Cover Letter / December 22, 2018 / Loraine Cohen
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.
The Functional Resume Format The functional resume format is not as common and most often recommended for people who have gaps in their work history or for those who have been out of the workforce for a while. What is most prominent about this resume format is the candidates skills attributes and accomplishments. A career objective should also be included as well as any educational qualifications. The actual jobs however do not include the dates. The career history section will typically be limited to a list of company names location of each company and job titles. One advantage to using this format is that it usually shortens the length of a resume. If youve got a 25 year job history and several jobs where youve performed a lot of the same duties you can imagine how lengthy (not to mention repetitive) your resume might get.
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.