As we approach 2024, the buzz for resume format 2024 tips is growing louder. It's as if we're all holding a fresh, blank page just waiting to be filled with this year's trends. After all, you know what they say―new year, new beginnings.
It's no secret that when we say goodbye to the old and welcome the new, we can't help but think about what we want to change. And guess what tops the list according to Forbes Health? Work-related goals. Things like improving finances and finding that elusive work-life balance.
So, with 2024 around the corner and New Year's resolutions heating up, it's a perfect time to revamp one of the key tools in your professional toolkit—your resume. In 2024, it's not just about what you say. It's also about how you format it.
In 2024, it's not just about what you say. It's also about how you format it.
Selecting the right resume format can be that subtle yet significant touch that propels you into an exciting career path in the upcoming year.
Grab your coffee and get comfy, as we are about to dive deep into all the must-know essentials for crafting winning resume formats in 2024. I'll share expert insights on different resume format types and top trends. Plus, you'll get practical tips for optimizing your resume, all based on my nine years of experience in recruitment.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to future-proof your resume.
Looking for a pre-formatted, HR-proof resume template?
Find it in the resume template collection created by HR professionals.
How Can Your Resume Format Impact Your Career Goals
Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your journey, a well-structured and visually appealing resume can make all the difference in presenting your skills and experiences. This has been the case until now, and it will continue to be so in 2024.
Here's precisely how your resume format can affect your career goals:
First Impressions: Recruiters often spend just a few seconds scanning each resume. A visually appealing and well-organized format can capture their attention and make them more likely to consider you for an interview. The right resume format buys you more time in the recruiter's hands, allowing them to focus on your qualifications and experiences. Conversely, the wrong format can lead to your resume being quickly dismissed, potentially costing you valuable opportunities.
Relevance: Different industries and job roles have varying expectations regarding resume formats. Choosing a structure that aligns with your specific career objectives and target jobs is crucial as it enables you to highlight the most relevant skills and experiences for the desired position. If you miss the mark on the suitable format, you might be ruled out before a recruiter even delves into the content of your resume.
Clarity: Strategically structured resume format allows recruiters to swiftly locate essential sections like your work history, education, and skill set. It presents your information in a clear, easily digestible way and directs attention to your core strengths. Without a clearly organized resume format, vital details can become lost in the shuffle, making it challenging for recruiters to identify your qualifications and understand your potential fit for the role.
Choosing the Perfect Resume Format for Your Career Goals
There are three basic resume formats, each with its advantages and best use cases. These best practices won't change anytime soon, especially not in the year right around the corner. So, understanding these formats can help you select the one that will help you achieve your career goals in 2024.
Without further ado, let's look at these three most common resume formats.
1. Chronological Resume Format
The chronological resume format is the most commonly used format. It presents your work history chronologically, starting with your most recent position.
This format is ideal if you have strong work experience that perfectly fits the job description or want to showcase your career progression. It is particularly well-suited for corporate jobs and traditional industries where a straightforward presentation of your experience is valued.
Focuses on: Work history
2. Functional Resume Format
The functional resume format concentrates more on your skills than your work history. It allows you to highlight specific skills relevant to the job you are applying for, even if you acquired them in different roles or industries.
This format is particularly beneficial when you're making a career change, have gaps in your employment history, or have limited work experience.
Focuses on: Skills
3. Combination Resume Format
The combination resume format combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats, allowing you to showcase your work history and relevant skills.
With this format, you can provide a comprehensive overview of your experience while emphasizing the most relevant skills for the job. This format works well if you have a solid work history and want to highlight specific skills crucial for the position.
Focuses on: Work history and skills
Want to learn more? Head to the recruiter's guide on resume formats and find out which is ultimately the best one.
Top 4 Tips for Optimizing Your Resume Format in 2024
I know—new year, new resume tips, again. But here's some good news: there are good old resume formatting tricks that will still work their magic in 2024. And on the other hand, new additions are your perfect opportunity to start implementing them right away and get ahead of the competition.
Here are the top 4 tips for fine-tuning your resume format in 2024.
#1 Use a Clear and Readable Structure
This is one of those evergreen pieces of advice. Time is a precious resource, and recruiters look for resumes with easily skimmable formats in their typically brief resume scans.
Organize your information into distinct sections and ensure consistency in formatting, bullet points, and headings. This structured approach increases readability and helps convey your qualifications effectively. Additionally, incorporating ample white space into your resume enhances its overall visual appeal and makes it more inviting for recruiters to review.
ATS-friendly resume format with a clear and easy-to-read structure.
#2 Ensure Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) Compatibility
In 2024, it's almost guaranteed that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will first read your resume for nearly every job application. These programs scan resumes for specific keywords but can only do so on ATS-compatible resumes.
Example of ATS ranking candidates based on so-called killer questions.
To enhance your resume's compatibility with ATS systems, follow these steps:
Use standard fonts like Arial or Calibri.
Ensure keywords are prominently featured.
Save your resume as a PDF.
Make sure the text is selectable and not an image of text.
Avoid complex formatting, such as tables or graphics.
#3 Strategically Incorporate Visual Elements
Including visual elements in your resume can be smart to make it more memorable and leave a positive impression on recruiters. In certain industries like graphic design or marketing, these visuals can also showcase your creativity and skills, highlighting your ability to think outside the box and bring innovation to the table.
Add functional icons or graphic elements to organize the layout and modernize your resume.
Remember—when including visual elements, maintain the professional look of your resume format to ensure it remains polished and easy to read for recruiters.
Want to do it right? Check out these HR-approved tips for designing a memorable yet professional resume.
#4 Customize Your Resume Format for Each Application
According to Zippia, 61% of hiring managers say customization is the best way to make your application stand out. (After reviewing over 30,000 job applications, I couldn't agree more.)
To maximize your chances of success, tailor your resume format to match the requirements and preferences of each job application.
Research the company culture, industry trends, and specific job descriptions to understand what the hiring managers are looking for. Then, adapt your resume format accordingly, highlighting the most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the position you're applying for.
Future Resume Format Trends for 2024
Looking into the future and resume format trends for 2024, it's safe to say that some of the most promising resume format trends have already become part of the job market, such as infographic and video resumes or online portfolios. Let's see which of these trends are worthy of incorporating into your job search strategy.
Infographic resumes have recently gained popularity due to their visually appealing and easy-to-read format. Instead of the traditional text-heavy layout, an infographic resume uses graphics, charts, and icons to present information in a more engaging way. A recruiter's thoughts on infographic resumes in 2024: Even though they are great at catching attention at first glance, most infographic resumes are a) incompatible with ATS, b) hard to read, and c) unfortunately, poorly executed. As we go into 2024, an infographic resume might help you stand out in some creative industries, especially if you're applying for a job where your creativity or graphic design skills matter.
But, if you're applying for a corporate job, it's better to play it safe. Stick to a traditional, chronological resume. (Btw, that doesn't mean your resume must be boring. You can still show off your creativity and personality. Just pick one of the creative resume templates from this collection.)
With the rise of video platforms and the increasing demand for multimedia content, video resumes have become increasingly more common.
A video resume allows you to showcase your personality, communication skills, and passion in a way that a traditional resume can't.
A recruiter's thoughts on video resumes in 2024:
Video applications are fun. But—there's always a but—reviewing them takes time. And that's the #1 thing most recruiters and hiring managers don't have.
So, unless you're applying for a video editor position where you have to showcase your video editing skills, remember that a video resume is not the best option. They work well only if your video skills are relevant to the job or if you're applying for a small company where they receive a handful of job applications. Adding a personal touch through a video job application will be appreciated in these cases... if the video is done well, which probably goes without saying. But, if that's not the case and you're still looking for a creative yet practical way to stand out, you'll love the next idea.
An online portfolio is a powerful way to showcase your work and achievements. By creating a dedicated website or using platforms like Behance or LinkedIn, you can showcase your projects, case studies, articles, and testimonials, making it easier for recruiters to evaluate your potential fit for their organization.
Graphic design portfolio example.
A recruiter's thoughts on online portfolios in 2024:
You have an online collection that shows your skills in practice? Fantastic—that's what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for!
Online portfolios always add immersive value to your job application and give you an edge over your competition. And they're a trend that's here to stay. So put your best work together and add it to your job application.
But there's one catch: Recruiters will still be interested in seeing the breakdown of your work experience. So, don't send your online portfolio as a replacement for your resume. Instead, include a link to your online portfolio in it. This way, you'll provide a comprehensive view of your qualifications.
Selecting a resume format is crucial for a job search aligned with your career goals. And, as we look ahead to 2024, with more technology than ever included in recruitment processes, submitting the right resume format can indeed make a substantial difference in positioning yourself for success.
Whether you opt for a chronological, functional, or hybrid resume format in 2024, remember to:
Organize your resume format in a clear, concise way that highlights your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements.
Use industry-specific terms within your content and ensure that your resume format is readable by ATS.
Be open to applying for positions that accept video or infographic resume formats. 2024 might be the perfect year to embrace fresh career prospects and enrich your experience.
Ready to elevate your resume for 2024? Explore our collection of 50+ expertly crafted resume templates and join 8,000 professionals who've used them to land new jobs. Start here.
What to Do Next?
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Hi—I'm Ana! An ex-recruiter, founder of ByRecruiters.com, and author of this article. My career advice and job search tools have been featured in Yahoo News, The Muse, Jobscan, A Better HR Business, and other global media. Over 8,000 professionals have used my resume templates to land new jobs and power up their careers. Ready to join them? Your success story starts here.