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Exploring Different Types of Resume Formats in South Africa

Exploring Different Types of Resume Formats in South Africa

May 6, 2024

Exploring Different Types of Resume Formats in South Africa


A resume serves as a crucial tool in the job application process, providing a concise summary of an individual's skills, qualifications, and work experience. In South Africa, where the job market is diverse and competitive, it is essential to understand the different types of resume formats and how they are commonly used. This blog aims to shed light on the various resume formats popular in South Africa, helping job seekers craft effective resumes tailored to local expectations.

Chronological Resume Format:

The chronological resume format is widely used in South Africa and is often preferred by employers. This format presents work experience and educational qualifications in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent positions. It allows employers to easily track an applicant's career progression, highlighting steady growth and increasing responsibilities. This format is ideal for individuals with a consistent work history and is commonly used for traditional industries.

Functional Resume Format:

The functional resume format emphasizes an individual's skills, achievements, and qualifications rather than focusing solely on the work history. This format is suitable for job seekers who have gaps in their employment history, career changers, or individuals with diverse skill sets. In South Africa, functional resumes are often used by candidates aiming to highlight specific skills relevant to the position they are applying for. It is important to customize the functional resume to align with the job requirements to ensure it effectively showcases relevant abilities.

Combination Resume Format:

The combination resume format combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It highlights both the candidate's work experience and relevant skills, making it an effective choice for showcasing a diverse skill set while emphasizing a strong work history. In South Africa, this format is commonly used by candidates with a solid employment background and a range of skills applicable to the desired position. It allows job seekers to present a comprehensive overview of their abilities and accomplishments.

Targeted Resume Format:

The targeted resume format is highly focused and tailored to a specific job or industry. In South Africa, this format is commonly used when applying for specialized roles or when a candidate possesses specific qualifications or experience required for a particular position. Targeted resumes align the applicant's skills and achievements with the requirements of the job, increasing the chances of being noticed by employers. Job seekers should carefully analyze job descriptions and modify their resumes accordingly to highlight relevant qualifications and accomplishments.

Visual Resume Format:

While traditional resume formats dominate the South African job market, and visual resumes services in South Africa are gaining popularity. Visual resumes incorporate visual elements such as infographics, charts, or images to present information in a visually appealing manner. They can be effective for creative roles or industries that place value on visual communication skills. However, caution should be exercised when using visual resumes to ensure they are ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly and can be easily read by potential employers.


Understanding the various types of resume formats is crucial for job seekers in South Africa. While the chronological format remains a popular choice, functional, combination, targeted, and visual formats are gaining recognition. It is essential to choose a format that best showcases an individual's skills, experience, and qualifications while aligning with the requirements of the desired job. Crafting a well-designed, tailored resume can significantly increase the chances of securing employment in the dynamic South African job market.


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