The fast and smart resume builder

Instant Resume > RESOURCES > How to Format a Resume

How to Format a Resume

Are you looking for a job, and wish to pass applicant tracking system? It is very important to have the best resume, you must learn about the standard resume formats that work the best when it comes to grabbing attention of the interviewer.

Here, are the table of Contents Covered in this detailed article:

  1. How to format a Resume the right way?
  2. What are the Three Resume Formats? 
  3. How to pick the best Resume Format for you?
  4. Points To Remember


How to format a Resume the right way?

Did you know, most of the candidates never get a call because the interviewer didn’t find the right points highlighted well in the resume. Let’s understand this better, you apply for a job along with various others. To stand out from the crowd, your resume should do the talking for you. 

This is where the question of How to pick the best format to grab the interviewer’s attention kicks. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Margin – 1 inch on all the four sides. 
  • Resume Font11 or 12pt 
  • Resume HeaderContact Details
  • Line Space1 or 1.5
  • Paragraph SpaceExtra space before and after section heading.
  • Resume SectionsContact Information, Resume Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills. 
  • Past Job ExperienceBullet form.
  • Date FormatPick one and commit to it throughout the resume.


Note: You can make you resume as long as you feel it should be. Don’t use your photo on the resume (Unless specifically asked).

PDF format is the best file format. Some companies prefer MS Word. You must avoid file formats such as JPG or PNG.

Do you wish to prepare a resume in 5 minutes? Try Instant-Resume, we can get you job ready with our resume templates carefully defined for each profession.


What are the Three Resume Formats and how to pick the best one for you? 

There are three major types of resume majorly used, it is important to understand that there is not any single one that is the best format, it is always dependent on the nature of your job and the path you wish to take.

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

  • Standard Resume Format
  • Professional experience is listed chronologically which encompasses major part of the resume.

Who is it Ideal for? 

  • Traditional Job Seekers – the one with employment gaps.
  • Entry-Level Job Seekers – The first time job applicants.

Functional Resume Format

  • Non-Standard Resume Format.
  • The skills section is the major part of the resume.

Who is it ideal for?

  • Career changers – Transferable skills and finding new opportunities. 
  • Employment gaps – People with an extended time off.

Combination or Hybrid Resume Format.

  • Combination of both the above mentioned formats. 
  • Professional experience as well as skills section take up almost similar space.

Who is it ideal for?

  • Mid-level or seniors – substantial job experience in the industry.
  • Highly skilled – Advanced technical skill set.

Are you confused which way to go? Don’t worry we have resume samples for each profession. Browse through your choice of profession, and find the latest format that you must use for your resume.


How to pick the best Resume Format for you?

When you are asked “How to format a resume”, you may not find a defined one line explanation. That is majorly because it differs basis the job profile and the professional situation of every individual. Here’s what is important to know:

  • Industry that you wish to work in, whether it matches your previous job experience?
  • The years of experience that you hold in a particular industry.
  • Do you have a Portfolio of projects to share?
  • Do you have a broad skill set and successful work history?
  • Experience and the skills you wish to emphasize upon.


Points To Remember

  • Standard formatting rules must be taken care of.
  • Make the choice of right resume type to ensure your application goes through.
  • Make sure all the information is clearly mentioned.
  • Save space and use bullets.
  • Work experience and education sections do matter.


Browse through our categories to find the best profession that matches your job profile and format your resume basis the latest norms.