout Design: Basic Tips and Guidelines

Formatting your perfect resume after you have chosen a layout that suits you is one of the most important steps. You can use a resume builder (like the one offered by ResumeHelp) or a professional resume template if you feel stuck, but learning to format one yourself is useful too. Here are the basics of resume formatting:

Use professional margins

The right margin size will ensure you have the most amount of space to play with while retaining a professional appearance. Whether you have a basic or creative resume, your margins should never be less than a half-inch. One inch all around is preferable in most cases.

Create an attention-grabbing header

The header of your resume should be eye-catching and contain your name and contact information. Ensuring it is placed at the top of your resume and that it stands out will ensure that recruiters don’t have to look too hard for your number.

Pick an appropriate font

Choose a font that is legible, clear and professional if you want your resume to be ATS-friendly. You don’t have to stick with the default, but you should stick with sans serif fonts like Arial or Times New Roman and keep the size at 10.5 or above for your main resume text. Stick to convention with your sections Even a basic resume will need a summary statement, skills, education, and work experience sections. Follow the lead of our resume examples on where to place each section, and for standardized headings that are familiar to recruiters.

Stick to convention with your sections

Even a basic resume will need a summary statement, skills, education, and work experience sections. Follow the lead of our resume examples on where to place each section, and for standardized headings that are familiar to recruiters.

Keep it concise

While a CV will typically be longer, your resume should be one to two pages at the most (one is preferable), as it represents a singular snapshot of your qualifications. Make use of bullet points and short, punchy phrases to stand out.

FAQ: Resume Layouts

Q: What is the best layout for my resume?

Technically, there is no single resume layout that is best. There are only resume layouts that are best for specific purposes. Deciding which layout is best for you requires that you know which format you want, based on what you want to prioritize. Then use our templates as a guide to putting together a straightforward, polished layout.

Q: Should I lean more towards a stylized or functional resume?

Ideally, your professional resume and cover letter should be both stylish and functional, but the importance of your resume design and appearance can vary. If you are applying to a role in a creative industry for example, the design of your resume may be more important than it would be for a more traditional job.

Q: What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

While many people use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between a single page resume and a CV. A curriculum vita (or CV) represents a full history of your academic and professional credentials, while a resume is a concise snapshot of specific skills and qualifications. Resumes are geared toward informing hiring managers of your suitability for a singular role, and they tend to be shorter than CVs.

Q: Where can I find resume layout options?

If you wish to see examples of popular resume layouts and formats, ResumeHelp has a library of example resumes you can browse for ideas (as well as a range of resume templates you can work with).

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