Which type of resume is right for you?

Which type of resume is right for you?

Traditionally, there have been 3 types of resume:

  • Chronological
  • Functional
  • Combination

However, when you look at resumes displayed online for example, on Pinterest, and those that I create myself that there are at least two more types:

  • Tailored
  • Creative

So let’s take a look at each type in turn, and then you can decide which resume is right for you and your circumstances.

Chronological Resumes

What are they?

This resume format is the oldest and simplest, and is a list of the jobs that you have held in reverse chronological order i.e. the most recent first.

Structure:

  • Personal details at the top
  • Perhaps a one line tagline or summary
  • Work experience
  • Education and training
  • Skills

Who should use this format?

Anyone who has been in the same career and has progressed steadily up the career ladder.

Who shouldn’t use this format?

Those who are changing career, who have career gaps and those who change jobs frequently.

Note: This tends to be the format prefered by employers


Functional resumes

What are they?

These are skills-based resumes. Some may not even include work experience as such.

Structure:

  • Personal details at the top
  • Goal or career objective
  • Work experience is set out in terms of skills, so work experience dates aren’t included
  • Employment history – shown as a summary
  • Education and training

Who should use this format?

  • People moving between careers where they want to emphasise the skills gained
  • People who have career gaps
  • Parents who are returning to work after raising their families

Who shouldn’t use this format?

People working in conservative careers where chronological resumes are the standard expected

Note: Most employers are mistrustful of this type of resume


Combination Resumes

What are they?

This type of resume takes elements from both the chronological and functional resumes

Structure

  • Personal details at the top
  • Summary section which may or may not include a list of skills
  • Work experience
  • Education and training

Who should use this format?

  • Anyone can use this resume as it takes the best elements of both types of resume.
  • People with long work histories who need to condense it and highlight specific strengths
  • People changing career

Who shouldn’t use this format?

People with very little work experience


 

Tailored Resumes

What are they?

They are very similar to combination resumes, however, they are purely tailored to the employer. For this reason, they are time consuming, however, because they are tailored to the audience, they get better results.

Structure

This will depend on the job. For example, with my husbands resume, I included a summary, skills section setting out each computer language he had worked with, and how many years experience using that language, then certifications such as Oracle certifications, then work history. Alternatively, with some family members who were looking for their first job after leaving university, then I started off with a summary, skills section related to the industry they were going into, personal achievements, work history and then education.

Who should use this format?

  • Anyone looking to take a targeted approach to their job seeking activities
  • Anyone working in industries where post-education qualifications and training are important
  • School leavers who have work experience of any type

Who shouldn’t use this format?

Anyone in an industry where a chronological resume is the standard accepted


 

Creative Resumes

What are they?

These are the “thinking outside of the box” resumes aimed at demonstrating creativity and artistic flare

Structure:

It can be anything for example an infographic, printed on a box for example a cereal box, milk carton, pizza box

Check these pages out:

Who should use this format?

Anyone wanting to stand out in a creative industry such a graphical design.

Who shouldn’t use this format?

  • Anyone in conservative industries like medicine, law and accountancy.
  • Anyone not creative

 

 

 

Finally

All resumes should tell your story. They all include your work experience, skills and qualifications for the job, however, your choice of format should help you to highlight particular strengths in your career path.

As more people use applications like LinkedIn, so they realise that a resume that only includes those three sections totally ignores other achievements within their career, and consequently under-sells their achievements. Choose a format that balances the needs of your future employer and your need to demonstrate what makes you the best person for the job.


If you’re looking for a job, then why not take my free Get That Job challenge? It covers preparing a resume that gets you interviews, building a killer LinkedIn profile, networking and interview skills. Alternatively my Get That Job Club has an exclusive range of courses and resources designed to help you get the job that you want. Try it for 1 month for only €5.

If you’d like some 1:1 help and support, then consider becoming a VIP client. My VIP package includes 13 weeks resume and LinkedIn coaching, weekly coaching calls (in person, by phone or via Skype), email support and so much. Check it out.

Take care for now

Karen x

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