Resume Layout Examples, Templates and Tips

Your resume layout goes a long way to making your resume stand out. Use our resume layout examples, templates and tips to create an effective resume.

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By Ho Lin 4 minute read

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Resume Layout

A professional resume is key to a successful job search. A big element of any great resume is a layout that effectively showcases your skills and previous work experience. But how do you decide which resume layout will work best for you? We’re here to help!

On this page, we’re going to:

  • Give tips on the best resume layout, depending on your qualifications and experience.
  • Provide great resume layout examples and templates you can use for your resume.
  • Show a guide to laying out each section of your resume.
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What makes for the best resume layout?

  • 1

    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 key.

  • 2

    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.

  • 3

    A layout that highlights your strengths

    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 many resume layouts and formats that you can choose from. For a better idea of how your resume can look, check ResumeHelp’s resume examples page.

The best resume layouts you can use

ResumeHelp has dozens of beautiful resume templates that you can use as inspiration for your resume layout. We have many resume designs available, from modern resume templates to simple resume templates and minimalist resume layouts. The best part? You don’t have to edit it alone! You can use our Resume Builder to customize the resume layout of your choosing and truly make it your own.

The resume layouts below are some of our user’s favorite designs. Consider the job you’re applying for and how you want to present yourself to the potential employer before choosing a professional resume template.

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Give your resume layout the right format

There are three main resume formats to choose from for your resume layout and each has its strengths and weaknesses to consider.

Chronological resume

The chronological format is the most commonly used format and is suitable for most job seekers with at least nine years 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 it’s ATS-friendly but can hinder your performance if you have employment gaps or lack work experience.

Functional resume

A functional resume format prioritizes and emphasizes the skills and qualifications you have rather than your work history. The main strength of this resume layout is the way it showcases your skills and training for potential employers, making it ideal for job seekers with less than two years of experience. If you want to emphasize linear career progression, however, it may not be the right choice.

Combination resume

As the name suggests, a combination resume layout draws slightly from the other two formats. A combination layout lets you balance your work history and skills section. This format is best for those changing careers or candidates with three to eight years of work experience.

Layout of a resume, section by section

  • 1

    Contact information:

    Present your updated and professional contact details in this section of your resume. Your name can be written using a 16-18 point size. You can also include the social handle to your LinkedIn profile.

  • 2

    Resume summary/Resume objective:

    Introduce yourself in two to three sentences that summarize your top skills and most relevant work experience. If you have more than three years of experience, write a resume summary and if you have less, go for a resume objective.

  • 3

    Skills section:

    List out relevant resume skills. Include a mixture of 8-10 hard skills and soft skills.

  • 4

    Work experience section:

    Include up to 10 years of work experience related to the job. Focus on work accomplishments and major responsibilities, instead of daily tasks for each job title.

  • 5

    Education section:

    List your latest education credentials. If you have a bachelor’s degree, don’t include your high school diploma. Likewise, if you graduated more than 10 years ago, you don’t need to write the graduation date.

  • 6

    Additional sections:

    Create new sections to feature relevant certifications, awards, training, languages and more.

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.

Use professional margins

The right margin size will ensure you have the most space to play while retaining a professional appearance and reducing white space. 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 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, as well as skills, education and work experience sections. Follow the lead of our resume samples 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.

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More resume tips and examples

ResumeHelp has hundreds of articles with career advice and expert resources to make the best of your resume layout.

FAQ: Resume Layouts

Have questions? We’re here to help.

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 choose from our best resume templates to use as a guide and put together your resume.

Ideally, your professional resume and cover letter should be 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.

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.

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).

Our resume examples are created by resume experts who know the best resume layout practices. We have dozens of samples for numerous jobs, from nursing to customer service and marketing.

A proper resume layout needs to have the key resume sections, which are:

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary or resume objective
  • Skills section
  • Work history section

How you organize this resume layout will depend on the resume format you choose based on your years of experience. If you’re a professional with more than nine years of experience, then the chronological resume might be for you. If you have less than two years of experience, consider using the functional format. If you’re a mid-level candidate that falls in between, the combination format will work best to accommodate your work experience and skills.

The most important part of a resume will depend on the job you’re applying for and your qualifications.

For example, if you’re a college graduate looking for a job as a copywriter, your skills and professional skills will play a bigger role in your resume layout. You’ll want to highlight your skills for the job to show the hiring manager that you can perform well even if you don’t have enough experience.

Meanwhile, a teacher with 10 years of experience looking for a job in another school should center their resume around their work experience. The most important section will be the detailing of their experience and career growth.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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