Thirty years ago, the careers of data scientists, SEO and SMM managers, project managers, or additive manufacturing engineers were non-existent or very rare. Considering the changes in the employment landscape, you should be aware of the changes to the job application process and resume formats if you want to land a dream job. Today we’ll go over three common formats for 2019 and find the right one for your particular skill set and experience.
Chronological Resume Format
This is a conservative layout that focuses on your employment history and lists all companies and positions from the latest to the earliest. Education, additional skills, interests, and other sections are usually small and take up the bottom of the page.
Chronological resume format is the most widespread, so HR managers are used to it and can quickly extract necessary information. The same goes for automated systems, such as ATS, used by many large companies to expedite the hiring process. Overall, this resume format is streamlined and straightforward, perfect for showing career progress.
Functional Resume Format
The most controversial and the least used of the three, this format makes your skills the center of attention. It is most suitable for creative positions, such as writers and editors, software engineers and designers. However, this resume type does not make it easy for HR managers to locate company names and understand the history of employment. Moreover, creative resumes usually come with portfolios that make a far better job of showing the skills.
Combined Resume Format
Combining the best attributes of the previous two, this format enables you to demonstrate both employment facts and the relevant skill set. It is a breath of fresh air compared to a conventional chronological layout, but not as outlandish as a skill-based format.
However, this resume type requires thinking ahead and careful planning to avoid unnecessary repetitions. Without an extensive skill set, the combined resume will look sparse, and it leaves little room for extra sections to list your education, volunteer work, and interests.
The Best Resume Format for You
With a basic understanding of the three formats, let’s find the best resume type for you. Scroll down to find the situation that fits the bill and learn how to use different formats to your advantage.
You Are Fresh out of College with No Work Experience
Traditional resume layout is your best friend. Even if you have no employment records or acquired skills, this format will leave you with lots of space to accentuate your education, volunteer experience, interests, and additional skills. Hiring managers realize that recent graduates are unlikely to have an extensive work history, so don’t worry about it. Instead, focus on your accomplishments and extracurricular activities.
You Are Fresh out of College with Some Work Experience
Combined resume format will enable you to stress the strongest sides of your application while leaving enough space for education and other sections you deem important. If your past positions do not align with your college major, focus on the skills acquired, not company names or the chronology of the work history. Internships, taking part in the professor’s experiments, and other on-campus activities may bulk up your skills section if you play your cards right. But remember not to exaggerate or lie on your resume. You are already ahead of your less experienced peers, so there is no need to mislead the potential employers.
You Have 2+ Years of Professional Experience
All three types of resume layouts are well-suited to play up your employment history and skill set. You can craft a copy for every format and send them out depending on the requirements of the position you are applying to:
- Large international corporations and businesses with traditional business models likely to use ATS will appreciate the chronological layout.
- Startups and fast-growing enterprises relying on agile business models will like your functional resume that highlights the assets you can bring to the table.
- Combined resume layout is acceptable for established corporations and startups alike as well as all business that fall in between the polar opposites on the employer spectrum.
If you do your homework and research the companies before sending out the applications, the choice will be easy.
You Are Changing the Career Path
Years of experience will not help you get a foot in the door if you consider a radical career change. Therefore, the chronological template is out of the question. The combined layout may be the best option as it allows you to simultaneously highlight the skills you have gained and the background that might be useful in your new role.
Two or three decades won’t fit in a combined resume template anyway, so don’t squeeze in every single job you have ever had. Instead, focus on those positions that highlight the skills required in your new professional field. For example, if you wish to go from teaching to sales, you can list experience of organizing school baking sales.
You Have Huge Employment Gaps
Functional resume format might be your salvation if you were on a lengthy sabbatical to take care of a child, get over an illness, or for any other reason. Instead of listing all your positions, make a list of skills you’ve developed since college. Both hard professional and soft interpersonal skills are valuable, so mix them up in your resume. Provide examples of the skills you mention, preferably with measurable results or deliverables. For example, your great teamwork can be illustrated by conflict-resolution skills in a team of ten. Outstanding results by your students can prove the efficiency of your innovative teaching approach.
To make the resume more informative, add the company name, position, and dates of employment to each skill entry. The hiring manager won’t be able to assess the gaps in your employment history because the dates will be scattered throughout the page.
Don’t Know Where to Begin?Different resume formats may be confusing if you are joining the job hunt for the first time or after a lengthy pause. With no resume writing experience, it will take you weeks to craft and polish the document before you get any feedback from hiring managers. If you are not willing to wait, get your resume in under 24 hours from our experts. We can translate your experience and achievements into HR-speak and help you secure your dream job.