Successfully communicating your knowledge and skills through your professional brand and resume is the first step in creating a great resume. Why is so much time spent in creating a resume? Because when it’s done right, it works! A resume is how you market yourself. Your resume is your initial sales pitch to your prospective employer. Your education, talents and skills are the product and you are the salesperson.
- Look for keywords in job postings
- Review resume examples for your industry
- keep it brief
- use a professional font
- Include only the most relevant information and keep the most important information first
- Only include subheadings and sections you need
- proofread and edit
There are four basic types of resumes when it comes to getting a job: chronological, functional, combination, and targeted.
Resume Type 1: Chronological
The chronological resume is exactly what the name suggests. Everything listed in chronological order according to dates. You start your resume with your most current current position and end it with the earliest job you began. Employers greatly appreciate this type of resume because it gives them an overview of your experience and is easy to follow from top to bottom.
- A chronological resume shows what positions you’ve held and for how long you’ve held them
- Recruiters are typically more familiar with chronological resumes and are easy to follow
- A chronological resume can be an advantage if you have worked with well-known companies
- A chronological resume makes gaps in your resume more noticeable
- This format is not the best if you are applying for a field you do not have experience in. For example, you’ve been working in finance for the last 10 years but are now interested in Information Technology. By using a chronological resume, recruiters may find it hard to look beyond your finance roles
- If you are a student or don’t have much experience in your career path, a chronological resume might expose your lack of experience
Resume Type 2: Functional
A functional resume focuses primarily on your skills and experience and less on your work history. Employment history would come second to showcasing your abilities and talents that can contribute to the success of the company. This resume type is preferable if you have lapses in employment
This resume can also be beneficial for graduate students who have limited experience or for people pursing a new career path. Those with diverse occupations and varying career paths will also benefit from this format.
- With a functional resume you trim down any unnecessary information and stick to the most important experiences if you’ve had a long work history and held many different positions
- It may look as if you lack a stable work history because of possible gaps in resume
- May appear unclear since it only lists skills and not all your previous jobs as a chronological resume does
Resume Type 3: Combination
With a combination resume you get the best of both worlds. You highlight both your skills and provide a chronological order of your work experience. This allows your prospective employer to view what kind of employee you are.
List the most recent jobs and advanced degrees first and then work in reverse order. If you have older courses that pertain to the job you are applying for then list those near the top.
- If the job applicant has little work history, this resume format will allow the applicant to showcase their skills
- If the applicant has worked at the same company for a long time or held the same position, a combination resume allows the readers to see the skills they gained while working
- Provides your employers with a chronological work history
- Emphasizes your skills
- Combination resumes can be longer than the chronological and functional format which might not give you a lot of space on your resume
- Can be repetitive if similar skills apply to various positions. The trick to combatting this is all in how you word it.
- If the job applicant has switched jobs frequently it will be evident and will also highlight gaps in employment
Resume Type 3: Targeted
The final format you may want to consider is a targeted resume. This type of resume is customized and very specific to the position you desire. Everything on your resume is reflective of the position you are applying for, your skills and abilities, work history, and education.
Study the job description for the position you want. It is vital to know what qualifications and requirements the employer is looking for so that you can include those keywords in your resume.
- This type of resume is popular and has a higher possibility of getting you an interview since you are tailoring your resume to the position you are applying for
- More impressive to employers
- Written specifically to employer’s needs
- Any resume can be turned into a targeted resume
- Time consuming and takes more effort to prepare
- Confusing if not well organized
- Must be revised for each application