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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.
Its also not the best choice for someone new to the workforce or someone coming back into the job market after a number of years such as a mother who stopped working to raise children and is now returning to work. In those cases and others detailed below a functional resume format may present a more positive picture. The Functional Resume Format What it is. This resume format is also known as a skills resume because it is a summary of your qualifications organized by education experience achievements and skills rather than by job. In fact there is very little emphasis on employer history. When it works best. Many employers and recruiters may prefer the chronological resume format because it is so easy to read at a glance. But it wont serve you well in some situations.
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Before you can know which of the top resume formats will work best for you it is important that you understand the purpose of each of the formats. There are three primary resume formats. Chronological Resume This format places a great emphasis on your work history and education. This is the format most people think of when they hear the term resume. For decades this was THE resume format. However times have changed and now other formats have become acceptable for resumes. You should consider using the chronological format when you have a strong work history and academic achievements. Not all of us have that strong work history displaying a clear career path. For many reasons including the unavailability of the right job many of us have taken a job outside of what would be considered a normal career path.
If you have large gaps in employment you may want to just list your past employers but leave out the dates. You can deal with any questions during the interview. When it doesnt work well. If you know that in your career track the chronological resume format is strongly preferred you may have to go with the flow. Or you may decide to take a combination approach as described below. The Combination Resume Format What it is. A combination resume format takes the best features of both the chronological and the functional resume formats. You get a chance to present a strong summary of your skills and accomplishments up front (functional) while also providing a detailed employment history (chronological) that supports the statements made in the first section. When it works best.