Your professional resume typically serves as your first impression with a potential future employer – an opportunity to showcase your best qualities and demonstrate how your skills apply to a given position. But to secure an interview, your resume has to stand out from the crowd. Oftentimes, candidates work off of a single resume draft and fail to tailor it to meet the unique needs of individual companies and positions.
Following are a few types of resumes to consider the next time you’re applying for a new job.
A chronological resume lists your work experience starting with your most recent job and going backwards. Your work history should list each job title, the period of time you were employed, the name and location of the company, and your biggest accomplishments. Follow that section with your education. List each college degree, certificate or other professional designation you have earned that relates to the position you want.
A functional resume demonstrates your job skills by function and emphasizes your abilities. Rather than start with your current or most recent job, a functional resume should start with the position most appropriate to the one you’re applying for.
You may even want to forego traditional job titles within a functional resume and focus on core skills that align to your desired position. For example, if you’re applying for a leadership position and want to highlight your previous managerial and leadership skills, you may have sections titled “Hiring,” “Managing” and “Coaching” with related accomplishments below.
A combination resume is a hybrid of a chronological and functional resume. Combination resumes often start with a list of transferrable skills most desired within a certain field or industry. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, you may want to list skills such as social media marketing, content development, lead generation and digital marketing.
Follow your list of skills with sections describing your top three or four functions and related work experience that are in line with the job you’re after.
Deciding Which Resume to Use
The resume format you use depends on the type of job you want as well as your previous work history. A chronological resume is best when you have an extensive work history, aim to show off your skills and want to demonstrate career growth. For example, if you were promoted to store manager after being a department manager and starting as a sales associate, your resume will demonstrate an upward progression of responsibility.
If your work history has gaps, you frequently change jobs, you are reentering the workforce or you are changing careers, it may be best to use a functional resume. This format deemphasizes your work history and demonstrates transferrable skills you’ve attained. If you worked as a retail manager, you may be able to show how your skills in hiring, training, coaching, evaluating and handling of employee relations issues can be transferred to a human resources position.
If you are concerned about not providing a job history, use a combination resume. This format is best when you have a solid employment history with diverse duties at one company or when you want to make a career change.
And don’t forget, one resume doesn’t always fit all. Candidates should tailor resumes to each company and position they’re applying for and can use a mix of chronological, functional and combination formats to identify which is most appropriate in a given scenario.
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The team at MFA Talent Management is skilled at placing candidates in exciting roles within their desired industry. For help finding your next professional position, contact us today.