Cover Letter / December 24, 2018 / Hilary Kirby
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.
A functional resume format is also applicable for career changers as their professional experience might vary considerably from what is being offered. But more often than not they will have acquired some skills from their previous career that are applicable to the new career path they have chosen. Choosing which resume format to use is entirely up to you. But it is important to keep these key differences and advantages in mind in deciding which one you are going to choose. In many cases you might be able to use both types and it is often termed as a combination resume format. If you do opt to combine the strengths of both resume formats just make sure to limit the length of your resume and stick to information relevant to the role.
When the reader can understand what you are attempting to convey it is easier for them to evaluate your potential ability to do the job. Your resume formats should include a good font. Do not choose something because you think it gives the resume more personality or makes it more personal. Choose something that is easy to read and will not cause eyestrain. You need to have the opportunity to capture the reader with your words. Keep in mind that if you are using boxes lines or shading in your resume formats that they can be very confusing if they are not used properly. The most effective use for these types of graphics is to delineate the sections of your resume such as your experience or your educational background. Keep in mind that your resume formats should always maintain a professional air. Certainly the resume you submit does not have to adhere to resume formats that one would use for an executive position for a Fortune 50 company if you are applying for a position in customer service at a cell phone company but it still must show that you are committed to being professional in your role as an employee of their company.