Resume writing can get complicated, especially if you’re not sure which format to follow. This all depends on a number of factors.
For instance, are you a recent college graduate? Or do you have decades of experience? Also, have you worked in temporary roles in the past and are now looking for a permanent option? Or do you only have full-time positions to list?
The answer to these questions will impact which format is best for your job search. It’s important to know ahead of time because hiring managers only quickly scan resumes. If yours isn’t in the right format, it will get sidelined, fast.
To help ensure that doesn’t happen to you, and that you get a call for an interview, here are a few common types of resumes and the pros and cons of each format.
Reverse Chronological Resume
The reverse chronological resume is the standard for most companies and hiring managers. This is where you list your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position.
After your work history, generally you’ll include education, and then any awards, accolades, and certifications, followed by miscellaneous information, such as volunteer roles or literacy with a certain computer program that’s important for the job.
This is the resume format used in a wide range of industries, from accounting and finance to healthcare and many others. If you have a solid work history and years of experience, then this resume format can help you highlight it.
The only con to this resume format is that it will show any gaps in employment. If you were out of the workforce for a period of time, you should discuss why in your cover letter so it doesn’t count against you. You can also point to any courses or volunteer opportunities you were involved with during that time away from the workforce.
If you’re thinking an online resume is the best fit, one of the common places to post yours is in LinkedIn. This way, hiring managers can not only see your resume, but also learn more about you through your summary, recommendations and any additional information, like links to work samples, you can provide. This, in turn, can paint a vivid picture as to why you’re the best fit for a particular job opportunity.
Even if you submit a traditional resume in a Word document or as a PDF, having a LinkedIn URL is a great way to stand out. Again, you are able to provide more information than what will fit on your resume.
As a result, a hiring manager can find out specific details about your work accomplishments, read testimonials and recommendations from those you’ve worked with in the past, and review any posts you’ve published establishing you as a thought leader in the industry.
Additional Tip: DON'T Use a Functional Resume
In a previous blog, we laid out several reasons to avoid using a functional resume. Rather than listing work history in order, this type of resume focuses on skills and experience that match the particular job you are applying for. The issue with this type of resume is that it’s often used to hide a spotty work history or gaps in employment. Hiring managers know this, which is why this type of resume is a clear red flag for them.
Also, we’ve mentioned previously that your resume may only get around six seconds of a recruiters’ time when they pull it up. That’s a very short period to decide if a candidate should move forward or be taken out of the running completely. A functional resume hinders recruiters from understanding your career path timeline, or even the exact details. Functional resumes require digging and recruiters do not have enough time to connect your skills to your job history. Stick to a format that always places your skills and achievements next to your company and tenure.
Need more help writing your resume?
We hope the above tips have helped as you look to revamp your resume this year. Should you need further assistance, ResumeSpice has a team of professional resume writers who know what hiring managers want to see on resumes. We can craft yours from scratch or polish an existing one, ensuring it’s in the best-fit format and communicates why you’re a strong contender for the role. Ready to get started? Simply call 832.930.7378 or contact us today.