Like everything, resume writing has evolved. While at one time all resumes followed the same basic format, today’s job applicants will want to look at the options to be chosen from several formats, dependent upon their individual circumstances.
Common Characteristics: Among the numerous resume templates one might find as models, there are a few characteristics common to all. First, the centered heading at the top still includes your name and contact information. Following that, one should enter a clear career goal or a general statement that encapsulates his/her professional success, if there is a history of progressive employment in the field of the desired position. For example, a recent graduate with no related employment history will obviously wish to begin with a career goal statement. A successful sales professional looking to move into regional sales management may wish to focus on his/her strong record. After the goal or career statement, a section that summarizes education and training will be placed, in reverse order, and this should include licenses and certifications, if appropriate. At the end of most resumes, there should be a short section enumerating one’s strengths, such as “strong work ethic,” “ability to take initiative,” “flexibility,” “team player,” etc., focusing on those qualities most relevant to the desired position. Finally, no resume, except for curriculum vitae, should exceed two pages.
At this point, an applicant will want to study resume formats and select the most appropriate for his/her circumstances. For purposes of such a decision, the most common resume types are listed below:
- Chronological: This resume is used by applicants who have a steady, related employment record and are seeking a position in the same career area. Employer, dates of employment, and a brief listing or narrative of task responsibilities/accomplishments should be included. Employment history should begin with the most current and move backward.
- Functional: Job seekers who have a “sketchy” employment history, with gaps or unrelated experience, will want to write a resume that highlights specific skills or strengths. Each one of these can be developed as a section, and positions which developed these can be listed, with more vague dates, such as years only.
- Combination: These resume formats may be used if there has been an employment history involving numerous shorter-term positions, most of which have focused on similar tasks and responsibilities. Rather than repeat these same tasks/responsibilities, it might be better to focus on the major ones as sections and list the employers and dates beneath.
- Targeted: Some specialized positions might warrant the resumes that highlight only those skills and strengths that are related to the position. These documents focus on skill sets and leave out any unrelated employment history.
- Fresh: Individuals seeking their first career path jobs will want to write a resume that highlights their education and training, as well as activities and organizational memberships in which leadership roles, honors, and/or awards have been involved.
- Curriculum Vitae: Usually for position in higher education or with multi-national corporations, this resume type is lengthier and involves narratives of accomplishments within each previous position held.
Presenting yourself as uniquely qualified and in a manner that gets the attention of a potential employer involves creativity and dynamic wording. If you struggle with this aspect of resume writing and think where to buy a resume paper, you may turn to the best resume writers for professional assistance.