Cover Letter / December 22, 2018 / Annabelle Maddox
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.
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.
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.