Cover Letter / December 24, 2018 / Melinda Lucas
Most employers prefer this type of resume format as they can easily assess your qualifications by reviewing your recent and past employment history and educational background. Putting your most recent employment first can help them gauge your suitability to the role. It is a known fact that most employers would prefer someone who had recent experience with a role than someone who had experience with it five years ago. When using a chronological resume format you should list your most recently held position followed by two to four other positions arranged in reverse order. Also include the months and years you were employed. You dont necessarily have to provide the exact date. Be sure to be able to explain gaps in your employment if there are any as this will be most noticeable in this type of resume format.
Perhaps the format most people see most often is the chronological format for resumes. This format is essentially a timeline where previous work experience is listed according to when it occurred. You can use either chronological order or reverse chronological order on your resume but most people opt for reverse chronological. This type of format is so popular because it lends itself well to many industries and positions. Of all of the resume formats available the chronological one offers the ability to show how you have progressed in your career. This is because if you have worked your way up from a junior position to a senior management position it will be obvious with this format because the potential employer will see the advancement. For some people the functional format may be the best alternative. In particular those who have held a number of different jobs and cannot demonstrate longevity may opt for the functional format because it shifts the focus away from this fact and more towards the type of work the job seeker has done instead of where and when this work was done. In general any of the resume formats can work well for you as long as you also make sure the information on your resume is well written. It certainly goes without saying that care should be taken to avoid mistakes in grammar or spelling.
Each entry MUST be followed up with verifiable evidence that you indeed have practical knowledge and application of the stated skill. So ... how do you know which resume format to use? This ultimately depends on the job you are applying for previous work history and skills. A simple rule of thumb is if the job you are applying for is similar to other jobs you have had in the past you can use the "professional" format. If the job your applying for is not similar to other jobs you have had in the past you may want to use the "skills" format. Regardless of which you ultimately end up using writing a draft of your resume in each helps you focus on results and skills that future employers are looking for. Previously I never really thought much about resume formats but one day I realized having periods of unemployment on my resume may be costing me interview opportunities. To take the focus off of these gaps in my employment history I wanted to design my resume so the focus is on the skills I have and how I have applied them successfully in my career. I found out there was a functional resume format which does just what I was looking for. I am certainly not the only one out there who is frustrated with standard formats for resumes and feels as though these do not work well for them. Many of these people get discouraged when they review their own resumes and wind up not applying for jobs they really want just because they feel their resume is not strong enough. I was one of these people and routinely avoided applying for certain jobs because I was not happy with my resume but then I learned different formats could really improve my resume.