“Resume formatting is as unique as the individual, with limitless designs available to highlight a job seeker’s skills and experience.”
Resume formatting 101. What type of resume format is best for you?
Just like your resume, the format in which you use is very specific to your situation. While I can’t tell you which is best for you. I can offer some insight into the most common resume formats, but please consider your situation and what information you would like to highlight on your resume before starting.
By far the most common resume format is the good old chronological resume. If you have an existing or older resume, I’m guessing this is the format it is in. The chronological resume is:
- The simplest of all resume formats.
- Chronological listing of your jobs and responsibilities/achievements. Starting with your most recent job and ending with your first job.
- Good for anyone who wants to demonstrate a history of employment in the same profession.
The functional resume is a great way to showcase your skills with a deemphasis on employment. I don’t typically use this resume format for my clients because it is less effective than other formats. You’re definitely taking a risk with this one… However, if you do like living life on the edge or your situation fits, why not shaking things up a bit if you fall into these situations:
- Expert level professionals in their field who almost need no introduction.
- People who are looking to change up their career and move in a new direction and want to downplay the specific employers/experience and instead focus on the skills gained through other employment.
- Entry level individuals – recent high school or college graduates – or those looking to return to the workforce after a hiatus.
This is by far my favorite resume format to use. Because the resumes I am writing for clients are as unique as their work experience, career goals, and ambitions, I take all things into consideration when drafting their resume. My focus is what information will get the resume seen by the recruiter and get my client an interview? This type of resume is best for everyone really because the options, design, and overall purpose of the resume are endless. Some things to consider with a combination resume:
- Flexibility! You literally can do whatever you want. The focus is highlighting your strengths, skills, accomplishments, and experience. That’s what makes this resume format so great and my go to.
So what should you include in your combination resume?
- Always include your target job title in the heading. This is the job you want/are applying for.
- Performance profile section. This is your brief statement about what sets you apart from other applicants. This is not to be confused with the old “objective” statement (get rid of this NOW if you are still using one!). Summarize your work experience, education, talents, skills, accomplishments – this is where you can brag a little. Be your own cheerleader! Your resume is your personal PR ad to employers and this section is a great way to get their attention.
- Professional skills section. These are the specific professional skills you possess with respect to your experience/job (i.e. multitasking, writing, editing, project management, etc.). PRO TIP – make sure your skills align with those in the job posting!
- Technical skills section. This is where you can list any and all computer software, programs, or other technical skills you have that relate to your job (i.e. Office 365, Quickbooks, Spotify, Facebook Ads Manager, Google AdWords, etc.).
- Professional experience. No explanation necessary. This is then when, where, and what of your employment history.
- Education section. Always make sure you are listing your education. However, if you are a college graduate, there is no need to include your high school information. If you don’t possess a degree, include your high school information as well as any applicable courses and/or training you have received.
- Depending on the client, we may also include sections on awards, certifications, personal interests, patents, special projects, volunteer work, etc. The possibilities are endless and depend on the person and what we are trying to highlight.
As always, if you have any questions about your resume format, please don’t hesitate to reach out.