What Should My Resume Look Like?

Life Well Learned

What Should My Resume Look Like?

Posted by LWL Staff

Applying for a job is very stressful. You’re one of hundreds or maybe even thousands trying to prove your worth for that one opportunity. So how can you make it less stressful? Be prepared. When you’re prepared, you’re more confident. The first impression is often formed from the resume, but how your resume is viewed by employers has changed over the years. In many cases, your resume may not even be seen by human eyes until it has passed through software, and software isn’t looking to be impressed — it is looking for keywords. This means having a 10/10 resume is vital!

Following a particular resume format is not as critical as highlighting your skills and knowledge as it relates to the job you are applying for. Job seekers should be ready to re-format and change the verbiage on their resume based on the particular needs of the employer. For example, if you have direct experience but it was a few jobs back, you will want to move that job to the top of the resume so it will get noticed. You can do that by creating a Related Experience category.   

If you still don’t know where to start, here are three most common styles of resumes and what they highlight!

Chronological Resume 

This is the most traditional resume and probably the style you have now. It lists your work experience in chronological order, starting with the most recent job you’ve had. This resume will help showcase longevity and growth in a certain career or field. So, if you’re looking to switch careers or have a lot of gaps in your work history, this type of resume may not be for you.

Chronological Resume

Functional Resume

This resume focuses on your skill set more than your work history. This will help you showcase your relevant skills for the job you are applying for. If you have gaps in your work history or are thinking about a career change, this will probably be the best type of resume for you.

Functional Resume

Combination Resume 

This resume, like the title implies, is a combination of both the chronological and functional resume. You have some flexibility in the style of resume, meaning you can lead with whichever you think is stronger or more important for the job listing — work experience or relevant skills. *Think about what Todd said in the podcast — what is the job posting looking for? What buzzwords or phrases are they using? That might help you decide which part to lead with. 

combination resume

Bonus Tip

Whichever style of resume you decide to use when you apply for a certain job, make sure you are saving your resume as a pdf. When you submit a resume in a word document, there is a high possibility that your formatting could be adjusted depending on the software or program that is being used to open/read it. By sending it as a pdf, the formatting will never be affected! Learn more about the ins and outs of what makes a resume a 10/10 from Indeed.com.

See Sample Resume for Specific Jobs and Careers


Sample resumes provided by Medaille College’s Career Planning Office.

back to topBack to Top