Your Resume - Styles

Your Resume - StylesResume Styles

Did you know that the average employer spends less than 10 seconds scanning a resume? Considering that this is the first, and possibly only opportunity you'll have to make an impression, making the most of those 10 seconds is vital to your ability to secure an interview.

Part of making a strong impression depends on the manner in which you present your resume. There are three basic resume styles: chronological, functional, and skill-based; and each of these is best suited for a specific set of circumstances.

Chronological Resume: where you have worked & when

This is the most widely accepted resume format, emphasizing employers and dates of employment, so that the reader focuses on the places where you have worked, and the dates and duration you worked there.

Chronological resumes are best suited to individuals who have a stable work history with few or no gaps and whose work history shows a logical progression toward their current objective. If you have been a "career-changer" this format allows you to call attention to prestigious or well-respected companies or organizations for whom you may have worked in the past.

Functional Resume: what you have done

The functional format emphasizes the positions you have held, and the titles of your roles so that the reader can quickly see what you have done during your employ.

There are several advantages to this type of resume, the most important of which is that it demonstrates transferable skills, and unifies unrelated but relevant experience.

A word of caution, however - a functional resume should never be your only resume version, or the first version you send to a prospective employer. It has the disadvantage of not being widely accepted and can give the impression that you may have something to hide.

Skill-based Resume: know-how you have acquired

A skill-based resume combines both the functional and chronological resume. It is organized around the skills, areas of knowledge, and know-how you have acquired in your present job, or over several years in different positions and uses a career summary that links skills to experience.

This doesn't work with all backgrounds, but it can be effective for those who possess an impressive number of skills after only a few years of work, or who have gained their experience through a series of part-time or volunteer work, education courses, and early part-time jobs. Career changers should also use this type of resume to demonstrate they have skills that can be transferred to other areas.

Don't be surprised to find that your employment history could be presented using any of these formats. What you must decide is which type will best exhibit your background and achievements.

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