Would you not carefully choose your appearance on the day of the interview? We don’t live in movies where Will Smith could get away being a garbage man. This is real world, and this is real interview. In the whole process of preparation, we often tend to undermine the appearance of our resume. It's almost dressing your resume up. We want you to remember the two forces that work in a resume being picked up among a pile of others. "The What and The How"? You may have worked ten thousand feet below the sea rigging Oil for this major oil and gas company, or you may have single handedly pioneered a startup or just starting out of college. In any of the case resume format are designed in a way to highlight the best of your abilities in the most readable way. Resume formats make sure that your greatest achievements are right there on the top, ready to be noticed.
The most commonly used and preferred resume formats by Job hunters, Job seekers and Human Resources Managers across is the Reverse Chronological format. As, the name suggests this format highlights your career profile, educational summary or professional profile as it may seem fit for the job. It is like watching a movie backward. Choosing what to place first among the three once again should be a well thought over decision. What you place on the top is what you want to be seen first. If not sure we suggest you take professional advice as these very things which might seem trivial play a vital role in the final decision.
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Reverse Chronological resume format
It's not engraved in time but generally accepted order for Reverse Chronological resume format is
A) Contact Information
The usual, which include your name, contact number, email address. We also suggest that candidates display their LinkedIn account details on this very section. LinkedIn plays a vital role in Job hiring process and often the job seekers will appreciate if its provided. A personal website if any should also be mentioned.
B) Resume Introduction
For a moment consider yourself a job hunter. You have a resume at hand which highlights educational qualification of a recent graduate followed by this internship details. Nothing wrong but it is what they call an out of "shape resume". While the reverse chronological format offers the candidate the liberty to be flexible it also gives an additional responsibility of being very careful of what you place.
Be it professional profile, educational qualification or career highlight, be double sure that the placement is correct and as per the requirement. In case of a doubt do not hesitate seeking professional help.
C) Professional Experience
Apart from your key responsibility, put across that decision of yours which greatly benefitted the organization. Something that got your promotion, something that made you stand out in the crowd. If justified by numbers, there are huge chances of you being noticed. Do not shy away from using bullet points here. Use of bullet points, numbers of action verbs are what will be noticed in the beginning.
D) Educational Qualification
For someone who has spent a considerable time in the industry can give a quick summary of their degree, college and if in the A listers their score. If you were a back bencher make sure you keep this short and sweet. However, cool it might have been in college it’s taken very differently outside. Remember your career flow and your professional experience take over your education details once you begin your career. If the job application demands a PhD Holder, an Ivy League Graduate or something very niche and specific then it’s a different ball game.
A recent college graduate however will need to be elaborate in this section.
E) Additional Skills
A man is known by what he does in his free time. So be open and do highlight your additional skills, hobbies and again what makes you unique. The additional skills can be in accordance with the job or completely different. Come on, Steve Jobs was trained in Calligraphy fonts and he built computers.
FUNCTIONAL RESUME FORMAT
If there are any inconsistencies in the career flow or if a candidate wants to change industry or if by just sheer bad luck someone with imperfect work experience is looking to apply for a Job its best to stick the functional resume format. The purpose of this format is to negate the ill effects of the above mentioned. The hiring manager has been trained to look for inconsistencies in your resume and you do not want to give to them that easily. The industry uses a term, "High risk Hire". Your resume should not be categorized in that list.
The flow of the Functional resume format is as stated below.
A) Contact Information
Apart from the above mentioned, in case you are changing cities it is advisable but not mandatory to arrange for a local number of your target city. Your name, Email address, LinkedIn Profile and a personal website if any will also be placed here.
If work experience is not your key highlight or if you have an inconsistent work history, its best advisable to begin your resume with your qualifications. It not only takes away the highlight from the specific dates it also adds to the ploy of concealing the inconsistency. Summary of one’s qualification is also a good idea to put your best foot forward right at the beginning of the resume.
C) Personal Achievement
Personal achievement should be highlighted in detail. Remember during the interview this is what is going to cover the gaps in the employment, so every little achievement should be highlighted. This resume format is built on the idea that your achievements are more important than your work history. Free use of bullet points and emphasis on actions rather than specific experience is the key to this.
D) Relevant Skills
What is it that you are bringing on board which is likely to benefit the organization. Come up with at least three relevant skills. For instance, when applying for a sales job, the present contacts, the previous sales figure and your social networking skills are what can be considered your relevant skills. Relevant skill sets will vary from Job to job. For an engineer looking to make it in the movie industry the relevant will be very different from someone moving from sales to finance. Bullet points should be used to highlight each skill. Bullet points very smartly display a candidate’s confidence. Use them freely.
E) Using the Break
If one has to be take care of an ill relative, if one has gone back to school full time, taking care of one’s child, research work, all these are accepted work experience concealer. The more legitimate the reason for the break in employment the better the chances of getting a fair hearing. Better still, if one can show how well have they utilized the time off. If off for a Globe trip highlight the experience you brought back, or that movie you made or the fund you raised for cancer awareness. The key is to put forward your additional and relevant skills of organizing, discipline and research.
One of the other tip is to not highlight the month when you quit your job, stick to the year and put forward your explanation later.
Combination Resume Format
This resume format is for the rock stars. What we mean is someone with a vast amount of experience where the highlight is on the skills and abilities. Someone with a lot of technical expertise, using this resume format is the best bet. It can be used both if looking to seek jobs within or outside industry. That application you recently sold, the software which took care of the college canteen, the achieving of the years target in a quarter are all reflective of your skills and it is best put forward in this resume format.
While the content more or less remains the same it’s the arrangement and highlighting that is different. It starts with the usual contact, professional profile or education summary, skills and highlights, relevant skills and personal experience.
It is best to avoid mentioning the everyday life at work simply because you are focusing on being noticed beyond those parameters.
A combination resume format is like a fast track movie, where the character is revealed at a very early stage and we are aware of the super hero qualities he possesses. It is always advisable to take professional help while making this resume.