You know that your resume is the first impression on a hiring manager. That means you need to grab their attention immediately and give them a reason to contact you. Even individuals with specialized skills need to ensure that their resume is perfect before sending it to a potential employer. Does your resume format need to be changed? Is there something better you can do to make yourself stand out among your competition? Let’s take a closer look.
A chronological or functional resume
Do you know the difference between a more traditional, or chronological, resume or a functional resume? The more traditional resume creates a list of past employers using dates, titles, and company names as the headline. Below that, you might have a bullet point list of the things you did on each job. A functional resume takes a more practical approach. Instead of focusing on the dates and employers, you focus on your accomplishments and experience. A list of employers is secondary but still included in the same way you might include your education experience. It gives a hiring manager a snapshot of your experience up front rather than having to dig for important information.
The reasons to use functional
Functional resumes aren’t always the right choice, but when they are, they can be very impactful. When do you want to use a functional resume? They are often the go-to resume format for individuals who are transitioning from one career or industry to another. You can better showcase your transferable skills rather than focusing on your exact experience. It is also a good choice for someone just graduating from college who may not have a lot of corporate experience to pull from.
Why chronological may not work as well
A more traditional chronological resume may not be a good choice for someone who has worked a lot of temporary jobs. If you’ve been employed by an agency or have simply moved a lot from job to job, a chronological resume will call undue attention to the individual assignments. By grouping your experience together, you can create a complete picture for a potential employer. This doesn’t leave out anything important, it just formats it in a different way.
Put your best foot forward
Ultimately, your resume needs to paint you in the best possible light. It is up to you to decide if a functional resume is better than a chronological one to attract the right companies. If you have a lot of stability, a more traditional resume may reflect your background better. But in many cases, a functional resume will give you more flexibility to include the experience you want to highlight. Whichever you choose, make sure that it is professionally written, free of errors, and works to sell you to potential employers.
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