When it comes to resume writing, the content is the most important piece. Formatting plays an important piece in how you present yourself as well. Depending on the job and your personal circumstances, you may be able to increase your chances of being asked in for an interview if you choose the correct format for the situation.
Types of Resumes to Consider
We’re going to look at three types of resumes. While there are variations of these, the three listed here are the ones most commonly used in the job market, and each has its own pros and cons. Consider which is most useful to you for each job application.
The chronological resume is probably the one you learned to write in high school and the most widely used and accepted. It’s a simple reverse order list of your work experiences, with the most recent positions listed first.
This type of resume is best used if you have consistent experience in your field, where you can demonstrate upward mobility and new skills acquired in each of your positions. It’s a great choice to showcase your range of experience in the industry and demonstrate your loyalty to the companies you have worked for.
Of all the resume types, the functional resume is probably the least appreciated. It highlights your skills and education rather than the positions you have held. People use functional resume to focus on the skills a job description requires.
When you haven’t yet worked in the field you are applying for a position in or if you have a gap in your work experience due to extended leave, illness or another reason, you may prefer to point out your skills rather than the fact that you haven’t worked recently. This is also true for those new to the workforce and for anyone who is in the process of switching careers. Keep in mind that this may be a hard sell and it can be more difficult to land an interview with a functional resume.
A targeted resume is similar to a chronological resume, but it is specifically tailored to the position being applied for. In most cases, this means eliminating any experience not related to the position you are interested in, instead focusing on the jobs you have had that relate to this one. The one downside is that it will need to be tailored to each job you apply for, which may be more time consuming.
Writing a Better Resume
Without a well-written resume, your chances of landing the job you want are much lower. Unless you’ve been recommended for the job, this is the hiring manager’s first impression of you. Check, check, and check again the document. Have a friend or two look it over and make sure it is error-free.
You could try combining two types of resumes for a more unique result. For example, you might mix the functional with the chronological format to ensure that the employer has what he is looking for in terms of work history, but rather than lead with your work history, you focus the beginning on the skills you possess that make you a good match for the position.
Don’t be afraid to inject your own personality into the resume, rather than writing it in a mechanical tone. Let the hiring manager know a bit about you through your style of writing before he meets you.
Finally, take a minute to check out some sample resumes to get ideas and to be sure you are on the right path. You’ll find plenty of samples available online (Indeed.com’s resume search and Docstoc.com).