A resume is a powerful sales document – meant to sell your qualifications as a job applicant, with an end goal of obtaining an interview. This condensed written record of your past has the power to make or break the success of your job search. But it could be the most daunting document you will ever struggle to put together.
These days, with the job market so tight, choosing the right format is more important than ever. Perhaps you are battling the odds already with some type of “population” factor, such as your age (too young or too old), you are an immigrant, ex-military, or homeless. Or maybe your Work History or Education isn’t blazingly impressive. Do not despair, any factor can be minimized. How? It all comes down to choosing the right Format for your circumstances-knowing what to emphasize and in which part of the resume to emphasize it.
Three Types of Resume Formats – You Choose
1. Chronological – the most commonly used design. It puts emphasis on your work history and your advancement within a single career path. It works well if you have a pretty steady job history, want to emphasize your career development, and are currently seeking a similar job. But it may not work as well for you if there are gaps in your work history.
With the Chronological, list the companies/positions held from most recent and work backward. Because the emphasis is put on your work history, your education, awards, certifications, etc., will follow in the second half of the resume.
2. Functional – used when your work record is spotty, with gaps between employment, or if your past experience is irrelevant to the position you are now seeking. In lieu of focusing on your work history, this format focuses more on the skills you have acquired over time, personal and professional, your qualifications, accomplishments and education. This design is also good if you are planning a career change. If you are going to use the Functional format, make sure to write a good strong Headline/Objective.
3. Combination – combines the strengths of the above two. This format is useful when you are trying to impress a particular employer, because it not only showcases the skills you have acquired and how that can benefit your new employer, but also your steadiness and stability as an employee.
Remember – you have but one chance to make a first impression. Whether you are a student with a limited work history, or an executive who has amassed twenty-five years of experience in one field, knowing which resume format is best for you can make all the difference in your job search. Self-confidence cannot be over-stated. As the essayist Samuel Johnson once said, “Confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
Did you know that you only have 10 to 15 seconds to make a first impression? What if within that crucial 15 seconds, an important hiring agent still had no clue who you were or what you could contribute to their company? Resume writer Susie Schade-Brewer thinks more than fill-in-the-blank resume templates are required in this tough job market. Since 1999, she has been creating individualized resumes, taking pride in customizing the format to fit each client, and carefully phrasing each line to catch their hiring agent’s eye.
Visit her website now to take advantage of her gift – a FREE Resume Critique. She will be happy to make suggestions to improve your resume’s effectiveness and boost your self-confidence for your job search. Many more helpful resume tips can be found at her website, http://www.TPWWritingServices.com.