Resume need an overhaul? Start with the correct format.
Resumes are not one-size-fits-all.
Maybe you're just beginning to enter the professional workforce. Perhaps you are an expert in your field with a ton of work experience. Possibly, you are looking to make a career change. Your resume is your first impression, and you don't want it to get buried in the piles of resumes that employers receive. It's imperative that you choose the right format for your unique situation so that you are highlighting your key strengths. You need to make your resume count, and stand out from your competition.
Here are the 3 main types of resumes and who should use them.
What it is: Chronological resumes list your job experience in reverse chronological order. It is the most common type of resume out there, and it’s easy for HR personnel to navigate. It highlights your job experience first and foremost.
Who it’s for: Those who are applying for a job within their professional field. Your goal with this resume is to highlight the work experience that has made you a qualified candidate. You want to show the hiring manager that you have moved up the ladder and you can continue to move up because you have proven experience.
What it is: Functional resumes (also called skills-based resumes) highlight your hard skill set first. These resumes are explicitly targeted to the job you are seeking. If you know a lot about computer programing, but don’t really have professional experience in the field, you want to highlight that you have these skills, regardless of your past employment.
Who it’s for: Those who are switching careers, are newbies to the field they’re applying to, have lapses in employment history, or have scattered job experience. You want to highlight what you are good at – not necessarily your job history.
What it is: Combination resumes are a hybrid of the chronological and functional resume. It highlights your skills first, and then it features your extensive job experience.
Who it’s for: Those who have a lot of experience in their field. You have the skill set that will work in the job you are applying for, and you have the work experience to back it up.
There is another resume format called “targeted”. I argue that ALL resumes need to be targeted. You wouldn’t submit a resume to a potential employer that doesn’t list the skills you have for that specific job. Target your resume for each employer. It’s time-consuming, but worth it - you will stand out from the crowd.
Having trouble with your resume? Get in touch with me for resume writing help. I can also provide cover letter templates that you can fill in geared to the job you are applying for.