It goes without saying that your resume is your introduction to any potential employer. It is critical, therefore, that you understand the types of resume formats used at different stages in one’s career and for individual career situations. Once this understanding is achieved, you will be able to write a resume that reflects your background, experience (or lack thereof), credentials, and qualifications in the best possible light.
Generally, there are four basic types of resumes that job candidates may use, as follows:
- The chronological resume is best suited for those individuals who have solid work experience that reflects sequentially more responsible positions in a particular career field. There are no large gaps between employment, and the bulk of the experience is focused in one career area. Thus, the candidate will write a resume that begins with the current or most recent employment and work backwards, in order to demonstrate progressive and more responsible work experience in that career field.
- The functional resume focuses on specific areas of skills and expertise, rather than actual chronological employment and is best used by individuals who are seeking career changes or have gaps in employment that they do not wish to “stand out.” Each section of this resume will focus on a specific skill area and then mention employment that has developed or enhanced this skill or expertise.
- The hybrid resume is a combination of the chronological and functional and will focus both on skill areas and employment background, skill areas generally being placed before employment.
- The “Fresh” resumes are reserved for those job-seekers who have little-to-no work experience and who must focus on academic training and other qualifications in a particular career field. Writing this type of resumes requires a great deal of thought and creativity, because a candidate must present him/herself in the best possible “light” without practical experience to back it up.
Certainly, finding resume templates online is helpful at any career stage. For the “fresh” candidate, however, such templates may not relate to the information that must be conveyed to a potential employer, when there is no work experience. These resumes will be constructed only after significant introspection and a complete “brainstorming” activity, in order to come up with the compelling document that a potential employer will notice. There are, however, some important suggestions for the novice that should be considered.
Some of the general characteristics of the resume formats should certainly be included. For example, contact information should be the first item on the document. The resume should also be divided into the following sections or headings:
- Career Objective: All “fresh” resumes should include this, immediately following the contact information.
- Educational Background: this will be a key ingredient for the “fresh” resume, and should include courses of study, diplomas and degrees, and, if it is good, the overall GPA achieved. Specific course work that relates to the job sought should definitely be noted.
- Skill Sets: these can be enumerated and supported by both course work and by other activities, such as volunteer work, internships, participation in organizations, leadership roles, etc.
- Certifications, Awards and Honors: Any of these will support your uniqueness and should be noted in a separate section.
Remember, while it is personally rewarding to extol on your success, your education, and your many attributes, your resume should never exceed two pages. If you have much to tell, be certain that it is done succinctly, using the greatest brevity of words that are carefully selected! Another option is to order resume created by the expert resume writers.