Resumes have always been considered one of the most critical aspects of finding a fulfilling career path. We aim to empower candidates to tactfully craft resumes and gain an advantage among thousands of job seekers worldwide.
Besides clear personal statements and cover letters, we will explore the vast library of resume formats and styles, providing clarity and guidance on adequately writing a resume to increase your chances of getting the job.
Choosing the Right Resume Format
There are many different types of resumes today. Depending on the purpose, industry, and preference, resume styles will continue to increase as the employment landscape evolves.
While there are various resume builder apps and templates, building your own will make it more relational and authentic, which most managers and employers prefer. Out of the many resume style choices, here are the most common and accepted formats in most industries and positions.
1. Chronological Resume Format
This is the most common type of resume format that most candidates use. As the name suggests, the resume flows chronologically by date and usually starts with education. Here are the main sections in a chronological resume:
- Work History or Experiences
- Certification and Licenses
- Technical Skills or Core Competencies
- Soft Skills
This style is perfect for candidates without gaps in their work history or a time when they were unable to have a job. Start with your current role down to your first job at the bottom of the list, followed by the other sections. This style creates a solid and professional representation of your work history clearly and concisely.
2. Functional Resume Format
Functional resumes focus more on the experiences and skills the candidate acquired throughout his career. Unlike the chronological resume, this format works well with candidates with gaps in their employment, those who want to switch jobs, or new graduates.
Functional formats don’t have much information in their “professional experience” section, or you can remove the section altogether. The goal is to set the stage for your skillset and experiences by reducing the emphasis on your work experiences, date, responsibilities, and previous employer.
One of the most significant changes in a functional format is having a “skills summary” section, which highlights your skills and explains how you were able to showcase these talents. If you have specific achievements, certifications, and practical proof of your skills, this is the best time to showcase them to your recruiters.
3. Combination Resume Format
A combination resume blends chronological and functional resumes. It strikes a balance between emphasizing your experience and showcasing your skillsets. You can start this format with a short description or objective explaining your goals and expertise, followed by your skills, work experience, and other vital details like certification, education, and soft skills.
However, a combination resume can be long as it combines two different formats. Recruiters often spend a few minutes skimming resumes and may skip some important information if your resume is too long.
Keep it concise and focus on providing the most essential details. Remove old information and unnecessary achievements that don’t align with your role. Use easy-to-read fonts and keep the font size to 11 or 12. These ensure that your recruiter can quickly review your resume and digest the critical information.
4. Targeted Resume Format
According to a study by Zippia, 61 percent of recruiters and hiring managers say that customization is one of the key strategies candidates use to boost their chances of landing a job.¹ Conversely, lack of customization has been one of the top reasons for rejection.
Customizing your resume typically includes attaching a cover letter, adequately addressing the hiring manager’s name, linking to an online portfolio, or targeting the resume for the job post, commonly called a targeted resume.
Writing a cover letter for each application is good, but customizing the resume itself will take your application further. This gives the hiring manager the idea that you took the time to learn more about the role, company, and industry, increasing your chances of leaving a great impression and getting hired.
Tailoring Your Resume and Crafting Your Masterpiece
Creating a resume correctly is crucial as it can determine whether you will be hired. A study by CareerBuilder found that 39 percent of hiring managers skim resumes in less than a minute, and 23 percent spend under half a minute looking over it.²
Learn about the best practices in creating your resume and increasing your chances of landing a job.
1. Gain a Full Understanding of the Job Description
Read and understand the job description. Most applicants just skim the job post after reading the headline, which can only be beneficial if you prefer quantity. However, knowing what the job post needs and what responsibilities you would need to accomplish, can give you the proper knowledge of how to structure and write your resume.
Practice tailoring your resume for a particular job post. Avoid writing resumes without fully understanding what the employer is looking for. Writing a resume that will be used for multiple employers is often generic and will not have a strong position against other candidates.
2. Assess Yourself and Compare It With the Job Post
Understand what the company is looking for. Then, assess yourself and your skillset to determine if you fit well.
- Are your skills and experiences relevant to what they’re looking for?
- Can you grow within this company?
- Do you see yourself in this organization and industry?
- Are you willing to learn new things related to your field?
- Do your values and aspirations match the company?
- Do you like the culture and work environment of the company?
After evaluating your skills, experiences, and value, consider how you can apply this to your resume. It can be done by emphasizing what the company values or what the role needs. Use related keywords found on the job post and position yourself well with the role you’re applying for.
3. Be Straightforward and Only Include Relevant Information
Hiring managers and recruiters have limited time to review multiple resumes in a given period. It’s always best to provide only the relevant information and eliminate unnecessary words and details from your resume.
- Consider using bullet points.
- Be straightforward and avoid overly explaining yourself.
- Keep it simple and use the right amount of words.
- Remove things that are irrelevant to the post.
- Remove old or unnecessary experiences.
4. Include Soft Skills, But Don’t Overdo It
Most people don’t realize that soft skills are as necessary as technical skills. While technical skills are required to accomplish the job, soft skills determine if you can fit and grow within the organization.
List soft skills that could supplement your hard skills. For instance, in an IT role, good communication skills, creativity, teamwork, and time management are among the most crucial soft skills, as these can add better and more value to the responsibilities of IT professionals.
5. Include Measurable Results
Instead of just enumerating job functions and responsibilities, include the results in how you tailor your resume by using numbers and statistics to prove your statement. This creates more value for your credentials and achievements. Here are some examples:
- Successfully developed a web-based app that increased margins and profits by 8% annually.
- Developed a mobile app that increased user engagement by 25% and boosted revenue by 15%.
- Designed and implemented a new database system that reduced query response time by 30% and improved data accuracy by 20%.
- Led a team in developing a software solution that reduced customer complaints by 40% and increased customer satisfaction by 25%.
- Implemented a cybersecurity strategy that reduced the number of security incidents by 60% and improved overall system security by 25%.
ACHIEVE A FULFILLING CAREER WITH STRATEGIC SYSTEMS
Choosing the right resume format offers a strategic advantage to your job applications. The same goes for choosing the right staffing firm.
Strategic Systems takes pride in its extensive network of employers, organizations, and partners. Our comprehensive and well-versed team of hiring experts can help you land a job that aligns with your experiences, skills, and overall goals. Find the career you want with us.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
1. Kolmar, Chris. “40+ Awesome Resume Statistics : What Job Seekers Need to Know.” Zippia, 02 Feb. 2023, www.zippia.com/resume-statistics.
2. Erwin, Michael. “Employers Share Their Most Outrageous Resume Mistakes and Instant Deal Breakers in a New CareerBuild Study.” CareerBuilder, 24 Aug. 2018, careerbuilder.com/Employers-Share-Their-Most-Outrageous-Resume-Mistakes-and-Instant-Deal-Breakers-in-a-New-CareerBuilder-Study.