Should You Write A Resume Outline?

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

Writing a resume outline is a good idea when you are creating your resume from scratch. This way you have a solid outline from which to work from. A resume outline is especially useful in laying out how the information should be presented for maximum effect. For instance, a resume outline is a great way to determine if you should be using a chronological format for your resume or more of a functional format. In general terms, the chronological format is the standard, best bet, most conventional resume format. This form of resume outline lists each job that the candidate has held, in reverse chronological order. Each job is then followed by a couple of bullet points elaborating on that experience. The strength of this form is that it demonstrates the steady, successful career path that the candidate has taken. Regardless of your job history and search scenario it's probably a good idea to write a resume outline in this format as a baseline.

The other resume outline a job hunter should take a stab at is the functional resume. This format of resume doesn't focus on the jobs as much as it does the skills and functions that the candidate has become expert in. For instance, a heading of a functional resume might be "research" and the bullet points following that heading would elaborate on accomplishments and instances of that skill set. This resume format is a good choice for someone who is making a radical career change, or who has been out of the job market for a long time. It might also be for someone who has had other significant life experience, say with hobbies or educational endeavors unrelated to their job who wants to highlight those in their next position.

Points to Consider in a Resume Outline

The great thing about writing both kinds of resume outlines is that they give you a chance to evaluate for yourself which type of resume format is appropriate for you. Whichever direction you choose, however, the purpose of the resume is the same. You want to convince the reader that you are qualified, interested and available for the target position. Some key factors to writing a resume which accomplishes the task of establishing qualifications are to think of the resume as a chance to display your problem solving expertise. Employers aren't looking for a new employee just to have someone hanging around the place, they have problems that they need solved.

If your resume outline demonstrates that you have encountered problems similar to the target employer's, have taken action and achieved positive results, then go with that format. Because once the employer knows that you have already solved that kind of problem, then he or she is secure in calling you in for an interview. Instead of being a question mark, you become a known commodity and less of a hiring risk. You are qualified. You can show interest in your "objective" statement.


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