Resume Formats - The Hidden Pitfalls

Deciding on a resume format is the first major decision to be made when creating your resume. The overall look of your resume depends on the resume format, font and outline you choose. The two main types of format in use are the chronological and functional formats.

When to Use the Chronological Resume Format

A Chronological resume is the easiest to create and it is also the most widely used format. Chronological resume format allows you to list your job experiences starting with the most recent and moving back in time.

This allows employers to see your progression in the career field If you are staying in your career field, this format will allow employers to see if you are qualified for the job you are applying for. It may not be beneficial for people changing career fields.

When to Use the Functional Resume Format

Functional resume formats are more difficult to create and are not widely used. However, they are suitable in situations where people are changing career fields.

The functional resume format is based more on skill development. The format is non-linear and the emphasis is on development and achievements. Employers will be able to see your progressive skill developments that qualify you for the job.

How Long Should a Resume Be?

Another important decision you have to make about your resume format is the length of your resume. There are no specific rules on how long your resume should be. Resume length can vary depending on your situation… the length of your resume will depend on how much space you need to compactly and precisely list your relevant skills and accomplishments.

Choice of Fonts

Keep the font of your resume simple. Classic fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial are recognized by nearly all computers. If you use other font styles, there will be a risk that the employer’s computer does not support the particular font. Also if it is too fancy, it might turn off the employer.

Remember that ...

The most important information will be listed on the top of the resume as it is the first to catch the employer’s eye. In the middle is the part which will get briefly scanned. The bottom part of the resume will not get much attention, unless you get the interview.
Your resume structure should take this into account.

by Roger Clark
Article courtesy of Top Career Resumes, where you can get the answers you need about writing winning resumes, cover letters and more. The author, Roger Clark (BSc) has over 25 years experience in career development & recruitment at a senior level through top management positions he has held with major international companies.

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