The most basic document that every employer looks for is the resume. Resumes contain your work experience, achievements, and skills that will convince the hiring managers that you are fit for the position. However, making a resume isn't just about listing what you have to show. It's about highlighting and standing out. Your goal is to scatch the eye of the hiring managers, to get a chance to be accepted for a job interview.
Most people, including professionals, advise that when writing a resume, it is better to follow a certain format. Resume formats serve as a guide for job seekers, especially those new to the job industry. Following a format will help you know what to put, how to write it, and what things you are to avoid. Different formats serve different functions. There are three main types of resume formats. In this article, I will discuss the distinctions between these three and which format is best to use depending on your situation.
In the chronological resume format, you are to list your work history from your most recent to the oldest. When listing your work history, it is important to add all the relevant ones. Even if it is dated five or ten years ago, as long as it is relevant for the position you are applying for, include that information. This makes writing easier for the job applicant, and this format highlights how steady your employment record is. This is best to use if there is a good development in your career. However, this format is not recommended if you have employment gaps. Do not use this format if you frequently change careers or career tracks or have returned to a specific career track after a long time. This will only highlight how unstable and inconsistent your record is.
The functional resume, also called the skill-based resume, focuses more on the strengths and skills that the employers would want. In this format, you do not have to add details about the specific dates, places, and names. This format allows you to highlight your skills and strengths, so your inconsistent work record would be overshadowed. This kind of format is best to use when your goal is to emphasize the skills that you used in your previous work or on-the-job training. This is good to use if you are a fresh graduate with little work experience. You can also use this format if you are a freelancer or constantly changing careers. However, since this format highlights your strengths, there would be little to no details about your work history. Your content may appear to be lacking in depth. The recruiters may also notice or realize that you are hiding the factors that you are actually hiding, like the employment gap and lack of experience. Do not use this format if you have a lot of work experience in that field and want to emphasize them.
As the name suggests, this kind of resume format combines the strengths of the first two types. Following this format will make your resume appear strong, stable, and impressive. This format shows your employment record, skills, and strengths. Use this format if you have great skills to offer, developed work experience, and educational history. List down your work history in chronological order, and highlight the skills you have used in the field, then write down the duties you held along with the responsibilities you have in that role. Do not use this format if you have limited work experience and if you have employment gaps. This format is really good; however, some sections may be in the second stage. This means it will not be read if you have not captured the hiring manager's attention or if they choose not to check the second page.
The ones listed are just the main types of resume formats. As shown above, each format has its own advantages and disadvantages. They also have the best time to use and not to use them. Do not pick a format that is not fitting for your situation. Using the wrong format will only put you at a disadvantage.