Choosing a Format

"Trust me keeping it basic, has its charm"

While making your CV or a resume, the first thing that you should consider is to decide on the format of the resume.A resume format helps you in putting your data and information in such a manner that it works just the correct way for you and helps you get a job.

There are essentially five standard types of formats, each designed to serve a particular purpose and they are -

Before you choose the appropriate format you should understand that even your use of fonts, the paper quality and obviously the flow of information tells a lot about you. Creating a cutting edge professional resume takes a lot more than a set pattern.

Although, there is a particular routine one must follow in order to understand how to adopt from one job to the other, from applying for one hierarchical position to the other. Let’s see how to adapt accordingly -

  • Understand where you are sending your Resume

    The first and foremost thing you need to do is to apply your mind into understanding the fact as to where you are going to apply. If you are sending your CV into photography or a film studio, having a combination (targeted + creative) resume would fetch you higher points.

    On the other hand, if you are sending your CV into a tech firm or to a private bank, you can rest assured that a clean professional resume is more likely to be acceptable over creative resumes.

    If you have previously worked in a particular job and you are applying for a similar position or job profile you better go with the traditional resume style i.e., Chronological Resume. However, if you are either new to the job profile or a job switcher you better stay away from this type of resume as it is only going to highlight your lack of knowledge and understanding of the job profile you are applying for.


    Newcomers or job-switchers need not worry so much because we have an option ready for you as well. It will do you a world of good if you choose a functional resume format. What it does, is that it allows you to point out the transferable traits and qualities of your previous work profile or academic excellences that you are bringing to the table in the job profile you are applying for.

    Experts also point out the need to combine certain resume formats. Let’s say you are a graphic designer. Your knowledge and understanding of your work are creative in nature. It would be great if you can bring the aspect of your creative skills into the application while keeping the company you are applying for, in mind.

    Combination of a targeted resume and a creative resume (such as an infographic resume) would do a lot better under a variety of scenarios. Combination resumes tend to mix the ingredients of a functional resume format with those of chronological resumes. A combination resume helps those who have been changing their career path more than once and is now willing to settle down for the one they are applying to.

    Plus, a Combination Resume helps those with zero or minimum job experience in that particular job position that they are applying to. Normally, these resumes uphold skills and traits which are required in order to do the job.

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  • Simplicity

    That is because every type of work field is substantially different from others. The criterion of every job industry is distinguishable and you should tailor your resume according to the situation. Even before the resume reaches the tabletop of your recruiter or a hiring manager, it will have to go through the rigours of ‘Applicant Tracking System’.

    So keeping your CV absolutely clean and professional is an important factor. There are standardised fonts which are more often than not used for professional work like ‘Arial’ and ‘Times New Roman’.

    Choosing your font size also matters. One size extra and you are too LOUD, one size too small is not readable. On the other hand, choosing an appropriate font size would make your resume look ‘Aesthetic’.

    Therefore, choosing a font size somewhere between 10 to 12 is ideal for the eyes. Make sure to choose a size according to the amount of information you need to fit into the resume. You need to keep your resume within one page, ideally. A tiny font, however, is a big NO-NO. Smaller fonts than what has been specifically mentioned hereinbefore are going to be unreadable and ultimately thrown out.


    Then, there is black ink on white paper. Remember that it always works. Do not overuse colours because it looks messy and extremely unprofessional. Make sure you abstain from being overly creative and childish designing.

  • Maintain the style throughout

    This part is so important that Google and Microsoft made this a priority function of their writing software a.k.a. Google Docs and Microsoft Word.. In order to bring a proper flow into your resume, you need to follow certain hierarchical norms which are based on logic and tested theories.

    Now, the first thing that goes into your resume is definitely your name in ultra-bold, slightly larger font size than the over-all font sizes used at various parts of the resume. Make sure your contact information comes second to your name and is readily available to the eyes of your recruiter. Don’t blow it up as high as your own name.

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    Basically every head section or a head pointer should preferably be in bold. Then in case you are making subsections in your ‘Education’ section, make sure to have the sub-section i.e., ‘College Name’ to be slightly larger and bolder than the details present in that section.

    It is a word of warning that many people prefer over-capitalizing everything in order to lay stress or that capitalizing makes it look better, maybe? For whatever reason, you may think it will look ‘cool’, trust me keeping it basic, has its charm and effect so keep to it. Use of italics and underlining should be avoided. Underlinings will make your resume look a lot more cumbersome.

  • Modulation of creativity; when and how

    Be very careful of the font you choose. Being too jazzy won’t work with anybody. Some may be of the opinion that a certain job may be up for some alternative ways of text and fonts. But overdoing it is going to affect the readability of your resume and frankly, nobody has the patience to go through your resume if it is difficult or funny to read. It is better if you consult a friend you know who already works at the organization you are applying to. You should consider following some of the guidelines advised by them too.

Written By :
Abir Ghosh
Career Expert at CV Owl

Your CV or resume is your first impression for any company. With the help of CV Owl, you can get a well-structured CV and your time will be saved. Everything on your CV should be written in a formal manner and in a precise way. You have only 20 seconds to impress your recruiter with your CV, make the best out of it. Visit our series “The HR Talk” where we help you know everything about your job interview from the recruiters.

Try CV Owl as we help you furnish a fully-formatted in a chronological order resume on our RESUME BUILDER or cover letter. You can also try our CV REVIEW SERVICE, through which you get a CV writing expert reviewing the insight of your CV and advising you so that you can make your CV stand out.

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