Cover Letter / December 23, 2018 / Lidia Jenkins
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.
You can do this in your cover letter. A chronological resume format works best when you have acquired some professional experience and not fresh out from college. Functional Resume Format If you are fresh out of school and have no substantial professional experience to talk of it is best to use a functional resume format. This type of resume format puts more focus on your qualifications and skills rather than your employment and professional history. So rather than listing positions held in reverse order you will be listing out key competencies that are required and relevant to the role. An example could be "People Management" or "Customer Relations". Then proceed to enumerate tasks or duties you performed whether at school part time jobs or at community projects that help to reinforce this skill.
It highlights the company you worked for the position you had and the location of employment. Under each entry you then can add details about your employment such as accomplishments and responsibilities. One common question I am asked is how to handle promotions. Each promotion should be entered as a NEW entry with an update on the job title and focus on additional accomplishments and responsibilities. The most important concept to remember if you are using a "professional" resume format is that the additional "details" should ideally be focused on the job your applying for! This means you should have multiple copies of your resume as you emphasize different accomplishments and responsibilities based on the job description of the job your applying for. The 2nd most used resume writing format is the "skills" format. In this resume writing format the layout is similar to the chronological but rather than focusing on job history the layout focuses on skills and accomplishments. This resume format is best used by individuals who are making a transition in employment where the jobs are quite different however the skill sets are still applicable. The overwhelming emphasis on the "skills" format is results. It is not enough to simply say "Sales" with no explanation of why thats a proven skill set.