How to Structure Your Resume to Get Noticed by Employers

on November 13, 2023 in ABR Blog, Career and Job Search Tips


If you are looking for a new job, one of the most important steps is to create a resume that showcases your skills, achievements and qualifications. A resume is not just a list of facts, it is a marketing tool that tells your story and convinces the employer that you are the best candidate for the position. But how do you structure your resume to make it stand out from the crowd?

Here are five ways to organize your resume that can help you get noticed by employers.

1. Use a reverse-chronological format.

This is the most common and traditional way to structure your resume, where you list your work experience in reverse order, starting with the most recent one. This format highlights your career progression and shows the employer what you have done lately and how it relates to the job you are applying for. It also makes it easy for the employer to scan your resume and see your relevant skills and achievements.

2. Use a functional format.

This is a less conventional way to structure your resume, where you focus on your skills and abilities rather than your work history. This format is suitable for people who have gaps in their employment, who are changing careers, or who have diverse or unrelated work experiences. Instead of listing your jobs, you group your skills into categories that match the job requirements, such as communication, leadership, or project management. You can also include a brief summary of your work history at the end of your resume.

3. Use a combination format.

This is a hybrid way to structure your resume, where you combine elements of both the reverse-chronological and functional formats. This format allows you to highlight both your skills and your work experience, giving you more flexibility and versatility. You can start with a summary of your qualifications, followed by a list of your skills, and then a chronological list of your work history. This format is ideal for people who have a strong and relevant work history as well as transferable skills.

4. Use a targeted format.

This is a customized way to structure your resume, where you tailor it to fit the specific job you are applying for. This format requires more research and effort, but it can increase your chances of getting an interview. You need to analyze the job description and identify the keywords, skills, and qualifications that the employer is looking for. Then, you need to match your resume to those criteria, using the same language and terminology as the employer. You can also use a different format for each job application, depending on what suits the position best.

5. Use a creative format.

This is an innovative way to structure your resume, where you use design elements, colors, fonts, graphics, or multimedia to showcase your personality and creativity. This format can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your unique value proposition. However, this format is not appropriate for every industry or job type, and it can also distract from your content if not done well. You need to consider the employer’s expectations and preferences before choosing this format, and make sure that it is compatible with the application system and easy to read.

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