Everyone’s background is different and there are different types of résumés. No one type of résumé will fit everyone’s background and to a tee. Here are the most popular résumé formats:
- Chronological: This is the most popular résumé format and works best for people with a solid, logical job history who are able to tie their past employment to the open position. It contains an objective and/or summary statement, a chronological listing of all your employers with specific (hopefully quantifiable) related accomplishments. • Pros: Commonly accepted format • Cons: May not highlight the most relevant experience.
- Functional: The goal of a functional résumé is to quickly convince hiring managers that your transferable skill sets and competencies make you worth an interview. This is done by strategically grouping key skills and qualifications into different categories. By focusing on skills vs. employment history. • Pros: Puts the spotlight on relevant experience and can mask gaps in employment • Cons: May cause hiring managers to be uncertain about your employment history; not ATS-friendly.
- Combination: If the skills and experience that best support your career goals are not the most recent, the combination résumé can help highlight your strong points while also providing detailed employment history. A combination résumé leads with a description of functional skills and related qualifications – just like in the functional résumé, followed by a reverse-chronological employment history – just like in the chronological résumé. • Pros: Allows you to bring your most relevant skills to the top of the page while clearly showing history • Cons: Varies slightly from the most common format; can draw attention to employment gaps.
- Mini: A mini résumé is essentially a business card with your contact information, headline, career highlights and (ideally) a link to a complete online résumé. Its purpose is to support your professional networking efforts at a moment’s notice; it should not be used for a formal, application process. A short snapshot of your career highlights for networking purposes. • Pros: Easily available to distribute at a moment’s notice • Cons: Must be backed up by a full résumé
- Targeted: Your successful job search depends upon your ability to communicate your value to potential employers. While you know that your skills are transferable and your personality would be a good fit for any organization, recruiters/hiring managers do not know that. They’re looking for a particular candidate who possesses every needed skill. • Pros: Clearly conveys to the hiring manager how your skills and experience qualify you for their open position and communicates your interest in that specific job. • Cons: Can be time consuming.
So which one is the best for you? The type of résumé that is best suited for you depends upon your employment history, long term career goals and immediate objective. Depending on your situation, you could have more than one type ready to go at any given time. Having a clear understanding of the different types and their purposes will help you determine which is best for you at any given opportunity. The experts tell us that a customized résumé using the formats above is the most effective way to get your foot in the door.
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