A well-written resume plays a crucial role in helping you land a job interview, and ultimate, a job offer. One way to make sure your resume gets an employers’ attention is to use one of the three most popular resume formats. These formats make your resume easier to scan, and easier to highlight the important data employers want to see.
Three Types of Popular Resume Formats
For new graduates, experienced workers and individuals looking to change careers, getting the interview is the main purpose of using a popular resume format. They are popular precisely because they work. The popular resume format, along with a cover letter, presents the required qualifications and related work experience in a way that will convince the employer to meet the candidate. Getting the interview comes down to how the resume is formatted and prepared. Listed below are the three most popular resume formats.
1. Reverse Chronological Resume
This popular resume format highlights your work experience and job history in reverse chronological order, with the most current career experience listed at the top. It presents a timeline view of the applicant’s entire employment history, including responsibilities and accomplishments. Most employers prefer this format.
The sections to include in a reverse chronological resume are:
- Career objectives
- Professional experience and accomplishments
- Additional skills
2. Functional Resume
This format focuses more on your marketable skills than your employment history. It’s ideal for people with less work experience, career-switchers, or folks re-entering the workforce or with gaps in their work history. Unlike the chronological resume, skills and achievements are placed near the top of the page. Following the skills and achievement sections, you should add abbreviated list of company names, titles or position held, dates of employment, and locations. An education section should follow, with the most recent academic achievement at the top.
3. Combination Resume
This popular resume format is a hybrid between the functional and chronological resume. It uses the best of both formats by focusing on the your strongest skills and linking those skills to your past job history. This resume approach is perfect for recent graduates, career-switchers, and professionals with extensive experience who may not want to repeat job descriptions from similar past jobs. While writing the combination resume, keep in mind skills such as communication, customer relations, and leadership–and be able to show how these skills relate to your specific work history.
Getting the Interview & Winning the Job
Resumes should accurately reflect the potential and the actual work experience of the candidate. Even the most qualified job seekers can be hurt in their job search by a sub par resume. Using one of the resume formats above should increase your chances of getting the interview and the job.
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