What Kind of Resume do you need?

There are many ways to write a resume. The three most common formats are summarized below. When choosing the format for your resume, consider the type of jobs and employers you are most likely to apply to. The Chronological and Combined formats are best suited to high school students, unemployed youth or recent university graduates as they commonly have a limited work history.

Sample Letters and Resumes

Resume Formats





Who Should Use this Format Appropriate for all. Can emphasize work experience or education whichever is stronger. Job seekers with a variety of skills and experiences. Used by professionals or managers. Job seekers who want to emphasize both work and personal skills.
Target Employers Appropriate for all. Useful as a general application for any position. Employers requiring specific or technical skills for their positions. Suitable for most jobs or employers.
Description Traditional format that is most commonly used. Education and work experience are presented in chronological order beginning with current or most recent experiences. Focus is on specific skills, knowledge and experiences. Previous employers and positions held are given minimal attention. Headings outline different skill areas. Emphasizes both skills and work experiences. Allows the job seeker to highlight skills in a logical format.
  • Easy to organize.
  • A good first resume.
  • Best for jobs within the same field/or where the job growth or development is demonstrated.
  • Useful when current/last employer is an asset to work history.
  • Can be organized to highlight skills as they relate to a specific job.
  • Good for those with a variety of different, relatively unconnected work experiences.
  • Best suited to job seekers who have done a lots of freelance, consulting or temporary work.
  • Good format for career changers.
  • Good for job seekers with a clear job focus, knowledge of position and employer requirements.
  • Can be used to highlight non-paid experiences which relate to a specific position being applied for.
Disadvantages Not well suited to job seekers:
  • with lots of short-term jobs or gaps in employment,
  • with advancing age,
  • who have been in the same position for a long time, or
  • who are changing careers.
Not well suited for job seekers who:
  • want to emphasize job growth and development,
  • want to enter traditional fields,
  • could benefit from the use of the name of most recent employer or,
  • have a limited number of skills or work experience to emphasize.
Not well suited for the job seeker who:
  • is unclear about their skills and accomplishments,
  • has little paid or non-paid experiences to identify, or
  • has had many breaks in their employment history.

Sample letters and resumes:


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