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Unlocking Success – The Perfect Resume Format for Job Seekers

by Olufisayo
The Perfect Resume Format for Job Seekers

If you’ve been on the job market for a while, your resume might look like it came from another season or decade. And that could be a real problem.

You can upgrade your ATS-compliant resume by using numbers and metrics, quantifying achievements whenever possible, and tailoring your document to each job application.

Chronological – Clear and Logical Way

Typically, this resume format emphasizes your past work experience clearly and logically. It also allows you to list your most recent positions first, which can appeal to hiring managers who want to see how a candidate’s career has progressed.

This format also works well for job applicants in the same industry. For example, suppose you are an executive assistant looking to transition into another role at a different company. In that case, this format will help hiring managers quickly see your breadth of experience and how your skills are transferable.

However, a chronological resume can also highlight gaps in employment and long periods without significant advancement that may be a red flag for hiring managers. As such, this format isn’t the best option for those with little to no work experience or making a major career change. Instead, a functional or combination resume might be a better fit.

Functional – Skills and Competencies

Functional resumes downplay work history and shift the focus to skills and competencies. Typically, this resume style is best for people who are changing careers or have gaps in their work experience. Those with extensive technical and skill-based experience may also find this format beneficial.

For example, if you are an artist but don’t have a formal art education, you can highlight your skills in a separate “Skills” section. You can showcase volunteer experience, a part-time job, and even leadership roles in your spare time to show how you have honed your skills.

However, this format may not be the best option when applying to jobs with strict hiring criteria. This type of resume can get lost in applicant tracking systems, which are programmed to look for specific keywords and phrases in a work history section organized in reverse chronological order. Long gaps between positions may raise red flags for recruiters unless appropriately explained, such as stepping out to care for family or returning to school.

Highlights – Responsibilities and Accomplishments

Several formats are available, but the most common are reverse chronological, functional, and combination. Reverse chronological resumes are great for job seekers who want to highlight their experience in a specific industry and are looking to transition into a new role within the same field.

This style highlights your work experience by listing the most recent to oldest positions. For each position, you should briefly describe the company, your title and responsibilities, and the dates you worked there. Remember to use action verbs in your descriptions of your responsibilities and accomplishments, as these will help to make your resume more compelling for hiring managers.

The functional format is suitable for career changers as it downplays gaps in your employment history by focusing on transferable skills. This type of resume is not recommended for ATS, as it can be difficult for computer programs to read and rank.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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