August 31st, 2010

Four Resume Formats For The Young Professional


The purpose of a resume is to assist job-seekers in securing an interview. Therefore, it typically includes accomplishments, education, work/volunteer experiences and a combination of skills and strengths.

Although most resumes include all of these pertinent details, each one will not guarantee you an interview. Companies are receiving a vast amount of resumes daily; and to ensure that your resume shines out in the stack, proper formatting must be followed to ensure that it receives attention from human resources representatives.

There are several types of resume formats out there. Choosing the right one will allow you to appeal to a company which will ultimately lead to an interview, which hopefully will lead to a new position. Restructuring your resume can get you the job you want while using the skills and experience you already have.

Below are a few formats that you can use to highlight your successes:

Chronological Resume Format

A chronological resume usually begins by listing your work history, preferably beginning with your most recent position. “The way to maximize your resume is to see it as a marketing document,” says Catherine Jewell, author of New Resume New Career. “Remember the resumes’ purpose: to get an interview. A great resume gets an interview; a great interview gets a job.” The traditional chronological format may be your best choice if most/all of your experience has been in one field, you have no large employment gaps, and/or you plan to stay in the same field.

Recruiters tend to like this format because it is easy to read and demonstrates skill and career growth. Conservative career seekers should utilize this type as well.

Functional Resume Format

These resumes are perfect for individuals who may not have much work experience, varied work experience or experience in a completely different field other than the one which you are currently applying for. Rather than work experience, this format focuses on skills and overall experience. This is often used by individuals who are looking to change careers and/or for individuals who may have gaps in their employment history.

Job seekers who utilize this format typically organize their information in skills and function clusters. In a purely functional resume, company names, employment dates, and position titles are intentionally omitted. The functional resume can work for individuals returning to the workforce or for new graduates entering the job market. As convenient as this format may be, most employers do not prefer it.

Combination/Chrono-Functional Resume Format

A combination resume lists your skills and experience first. Your employment history is listed next. With this type of resume you can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for, and also provide the chronological work history that employers prefer.

However, the work history section only includes job title, name of employer, location, and dates of employment. It is not necessary to list work details because they are noted in the functional section. This style of resume highlights accomplishments that may otherwise be ignored under work detail area. If you are open to more than one career field, this may work best for you. Additionally, with the functional skills listed at the top, it is very convenient to move around those skills depending on the position that is being applied for.

While this format is more acceptable than the function format, it is often difficult to comprehend for traditional company recruiters. Some employers like to know what you did and if you have grown in each position.

Targeted Resume Format

This format is used for individuals who are looking to attract attention from a specific company or organization. The skills and experience are vital to the position that you are applying for. Thus, if you are applying for more than one company, you may have to switch up your resume so that it caters perfectly to each company respectively. This requires extra work, but the benefit of obtaining an interview will prove to be worth it.

A lot of time, patience, and effort must be put into developing the perfect resume. Each of these formats cater to a different person but some of the characteristics from each can be combined if the details are given proper observation.

For some job-seekers, this process may result in both a chronological resume and chrono-functional resume. For others, it may simply be the traditional format. Whatever you decide, be sure that it highlights the best in you. Be truthful, factual, and competent so that you can obtain an interview and the job.

About the Author

Joshlyn Ross
A native of Oakland, California, Joshlyn Ross works diligently to share variations of industry news. She also shares words of wisdom and tips for other young professionals looking to capitalize in their respective fields.



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  3. There are several types of resume formats out there. Choosing the right one will allow you to appeal to a company which will ultimately lead to an interview, which hopefully will lead to a new position. Restructuring your resume can get you the job you want while using the skills and experience you already have.

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