Basically there are three different formats for writing resumes. There is the chronological resume writing format, which focuses mainly on prior experiences in the work force. Using this format is good when you want to focus on your prior work experiences. This is effective when you are looking to change jobs within the same field or when applying to corporations that rely mainly on your past experiences. This particular resume writing format shows exactly where you worked and for how long of a time. It also tells a prospective employer what you did in each job. If you are looking to change to an entirely different career field then this type of resume wouldn’t work very well as all it does is show what you’ve done at the places that you have worked. It doesn’t show your talents or any extracurricular activity that you may be looking to switch over into.
Another resume writing format is called the functional resume. This type of resume makes it much easier for the reader to see all your qualifications in one spot. With the chronological, you have everything listed under each job and the reader has to read though each one to get an idea of your qualifications. With the functional resume writing format, you can showcase them all in one section. Remember, when a prospective employer reads resumes, he most likely has hundreds to wade through. He’ll probably devote a good ten seconds on each one and if nothing catches his eye, it’ll go into the reject pile. This is where the functional resume can really jump out and grab someone’s attention. This type of resume writing format is recommended for someone looking to make a career change into a totally different field. When you’re looking to do this, obviously your prior job experiences isn’t going to count much but if you have skills or qualifications in the career you are hoping to move into, you’ll have the ability to list them in the functional resume writing format. A drawback of this type of resume is that it can make it difficult for some interviewers to determine exactly what you have done and where.
The third type of resume is one which combines both the chronological and the functional formats. This type of resume can be the most effective one as it showcases your talents and qualifications as well as shows any prospective employers what your job duties were at each place. Using the combined resume format takes the obvious advantages that one can get from both resume formats but by doing so, this type of resume writing format can get a little longer than most. Keep in mind that you only have approximately ten seconds to grab someone’s attention so focus on making your desired statement at the very beginning of the resume. Do this in a way that will pull the reader in and spark their interest enough to keep reading.
Keep in mind the kind of career you are looking for and tailor your resume accordingly. A more traditional kind of field may require nothing but a chronological resume format while other, more creative, fields may prefer the functional type. Get some reference books and look for the different resume formats and play around with the information you have until you get an eye-catching resume. One that will pull the prospective interviewer in and make him want to pick up the phone and call you to find out more.