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Résumé Format Matters

The word “format” in résumé format may stand for a couple of different meanings. This may be referring to a way on how the contents of a résumé are organized, the preparation of the résumé according to how it should be delivered to its recipient, or both.

Some may have prepared a résumé; whilst some prepared a Curriculum Vitae (CV). Whichever you prepare, still it showcases your skills and accomplishments to introduce you to an employer. A comprehensible difference between a résumé and a CV is seen in the detail and the extent of the content. Generally, a résumé should only be limited to only two pages. It is more of a summary of you; while a CV includes very detailed information regarding your education, research, and work experience. It is commonly used when you’re looking for a very high level position. As what the curriculum vitae literally means, course of life, it is to tell more about your professional life side.

Once you have set your goals and developed product knowledge, it is necessary for you to determine what type of format you are going to use in preparing your résumé. Basically, there are three main types of formats that you can choose from.

The first format is the chronological résumé or reverse chronological.

The chronological résumé is organized by your employment history in reverse chronological order. It starts with the last position you held and the company that you worked for and ends with the very first position you held and the company that you worked for. This format of resume may be your choice if you have:

– work experiences focused in one field only

– little employment gaps

– and has a long-term plan on staying on the same field.

Under each position, you highlight the key skills and accomplishment that you achieved on the duration of your stay at that company. It focuses on your skills as they happen from the present to the past. This format is preferred by most employers because it is easy to read and clearly demonstrates your job history and career growth.

The second format is the functional résumé.

A functional resume is organized by grouping your skills and functions. A purely functional résumé does not include:

– company names

– employment dates

– and position titles.

Despite its limited uses, a purely functional résumé can be an excellent tool if prepared properly. Bear in mind that this type of résumé is least preferred by employers.

The third format is the combination résumé (chrono-functional hybrid).

It is a combination of the chronological and functional résumé. It highlights your outstanding skills and achievements and focuses on groups of transferable skills and your work experiences that are mostly related to the position you are applying. This type of format fits a variety of your needs. If you have large employment gaps or many short employment stints, this format is recommended as it downplays employment history. This type of format is considered by employers rather than the purely functional résumé.

Basically, the chronological and combination résumé are the only two choices as they are what employers expect and are the simplest to write. Conversely, the chronological résumé gives a lot of critical information that employers want such as the name of your previous company, your position, and the number of years you have worked.

In the end, choosing the right type of format for your résumé is only one of the major factors to consider. The readability and overall appearance of your résumé should also be taken into account. Take note that employers scan and eliminate résumé as quickly as possible. Maximum duration of time to impress an employer with your résumé is only 20 seconds, so make sure that your résumé is reader-friendly as much as possible.

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