Choosing Your Ideal Resume Form


© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"

The most effective resume form for your job hunt depends on a number of factors. The most important of which is whether your target position is similar to the current job you are holding or is a new kind of occupation for yourself. If it is similar to your current occupation, and is in fact one in which you have a great deal of experience, then your best bet is the chronological resume format. This format, the most common format used by most resume writers is the format in which the emphasis is placed upon the jobs which you have held, which are listed in reverse chronological order.

The benefit of the chronological resume form is that it presents the hiring manager with an overall picture of the totality of your career, and demonstrates your consistent, steady, progressive climb from a entry level position to your current level. This resume form is especially powerful when you combine it with the practice of bullet points beneath each position which list the most significant problems you solved and your most notable achievements (relevant to the target position, naturally). The other benefit of this resume form is that it is so common. It is more or less the standard or default resume format, so it is extremely familiar and easily understandable by just about any hiring manager who receives it.

If your target position is not a simple progression or parallel from your current job, the chronological resume form is not the best option for you. Using the chronological form would highlight that you have no experience in the exact job that you are applying for and would raise more questions that it would answer. As a result, the best resume form for you is one which highlights the skillsets that you have acquired in the workplace as a while, and de-emphasizes the actual jobs which you held. This resume form is called the functional resume. Unlike the chronological resume, the functional resume begins with a listing of the skillsets which you have acquired in the workplace, like leadership, budgeting, project management and so on. Each of these categories receives a couple of bullet points describing achievements and problems solved, just like that which followed the jobs in the chronological resume format. This section is followed by a bare-bones listing of your jobs and titles.

The idea behind this resume form is to show that you have the skills and specific problem solving experience that the target job requires, but that you acquired it in an alternative fashion. This tactic only works, however, if you know what problems the job requires solved. This will mandate some research on your part and a little more thinking than a straight chronological format might. With this resume form, your experience is a bit different and the way your resume is arranged is also quite different. This sets you apart from the other candidates, which may be a good or bad thing.

 

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