A resume is undoubtedly the piece of paper that is responsible for deciding your fate, your career and marks your life ahead. It is an essential document both for you and the hiring manager in the company where you have applied for a position. It is your life so far in those two pages so the format you must present your skills, knowledge, experience, accomplishments and education is up to you but, it is required to know which format would be best suited to your needs.
Here is a list of three different formats that are commonly used in resume-making:
This is the most commonly used format of resume and lists down a person’s work history in a reverse chronological order that is starting with the current work experience to the one you began with. If you have had a long, stable and steady work history and wish to continue in the same field, this is the best format you could follow. You can list down your job experiences along with the titles you have been working at and the responsibilities you have carried out so far dating back to a decade at most. All your accomplishments and achievements at each of these companies can be listed down in few pointers. Also, mention how you have driven results and initiated better revenue during your stint with a company. If need be, you can also use numbers and small pie-charts to denote your successes.
Mentioning the roadblocks and how you overcame them in each of the companies you worked with and the different projects you covered are worth including in this format.
If your work experience till now is relevant and in tune with the job you have applied for, you can undoubtedly choose this format. However, if you have had a versatile career stint so far with your recent experience not at all relating to the job you are preparing this resume for, this format will not be able to engage your reader to the end.
This is the resume format that ideally showcases your skills sets and does not give dates and exact tenure of work experiences but focuses on the skills you have learnt in different organizations working in various job profiles. You can give a brief on your work history, the achievements, the challenges, the employers you have worked with and the different responsibilities you have been bestowed with under this job experience. This resume format works best for those who are looking for a change in their career path or have too many gaps in their entire work history. If you are not keen on giving dates and years for each of the places you have worked at, you can choose not to. You may as well highlight your best skills and abilities that you have put to the best use so far and also focus on how you can use them in your present job profile.
After a mention of your skills and accomplishments, do include a brief of your work history but give the dates by year instead of months, along with the positions you have worked for in the company.
Here, you have the freedom to leave out certain company names and positions that you have worked for and give functional headlines or titles instead under which you can list down the professional skills that you have learnt or acquired in your career as yet. Your accomplishments, awards and achievements along with specialised expertise, if any, can also come under these headlines.
You can also include your volunteering or internship experience here and give a mention of the skills that you have learnt in these experiences most importantly. Also, if you are changing careers or switching fields, it is important to let the recruiter know which of your skills that you have learnt in your previous career stint can be used in the current job profile. This is something which if well put can definitely land you with a good job.
This format is however not acceptable or not recommended for some tradition-bound companies that look for employers giving a detailed track record of their job tenures, key responsibilities and basically, how they have utilised their time till now.
As the name suggests, this is a resume format that blends in both chronological and functional formats, and would include a reverse chronological list of companies you have worked with, the positions and tenures of your stint with them and also a list of the skills and accomplishments in each of these companies.
This is also a common format used by many in the job market to appease both followers of the traditional format and also provide the hiring manager with the information on what all skills you can bring to the new organization.
So now you know how to tailor your resume formats according to the jobs you apply to and the companies you plan to involve yourself with. However, in any format you choose to follow, do not forget to mention your contact information, education, previous experiences, accomplishments, challenges and the relevance of your work history according to the job you are applying to. Customize your resume according to the job application and the target position and use key phrases that describe your job position and duties as well as the skills employed in the position. A result-oriented description of your accomplishments and a mention of your dates of employment would be certainly impressive to your employer.
Prepare your resume such that it speaks for you even before the interview is fixed.
Happy Job Hunting!