Ideal for entry-level professionals. The Combination format allows the job seeker to front-load their resume with skills, education, and experience relevant to the position to which they are applying. Employers are looking for a demonstrated work ethic. However, that Summer job as a camp counselor may not be as beneficial as the volunteer and class-oriented medical experience. Inform the reader that you are familiar with the field by listing what is relevant first (education, certification, experience), followed by activities. Typically, no more than one page in length.


The most common layout for experienced professionals. Use this once you have established yourself in the field. Sections typically follow this order Experience, Service, Education/Training, Skills, and Activities. Typically, no more than one page in length.


If you transitioning careers and have little to no experience for the targetted role, you might benefit from a functional format. This layout allows the job seeker to identify and express experiences in previous positions that will enable them to be successful in the intended role. Identify the top 3-5 skills essential to the role (i.e. project management, communication, financial management, etc.) and support them by sharing current and past accomplishments and responsibilities. Typically, no more than one page in length.


Creative resumes are attractive and unique to the individual, yet should be limited in their use. They work well for those entering creative jobs (graphic design, marketing, film, etc), but can send the wrong impression in a traditional business environment (accounting, quality control, data analysis, etc.). Creative types often have a web portfolio to display their design, photography, and written work. It is strongly suggested that a creative resume mimic the stylistic theme of the website. Typically, no more than one page in length. Just depends on the size of the paper.


Federal resumes are similar to reverse chronological and the Curriculum Vitae. However, the writer needs to include the number of hours worked per week and their annual salary for each position. Requires as many pages as it takes.

Curriculum Vitae

Literally translated, this is your life course. They are most frequently used in education, leadership, and higher level careers (professors, attorneys, physicians, executives, etc.). It will include everything relevant to your career path: education, certification, licensure, research, honors/awards, publications, presentations, experience, service, professional associations, and institutional and community service. Requires as many pages as it takes.