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Creating a Winning Horizontal Resume: Tips, Examples, and More

When it comes to writing a resume, choosing the right format can make all the difference. While most job seekers are familiar with the traditional, vertical layout, there’s another option that may work better for certain fields and career levels: the horizontal resume.

In this article, we’ll explore what a horizontal resume is, its advantages and disadvantages, and how to create an effective one that can get you noticed by hiring managers. We’ll also share some examples to help you get started.

What is a Horizontal Resume?

A horizontal resume, as the name suggests, is a document where the content is arranged horizontally instead of vertically. Instead of the typical top-to-bottom layout, the sections on a horizontal resume usually run from left to right.

Horizontal resumes have gained popularity in recent years, especially in creative fields like graphic design, journalism, and marketing. They’re also a good option for anyone with a lot of experience as they can accommodate more details than a vertical resume.

Advantages of Using a Horizontal Resume

There are several advantages to using a horizontal resume, including:

  • Visually appealing: Horizontal resumes are more eye-catching than vertical resumes, which can help you stand out from other applicants.

  • More space for details: If you have a lot of experience or skills to showcase, a horizontal resume can give you more space to include them without overwhelming the reader.

  • Easy to skim: Hiring managers may only spend a few seconds reviewing a resume, so making it easy to skim can work in your favor. The left-to-right format of a horizontal resume can potentially help with this.

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Disadvantages of Using a Horizontal Resume

While there are advantages to using a horizontal resume, there are also some drawbacks to consider, including:

  • Only suitable for certain fields: Horizontal resumes may not be appropriate for all job types or industries. If you’re applying for a traditional job, such as in finance or law, a vertical resume might be a better fit.

  • Not ATS-friendly: Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to weed out unqualified candidates. Some ATS software may not be able to read a horizontal resume, which can hurt your chances of even being seen by a human.

  • Formatting challenges: Creating a horizontal resume in a word processing program like Microsoft Word can be challenging. It may require tweaking margins, adjusting tables, or even using design software like Adobe InDesign.

When and How to Use a Horizontal Resume

Horizontal resumes are a good fit for job seekers in creative fields or for those with a lot of experience to share. Here are some tips to determine whether a horizontal resume is right for you:

  • Research the company and job: Before submitting your resume, research the company and job you’re applying for. If the job description calls for a creative or design-heavy role, a horizontal resume might be a good fit.

  • Consider your experience: If you’re relatively new to the workforce, a horizontal resume might not be necessary, as your qualifications may fit nicely on a vertical one. But, if you’re a seasoned professional with a lot of experience to share, a horizontal resume can give you more space to showcase that.

  • Think about the audience: Consider who will be reviewing your resume. Hiring managers or recruiters who are more traditional or older may be less familiar and comfortable with a horizontal resume. In those cases, a more conventional vertical resume might be a safer choice.

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Tips for Creating an Effective Horizontal Resume

Here are some tips to help you create an engaging and effective horizontal resume:

  • Start with a strong introduction: A horizontal resume is unique, so use your introduction to explain the format and why you chose it.

  • Keep it simple: Horizontal resumes should be visually appealing but not overwhelming. Use a clean, easy-to-read font and avoid cluttering your space with unnecessary graphics or images.

  • Organize your content strategically: Consider what content you’ll include and organize it strategically. Some good options for sections include education, experience, skills, and certifications.

  • Use columns: To make your horizontal resume more readable, use columns to separate each section. This will help readers easily navigate your document.

  • Customize each application: Don’t send the same horizontal resume for every job you apply for. Tailor it to the specific job and company you’re applying to by highlighting relevant skills and experiences.

Examples of Well-Crafted Horizontal Resumes

Here are some examples of well-crafted horizontal resumes to inspire you:


A horizontal resume can be a great option for job seekers in creative fields or those with a lot of experience to showcase. They can be visually appealing and offer more space for details, but they also have some limitations to consider.

If you decide to use a horizontal resume, remember to keep it simple, organize your content strategically, and tailor it to each job you apply for. By following these tips and examples, you can create a resume that stands out and gets you noticed by hiring managers.

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Q: Can I use a horizontal resume for any job?A: No, horizontal resumes are most appropriate for creative fields and for job seekers with a lot of experience.

Q: Are horizontal resumes easy to read?A: They can be, but it’s important to keep the format clean and simple, separating each section with columns and using a readable font.

Q: Can applicant tracking systems (ATS) read horizontal resumes?A: Some can, but not all. It’s best to check the specific ATS software the company you’re applying to uses before submitting a horizontal resume.

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