Author: Kalley Lovegood
It is good practice to regularly rewrite your resume. Every time you get a new job, promotion, or your responsibilities change, you should edit your resume. There are three different kinds of resumes and the best one depends on the kind of experience you have. Before we go over that, let’s review some basic layout practices.
People often try to change the layout of their resume to stand out from the crowd. This sometimes works to catch the attention of a recruiter, but more often it causes trouble when uploading the resume to a system that will autofill your information as many of us have seen before. Recruiters are also looking for some standards so they have an easier time going over your resume. As a rule, don’t make them look for your information.
Your name should always appear at the top of your resume. It does not need to include your middle name and can be a nickname you use regularly. If that nickname is something a little silly, you should consider using your legal name. You can always mention in the interview that you go by Smiley, but it is best to appear as professional as possible in your resume.
Below your name should be your city and state. They do not need to know your street address. Make sure to provide your contact information here as well. If you’re still using an old, unprofessional email address, consider making a new one that includes your name. When you enter your phone number, make sure it’s a number you can be easily reached at and that the voicemail for that number has been set up.
Next should be a short statement about yourself. An objective statement is a short paragraph only two to three sentences long that describes the value you hold and the company needs you can fulfill. You may even include your skills and qualifications as long as it is concise and not a rehash of your resume. Alternatively, you could include a professional statement. Professional statements are longer and provide more detail, but are still not more than a paragraph long.
So what type of resume should you be writing? The three kinds of resumes are chronological, functional, and combination.
Most of us have used the chronological format, listing your work experience from most recent to oldest.
Chronological is a good resume format if you have worked multiple jobs over the last five to ten years, usually between three and five jobs. Exclude jobs that are not relevant to the job you are currently seeking if you cannot list responsibilities that can be applied to the new position. List them in the following order to make it easier for automated systems to enter your information; job title, company, location, start date - end date. Then follow up with bulleted goal or achievement oriented events from that job.
Functional resumes, also called skill based resumes, are a good option if you have worked the same job or within the same department for more than five years and are looking to change careers. This format focuses on skills and achievements more than jobs. Provide a skill summary, work experience list, and your education and certifications. If your education is more than ten years old, remove the year of graduation.
A combination resume is, as you might have guessed, a combination of chronological and functional. After your objective, enter a bulleted list of your skills. Follow up with your work experience and then education. This resume is best for those who have recently graduated with some work experience. It focuses on what you provide to your future employers without relying on a work history that might be short.
Hopefully, this has provided you some useful tips and made you consider other approaches to resumes that could be helpful. Remember, the top of your resume should look similar to everyone else’s. Name, location, contact. Feel free to change your font or reposition it slightly. Changing it up a little isn’t a problem, but make sure you are providing the necessary information in a way that is easily digestible.