Your Resume Format Guide
A winning career starts with a winning resume. It is the jobseeker's responsibility
to grab the employers attention and entice enough interest to earn an interview,
and hopefully; land the job. To do this, the applicant must understand just how
important it is to create a comprehensive and interesting resume.
The first step in building a winning resume is to tailor it according to your
target job and type of company. This article is a valuable guide to help you
understand the different resume formats and how each is used to highlight your strengths.
The most conventional and extensively used format is the chronological resume
format. This format lists the different educational and work experiences in your
lifetime. If you had a stable work history, clear career progression, and little
or no employment gaps, this format is ideal.
Recruitment staff prefer this kind of resume because it connects job titles with
responsibilities and accomplishments. However, a chronological resume format
emphasizes the where and when you've worked rather than what you've done. So if
you have unexplainable employment gaps, or your past work experiences are not
that impressive, then avoid using this kind of format.
In a functional resume, you organize your accomplishments according to broad
functions, or areas of competence rather than by chronology. Since functional
resumes permit organization of data by interests and skills, they make excellent
However, this type of resume format is not as appealing to recruiters because it
places less emphasis on direct experience with specific employers. Use a
functional resume when you want your experience to support a new job target or
career change, a return to a previous career, or a lateral move, as well as when
you include unpaid, academic, or volunteer work.
A combination resume contains functional categories of responsibilities within
the chronological account of the applicants employment. This is useful when you
are describing a position with varied responsibilities, or a progression of
authority. If you have held a position for a long period of time or have made
lateral career moves, this resume format is suggested.
Targeted Resume Format
When a resume is written for a specific job or type of position, this is called
a targeted resume format. The major sections in this format will emphasize your
"Qualifications" or "Summary of Skills" in an attempt to highlight your ability
to do the job you're seeking, even if you do not have direct experience. Since
targeted resumes are so specific, they may not fit for positions other than the
one you are applying for. Thus, it may not be ideal when applying to a firm
hiring general staff rather than specific positions.