Is your resume structure working for you? Which Resume Writing Format is Best for 2017?
The nature of “work” as we know it has and is undergoing remarkable change. For instance, people can now be employed without the need to report to a physical office.
Businesses are being run with employees working from all over the world. Workers are re-engineering their skills to cope with the growth of automation and machine learning.
It’s not surprising to hear about people who get hired – and fired – via social media. These are just some of the biggest changes that are shaping the future of the workplace.
Despite these impressive, exciting and often intimidating shifts, some staples still remain and continue to be as relevant as ever. The resume is one such example.
Organizations may be using various newer, more sophisticated methods of hiring and recruitment. They are looking at your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio or personal website as part of background research.
“But the resume is still a top determining factor that helps hiring managers decide if they should give you a chance.”
In the age of digital recruiting, this traditional (some say old-fashioned) piece of document has become even more powerful. It cuts down the online noise and provides your would-be employers a reliable, practical framework for evaluating your capabilities.
Thus, you need its structure to have good organization and clarity to help the reader better understand the value you can bring to the table.
To do this, you must choose the right resume writing format that best suits your career record and career goals while highlighting both your accomplishments and potential.
You may want to choose from the three Resume Writing Format Types:
chronological, functional or a combination of both.
Chronological Resume –
What is it: As the name suggests, this resume presents your work history, experience and accomplishments according to date.
Best for: Those with a solid, linear education and work history.
Why it’s effective: Most hiring managers like this structure as it provides them a simple and straightforward way to review your career path.
How to follow this format:
– Include the following basic sections: contact information, summary of qualifications, work experience and education.
– List down all your relevant work experience, starting with the present one or the most recent.
– Under each work experience listing, include a brief description highlighting your achievements, preferably in bullet points.
Functional Resume –
What is it: This resume format showcases your skill sets and accomplishments more than your jobs or employers.
Best for: Those with a non-linear or non-traditional career progression, such as new graduates, people who are shifting to a new industry or who have an employment gap.
Why it’s effective: It helps your recruiter quickly determine if your qualifications match the job.
How to follow this format:
– Include the following basic sections: contact information, summary of qualifications and relevant skills.
– Group your skills into themes that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Example: Marketing, People Management, Technical, etc.
– Under each skill listing, include a brief description highlighting your achievements, preferably in bullet points.
Combination Resume –
What is it: This type of resume presents a chronological work history while emphasizing your skills and experience.
Best for: Those who are applying for a technical position or shifting careers.
Why it’s effective: It offers the best of both worlds – showcase your expertise and provide a detailed work history at the same time.
How to follow this format:
– Include the following basic sections: contact information, summary of qualifications, relevant skills, work experience and education.
– Follow the steps to writing a functional resume.
– After the relevant skills section, add the work history section that simply lists the jobs, employer and location, and employment dates, in reverse-chronological fashion.
Some universal resume writing format guidelines
Regardless of the format you choose, keep the following tips in mind to ensure your resume gets positive attention from your target employer.
These general resume writing guidelines will work whether you choose to create a chronological, functional or combination resume.
They also are great to use as a standard even if you’ve chosen to use an out-of-the-box format, such as a creative resume format that artists and creative professionals now prefer to send out.
Of course, these are not hard-and-fast Resume Writing Format rules and there will always be exceptions, depending on the situation.
– Keep your resume one to two pages long, except for exceptional cases such as for advance technical professionals.
– Limit the format to one font (or at least one font family). Choose a crisp, sleek and easy-to-read style.
– Mind your margins and line spacing. White spaces make your resume friendlier to read.
– When using an online submission method, make sure your format won’t be disorganized even if the receiving party is using a different software or operating program. Thus, it’s best not to use tables and obscure fonts.
– When submitting a hard copy, print the resume on professional-looking, neutral-colored paper with a bit of weight.
Following these Resume Writing Format tips gets you one step closer to your dream job found here!