Resume Format

Be it for purposes of landing your first job or making a career transition, your resume is the bridge that connects and ultimately gets you a seat before the employer. It takes the right resume format to entice the employer to look at your experience and background and get to know how you could well suit the company in case they hire you.

The main aim of getting the resume format right is so that the important information can be easily seen at a glance. It takes well under 10 seconds for the employer to make his decision on whether or not to hire you or invite you for an interview. Making this 10 seconds presentation is best achieved by selecting a predefined resume layout or format. 

When it comes to choosing the best resume format, you have three main options: chronological, functional, and chrono-functional or combined resume. These three formats are discussed later in this article.

With the three formats of writing your resume, it becomes comfortably easy for the decision maker to scan for important details in your work and academic history, relevant to the job position offered. This is because the resume formats offer clear and easy to read personal value propositions. 

Chronological Resume Format

The chronological resume format is the most popular with most employers liking it best. It highlights your work experience and history starting with the most current being listed at the top and slowing working its way through the entire employment history in a timeline-view kind of arrangement. What is included in the sections include career objectives, professional experience and accomplishments, education and skills.

This kind of resume is especially good for job seekers who want to stay in the same line of work and those who wish to move up the ladder in the line of work they currently are in. Major issues as short-term jobs and spans of unemployment are easily handled in this resume format which highly increases chances of an interview.

While there are characteristics in a resume, for an effective chronological layout a conservative look, professional style (black text and white background), keeping it short and simple (2 pages), chronological order of post-progression and mentions of roles and responsibilities are among those that can make your resume stand out from the rest.

While writing your personal information, remember to include your name, address, email and telephone number. In the professional profile, it is important to focus on relevant achievement in a concise manner while summarizing your profile to skills and accomplishments. Remember to state objectives, facts and give quantifiable information. With the professional experience being the main component in the resume, highlight your principal tasks and achievements. While writing about your education, highlight the most relevant information by listing the name, location and year of graduation. 

Functional Resume Format

When it comes to the functional format, more of one’s marketable skills are highlighted more than their employment history. This works best for those with less work experience or those needing a switch in their careers. For those re-entering the workforce or with gaps in their history, this format is the best suited.

As with most resume’s, your personal details are needed (name, email and physical address). Next, comes the skills and achievements placed near the top of the page right after the personal information which does a lot in emphasizing your competencies and abilities. Next should be the name of the companies you have worked for, the titles and positions held, location and dates of employment. Following this with experience you had will act as a buffer. What should follow next is the education section with the most recent achievement topping the list.

A functional resume is less commonly used than the chronological one. Unless you have a reason to use this format, interviewers and employers prefer the chronological format as opposed to the functional one. Another option that combines the two is the combination resume which merges and brings the best of both worlds. Here, your skills are highlighted and then followed by your work history. 

Combination Resume Format

With the combination resume working as a hybrid, it focuses on your strongest skills while combining them with your past job experience. It works best for those needing a career switch, recent graduates or those who want to repeat job descriptions from similar past jobs. It is best to keep in mind skills as communication, leadership and good relations and showing how they relate to your specific work history.

As with other formats, the combination resume format carries an almost same structure as the previous ones. 

Starting with one’s personal information, the professional profile, which emphasizes on transferable skills by mentioning qualification in just a few paragraphs, follows. This will do well in advertising your skills in the previous position you held in the previous job. Remember to group similar skills together and keep them as organized as possible. In the professional experience, provide detailed information in bullet points explaining your professional experience. Highlight accomplishments and milestones, proving to the employers the need for them to hire you. Lastly is education, which can be brief, as the main aim of this format is to focus on your work skills, and as such, you are already well into your career.

With the above expert guide on resume formats, you are on your way to assembling a winning resume for your next job application. However, should you need professional assistance with writing a resume that will be ahead of the competition, Arcade Resumes will forever remain your best bet. You can rely on our 17 years of experience assisting professionals like you launch their careers, make career transitions, and rise through the ranks in the corporate ladder. We would like to help you achieve a similar feat, given the chance.


More in this category: « Government of Canada Resume

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