10 Types of Resumes (What They Are and When to Use Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 30, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are many approaches to resumes, each meant to effectively highlight your experience, education and individual skills in a specific manner. Your industry and experience level can determine the type of resumes to use. Determining the available resume formats and matching them with your needs can improve your job search experience. In this article, we explain why resumes have such diverse formats and discover the different types and when to use them.

What is the difference between the type of resumes?

The workforce consists of a wide variety of roles, each seeking suitable employees, so considering the type of resumes you can use is a great way to make an excellent first impression. Some workplaces require a professional layout, keeping with a chronological or functional approach. There are modern approaches that rely on digital presentations, or more creative resumes for roles in the arts. To determine the right type of resume, there are several factors to consider, including:

Industry

The approach to resume presentation varies significantly between industries, with some appreciating a visual representation and others wanting an orderly, written account of your experience. Consider the sector and position when crafting your resume and aim to find a format that is concise and can appeal to the person reading it. For example, creative industries may appreciate unique resume layouts that include graphics, while resumes for accounting roles can benefit from being more traditional.

Experience level

If you're new to the job market, you may benefit from a resume that features your skills and academic accomplishments over your work history. If you've worked in the field for a long time, a resume prominently featuring job experience can be especially useful. When expressing your work experience, you can detail the employment duration and job title, followed by the position's regular tasks.

Education level

If you're a recent graduate and have some work experience, it may not necessarily apply to the career you want. Applying with a resume that features your relevant academic achievements and the transferrable skills you gained from your other jobs can be effective. Consider highlighting specific classes and any academic awards you earned to express your value as a prospective employee.

Related: How to List Education on Your Resume (With Examples)

Personal brand

Consider that your resume is a prospective employer's first impression of you as a professional. By carefully determining your resume's aesthetic, including font, colour scheme, and formatting, you can engage potential employers visually. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism by choosing a resume type that fits your personal brand.

Available technology

In certain situations, the type of resume you choose for the job application relies on software. Be sure that you have access to quality technology so that you can create a modern resume and present yourself properly. If you plan to integrate design features such as infographics, ensure that you have the capacity to ensure a quality result and that these graphics are easy to read.

Related: How to Establish a Personal Brand

10 types of resumes and when to use them

Every resume is unique, but there are some common factors that categorize each different type of resume. The following present different approaches to resume formatting:

1. Chronological resume

This traditional approach relays your job history as a timeline. Typically, the resume starts from the most recent work and moves further back into your history. You list your job title, the company you worked for, its location, the duration of your employment, and your daily tasks. Its purpose is to create a narrative that best details why you're a good candidate for the positions you're seeking. A chronological resume is the default format for most job applications.

2. Profile resume

Used when applying for a specific position, this type of resume is hyper-personalized. Rather than offering a detailed explanation of your work and educational history, this resume presents you as the primary focus. The resume profile is a two- to three-sentence paragraph at the top of your resume which aims to get the reader's attention. Below the profile, you can include your work and education history, just as you would with a chronological resume. Consider the profile resume a way to individualize the application and show some of your greatest achievements and personality at the top.

3. Compact resume

Popular for those applying to more entry-level roles, a compact resume is concise. It showcases your key qualifications and relevant work experience. Especially if you're applying to multiple job openings, a compact resume can add efficiency to your search. It's also useful for trade shows or networking events, as it acts like an expanded business card. Meant to incline prospective employers to learn more, these can work as a precursor to an in-person interview.

4. Modern resume

A modern approach to resumes can be displaying it in a digital format, used to highlight technological skills while also helping you stand out. It can include a variety of media, including text, videos, infographics, photographs, or animations. Common for creative positions, consider this resume when you want to include examples of your work or express your creativity. Regardless of the resume style you choose, aim to keep your resume to one or two pages at most, even if it includes graphics.

5. Infographic resume

Resume templates offer a variety of colours and layouts, and choosing a creative template can help you make your resume more interesting and attention-grabbing. Infographic resumes work when you want to showcase graphical metrics to highlight objective examples of your success, from increases in profit to web traffic or overall sales. Infographic resumes may also include icons, an opportunity for personal branding. When using an infographic resume, ensure that the visuals are accurate and clear. You can employ contrasting colour schemes and slightly change default fonts to stand out visually. Ensure the overall aesthetic remains professional.

6. Targeted resume

Particularly favoured when you're applying for a niche position, a targeted resume helps you tailor your application to the specific role and company. This type also assists in detailing your interest in the position and demonstrates the effort you put into the application. This can set you apart from other applicants by highlighting your knowledge of the business and relevant experience. Research the company, and use the same keywords as they've listed in the job description on your resume. You can customize your phrasing to match the job for which you're applying, which may give you an advantage.

7. Portfolio resume

Portfolios allow contract workers to display their previous projects and abilities. You can use this approach to organize the projects that apply most closely to the job at hand. Useful when applying to a temporary position, it shows that you're comfortable with short-term work and have a proven history of success. To highlight a steady professional history, date-stamp your projects. A portfolio resume can be text-based, but most rely on a personalized website with graphic design and photography samples, or links to social media feeds.

Related: How to Make a Portfolio

8. Video resume

Video resumes are becoming more prevalent, especially when applying for content creation or film roles. Businesses may request them as a follow-up to a traditional resume. The video involves you verbally detailing your work and educational history, as it applies to the position. It gives potential employers the opportunity to observe your body language and professionalism before committing to an in-person meeting. When completing a video resume, ensure that the quality of the recording, including sound and lighting, is of a high calibre.

Related: How to Prepare for and Succeed at Video Interviews

9. Functional resume

Another common type of resume is a traditional resume that focuses on skills as opposed to work experience. Useful in situations with a gap in your work history, a functional type of resume allows you to show the skills gained during that time. You can categorize your abilities and detail them as an organized demonstration of your skills. These resumes often feature a small section of work history further down on the page, if applicable. The main section details experience gained from volunteering or academic achievements.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Functional Resumes

10. Combination resume

A combination resume offers an opportunity for personalization. Particularly if you're designing a targeted resume, it can help to use components of infographic and chronological resumes. Because there's a limited amount of space available on your resume, the key to a successful combination resume is maximizing information without crowding the resume. Combination resumes provide a unique way to express why you're an ideal fit for the role.

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