Latest Resume Format Guide for 2021

This long read post is fully related to a resume format 2021 and all the stuff related to this topic. We’re going to deep into details to help you understand which resume template is better to use in your case to get better results. No useless information, only useful information, which could help you to get better results. 

The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it’s a story about who you want to be.

Oprah Winfrey

Why a Resume Format is so Important?

Before you even start writing a resume 2021, you need to understand one and the most important thing in resume writing process – professional resume format, latest resume template and easy to read structure. All the other things are about marketing. Marketing? Whoever you are, your resume is a marketing document, where you are trying to self your candidacy to a company where you’d like to work. 

Why it’s important to craft a resume the way hiring manager would like to invite you among tons of other job seekers? Simply because you want to be that person, who would like to get an invitation for an interview. 

For all these reasons, we decided to help job seekers increase their chances to get a job. Below we offer you our complete resume format guide for 2021 on how to write an outstanding CV which works!  

How Resume Formats Differ

What is resume format and how useful it could be for a job seeker, who are in active job search? Along with resume template, resume format has a proper goal – it helps to structure information in your CV. Depends on what information you’d like to show or hide – you need to pick a proper CV format. Below we’re going to talk about what resume format exists and which one to use in different situations.

Chronological Resume Format

Chronological resume template (also known as reverse-chronological resume) is one of the oldest and most used resume templates. As you can understand from the name of this resume format – all the content should be structured strictly in reverse-chronological order. 

It’s not a surprise, why this type of resume is still one of the most popular resume templates. Simply because other resume formats were not so popular. A chronological resume was like a gold standard for resume writing, It really was, until other resume formats began to penetrate the labor market.

One by one, they all have the same structure. Summary or resume objective, employment history with exact dates and positions, skills, accomplishments, education section, etc. If you’d like to compare job descriptions, you could simply find differences in the way they were written. If you will start comparing chronological resumes – you could not find any differences. 

BUT how to differ in today’s competitive world? It’s pretty hard if you have only one type of resume format. With this in mind, inventive job seekers decided to create completely other types of resume: functional and combination. Below we’re going to tell a bit more about them.

Chronological Resume examples 2021 — New

Functional Resume Format

Already tried to sum up everything and remember the whole career path from the beginning and it didn’t work out? Looks like you need a bit different recipe on how to “cook the right resume” for hiring managers.  

In Spite of chronological resume template, functional resume fully concentrate on hiring managers on your skills. Both skills, hard and soft ones. A completely different approach in resume writing, where you show your reader only the most relevant information to them. 

However, it has a pretty huge disadvantage. Recruiters are viewed as this type of resume as suspicious. There are reasons for that. Because of the specific structure, recruiters can’t trace the whole career path of a candidate. That’s why they prefer to get chronological resumes. 

Still, a functional resume is more for people who would like to answer the question “Who they are at the moment”, compared with chronological resume, which answers the question “Who am I and how useful my previous experience could be”. 

Below is the next resume format for those candidates, who are not ready to use only one resume format and all the time trying to mix both resume formats.

Functional examples 2021 – TOP samples

Hybrid Resume Format

An outstanding solution for those candidates, who are hesitant about which resume format to choose from two presented above. The main idea here is to include your skills section from a functional resume and mix it with an impressive career path from a chronological template. 

The most interesting thing is that there are some candidates, whose goal is to get an interview on a position in exact company. Is that possible to craft a resume for a specific job ad?  

Hybrid Resume examples 2021 – New update

Targeted resume format

There are tons of cases, when job seekers want to get exact position in a specific company. Specifically for that purpose was created a targeted resume format. As you have already understood from the name of this type of resume format – it helps to target your resume for exact job ad.

Targeted resume format needs some specific actions from a candidate. You need to know how to write it right way to get a desired results. If you made a decision to use this type of CV format, we recommend you to pay attention to an ATS systems. Overstaffing a resume with keywords could route your CV to a trash pile.

Crafting a targeted resume, you should know how to optimize your CV 2021 for ATS.

WHO and WHEN should use proper resume format 2021

Before you pick an exact CV layout that you are going to use to write a resume, you need to understand whether the chosen resume format is right for you. Many job seekers doing a big mistake using not a suitable CV template. In the end, they can’t understand why nobody calling. To know different resume 2021 templates and to use the right one is completely different tasks.

[WHO & WHEN] Chronological CV Format 2021

An outstanding solution for candidates with a solid background, impressive career path and transparent employment history. Not all the candidates can meet the demands of a good chronological resume. 

Not all job seekers would benefit from a chronological resume. Only those candidates who meet the requirements above. In other cases, this type of resume format could be really tricky for you. Simply because you have some tricky aspects in your career path.

Employers like chronological CV format. The key value – transparency. They can track everything to understand whether it’s candidate matches the desired position or not. Even if you are not looking for a top position and considering a mid-level position, it could be a good option for you as well. 

[WHO & WHEN] Functional CV Format 2021

The best choice for those candidates, who has some troubles in their career path and would like to concentrate on skills instead of work history. When you have specific hard skills and it’s your main asset – this type of resume is right for you.

[WHO & WHEN] Combination CV Format 2021

A good choice for candidates who are changing positions and would like to get a job in a completely different area. Combining skills and career path could be a winning option compared to other resume formats.

Latest Resume Formatting Tricks

Whoo..seems as we have already finished with different formats of resume. Now it’s time to deep into details and share with you some knowledge on how to format a resume document. What rules could be crucial and better to follow and what are you can simply ignore. Why do you need it? Because a resume document is easy to read for your reader.

Resume Lengths 

How long your CV 2021 should be?

how long a CV should be in 2021

Still guessing what is the right length of resume? We have prepared a post with detailed instructions when to use a one-page resume or two-pages resume.

Doesn’t matter who you are and what position you would like to get, try to follow one simple BUT really important rule – use a one-page resume template. Try to include everything into one page. 

WHY do you need to do that? To concentrate on hiring manager’s attention to the most important parts of your resume. The more space you have to include your resume, the less important information candidates start to add. 

IMPORTANT! We’re talking about the common resume. There are some exceptions like federal resumes, resumes for a government position and some other cases. 

Resume is a marketing document, BUT not a story

You need to sell your candidacy!

Writing a professional resume most candidates still believe that the more information they include, the more chances they would have to get an invitation to an interview. That’s not the best approach to use. 

These days reality shows us a completely different approach in resume writing. First of all, a resume is a document, which must catch the hiring manager’s attention. If it does not happen, you need to improve some parts of your document. To make it easy to read and create a catchy content inside. 

On average, hiring managers spend up to 20-30 seconds to make a decision about each resume. 10 seconds of them spent on the resume scanning process. That means that you have up to 6 seconds to catch a hiring manager’s attention. 

How to catch recruiters’ attention? There are some hacks on how to make your resume content much easier to scan. Below we shared them with you.

Best Fonts To Use

Using the right font in your resume could be not a trivial matter. That’s why too many job seekers make the same mistakes choosing the right font for their resumes. Below we collected the most often mistakes, which could be fatal.

Possible problems to avoid choosing resume font:

  1. Try to avoid custom fonts in your resume. First of all custom fonts not always can be recognized by application (MS Words or other programs used to open a resume document). If exact custom fonts are not installed on HR’s laptop, it would not recognize it. 
  2. The same situation with applicant tracking systems. Using creative or custom font could be a tricky moment because it could not be recognized by ATS. If the system can’t recognize text in a document, it automatically forwards a document to a trash pile. 
  3.  Font size between 10 – 12 pt. If you are using a larger size, you could probably face some issues with the possibility to include everything into one page. In other cases, when you are going to use too small fonts, it wouldn’t be easy to read it. 

Resume fonts to use in 2021

We do recommend using Sans Serifs font family. Among them you could find the list of fonts below:

  • Arial
  • Helvetica
  • Verdana
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Century Gothic
  • Tahoma

Of course, we don’t want to limit you using some other fonts in your resume. All the written above is merely advisory, but can significantly increase your chances to get your resume seen by a recruiter.

Bullets, containers, margins

If you are writing a resume from scratch and do not use professional resume examples 2021, it’s a good idea to follow the next tips below.

  1. Use bullet points, where it’s possible to structure your resume content. Bullet points are important when you describe resume skills sections, describing core competencies or any logically split arrays with information. 
  2. Try to use a block structure, when crafting a resume. For example, one block of content could include soft skills, others can include hard skills. Using blocks helps visually separate information.
  3. Try to add spaces between different resume sections. It would make your resume much easier to scan.

Resume Sections to Include

Depending on the resume format you are going to use, the diversity of resume sections differ. Using a functional resume you should concentrate on hiring manager’s attention to a skills section. Those candidates, who decided to pick a chronological resume template should pay their attention to experience and resume summary sections. 

Below you could find the most common resume sections without reference to a specific resume format. You could find information about what information should be included in each section and how important it is. 

Resume Header Section

If the hiring manager can’t in a few seconds understand who is the owner of a resume – you need to do some changes in your resume header section. 

No need to overload it with obvious information. All you need to do is to provide a data below:

  1. First name
  2. Last name
  3. Phone number
  4. Email

Some candidates also add an address or neighborhood. It’s fully optional. We do not recommend our candidates to add it. The less useless information you provide, the more attention transferring to more valuable details.

Resume Objective Section

To be frank it’s not the best idea to include it in a resume. When you’re applying to a specific job – you show your intention to get the desired position. Why do you need to include a couple of sentences, explaining “why is this position is right for me” or “why I’m the best candidate to get this position”.

Instead of filling that old fashioned section, get extra free space in your one-page resume to include much more interesting information to your reader.

Resume Summary Section

Resume summary statement is a really important block in your resume because it helps to hire managers quickly understand who you are and how to measure your “success”. Under success, we meant – how well you performed at your previous place of work. Of course, if you know how to do that right way.

We always recommend to our candidates to include information, which is not hard to explain and measure. If you have some figures, it’s a good idea to add them to the resume summary. If you provide exact numbers it gives rise to confidence.

Resume experience section

One of the most important blocks in every chronological resume format. When you writing it, you need to follow the exact structure below:

  1. Job title (or position you obtained on that moment)
  2. Company name 
  3. Periods (Date start – Date end) for each position
  4. Key duties or achievements

All the information should be listed in reverse chronological order. 

Resume skills section

Skills are the core of each functional resume. Still, if you are using another resume template, it’s a good idea to highlight this resume block. 

We do recommend splitting soft skills out of hard skills. This way it’s much easier to read them. Those skills, which you’d like to show first, should be on the top of the list.

TOP Resume Mistakes to avoid

Writing a good resume in 2021 is not an easy task in a hard competitive environment. You can write an outstanding resume, use professional resume example, formatting it according to the latest resume writing trends…But make an easy mistake, which is not obvious for you, but could be critical for a hiring manager. They are scanning your resume and rejecting it. It’s not acceptable! That’s why we decided to create a special list with the most common mistakes candidates make. Read them and check your resume twice, before submitting it to an application form. 

Spelling or grammar errors

The most occurring mistakes among all scope are spelling and grammar mistakes. The core of the problem – candidates do not use spell checkers while writing their resumes. Another reason – you are not attentive to details and do not ask somebody to proofread your CV. 

Grammar mistakes could cost you an interview. They are not acceptable at all. If you can’t use the right grammar to write a resume, you are not the right candidate for mid+ position. That’s the way an average recruiter thinks.

You were responsible for everything

The core problem here – you don’t have the right specialization or you were responsible for everything and can’t overwrite what were your duties.

When hiring managers scan a candidate’s resume, they want to understand why this candidate should be invited for an interview. What exact value he/she brought to the previous employee. If it’s possible to recognize your resume, you have much better chances to get a call.

Quantify your accomplishments and use as many figures as possible overwriting your previous duties or responsibilities. Show them what value you brought in numbers, where it’s possible to do. 

Not a targeted resume

If you want to increase a conversion to get invited for an interview, you definitely need to tailor a resume for a job description. The more targeted resume you’ll have in the end, the more chances you will get a call from an HR. 

They don’t want to spend time for candidates, who have a fully different profile, which does not match with the actual vacant position. 

Too many keywords

It’s often a mistake when candidates are trying to optimize their resume for an ATS system. As a result, you will hack an applicant tracking system, but not a recruiter. A decision-maker is a person. 

Resume, which is overstaffed with keywords is not possible to read at all. You are writing a resume for humans, rather than a machine.