The resume: one of the most essential, albeit intimidating, parts of any job search. This key job-hunting tool should show your education, prior experience, accomplishments, and skills, which is a lot to include in one page. Your resume will most likely be in one of three formats: traditional, functional, or some combination of the two. Read on for a walk-through of the pros and cons of each.
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Traditional, or chronological, resumes are probably the most common; they list your work experience in reverse chronological order—that is, they begin with your most recent experience at the top of the page, and end with your earliest relevant experience.
Functional resumes are organized by skills or functions—this means that the names of companies for which you've worked and positions that you've held previously are left out. Achievements and experiences are grouped according to the skills they represent; for example, "management skills" or "communications skills" could be functions in which you have experience. Under these functional headlines, you would list what relevant experience or accomplishments you have.
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A combination resume is just what it sounds like—a blend of the traditional and functional formats. A resume in this format would include a reverse chronological list of companies where you've worked, positions you've held, and dates that you were employed. And below that would be a functional list of accomplishments and skills, grouped by their corresponding function.
Essential Parts of Any Resume
No matter what format you use—traditional, functional, a Microsoft Word document, or a PDF file—there are certain things that must be in your resume. Make sure to include:
Also, make sure any resume you create is aesthetically appealing, free of typos and grammatical errors, and is targeted to the position for which you're applying. After all, any resume format still needs to accomplish the same goal—to inform.
What type of resume do you prefer? Share with us below.
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle.