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Select the right resume style to get the top job

Samantha Pearce is the owner of Words Worth Reading an online editorial service for Job Seekers, Students, Writers and Businesses.  

Words Worth Reading offer individually-tailored, comprehensive resume and application form writing and editing services to job seekers from all around the world.   

She reveals how choosing the correct resume style can highlight your skills and minimise your shortcomings.  

There are a variety of acceptable ways to write and structure a resume.

Occasionally a potential employer will request that you structure your resume in a specific way when applying for a job, but this is very rare and so nine times out of ten you will have the opportunity to dictate the structure and content of your resume. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to have, because it gives you the freedom to structure your resume in such a way that you can maximise your strengths, and minimise your weaknesses.

Lots of people will make small tweaks and alterations to a standard resume format to ensure the style works for them.

However, you should choose an appropriate standard resume format in the first instance, to ensure that all the necessary information is contained in your resume. 

There are four main standard resume formats for you to choose from;

- The Chronological resume
- The Functional resume
- The Hybrid resume 
- The Structured Interview resume

Choosing the best resume format for you can help ensure you get that all important interview. 

Let’s start by looking at each format in turn:

The Chronological Resume

The Chronological resume is the most commonly used resume  format. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

- Personal Details
- Qualifications
- Professional development / training courses
- Employment history including employer, dates of employment, positions held and achievements

The Functional Resume

The Functional resume focuses on skills and achievements as oppose to employment history and qualifications. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

- Personal Details
- Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
- Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (approximately 5 skills are identified, with a paragraph on how the skills have been demonstrated in the past)
- Summary of employment history; a very basic list of positions held, employment dates and employer

The Hybrid Resume

A combination of the Chronological and Functional resume formats; this is often the recommended format to use. It contains the following components, in the order stated;

- Personal Details
- Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
- Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (1-2 paragraphs on key skills) - Employment history including employer, dates of employment, positions held and achievements

The Structured Interview Resume 

In a Structured Interview CV a set of questions are set out, with full answers written in response to these questions. The answers reflect your skills, achievements and abilities. The Structured Interview resume contains the following components, in the order stated;

- Personal Details
- Qualifications (in brief bullet points)
- Training (just listed)
- Skills, Knowledge, attributes and abilities (approximately 5 questions are posed, with a paragraphed response against each; i.e. How does your experience in marketing match our role requirements?)
- Summary of employment history; a very basic list of positions held, employment dates and employer

Which resume format best suits your needs?

First of all you need to take a look at the company that you’re sending your resume to, and decide what type of resume format they are most likely to prefer.

Creative companies tend to prefer a skills-based resume format; so the Hybrid Resume or the Functional Resume formats are likely to be well received.

Alternatively, the public sector prefers a traditional, familiar layout, so the Chronological Resume is generally preferred. By choosing a resume format that is instantly recognisable and preferred is a good way to score additional points with your potential future employer. 

Secondly, you need to think about which resume format type highlights your strengths and minimises your weaknesses. If you are a solid candidate, with a strong academic background, up to date qualifications and a consistent career history, then the Chronological Resume or the Hybrid Resume will work well for you.

If your weakness lies in your academic history or if you have had gaps/ inconsistencies in your career history the Functional Resume format or the Structured Resume format will suit you best as it will minimise these weak areas.

And remember, no matter what resume format you choose, examples of your abilities and emphasised achievements is always a must. 

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Samantha Pearce is the owner of Words Worth Reading – an editorial service for Job Seekers, Students, Writers and Businesses.

Words Worth Reading offer individually-tailored, comprehensive resume and application form writing and editing services at fantastic prices, with quick turnaround times.

For more information visit www.wordsworthreading.co.uk

You can contact the team on sam@wordsworthreading.co.uk

Call them on 00 44 1277 824640.

Samantha Pearce is CaribbeanJobs.com's resume expert. If you have a question for her please click here.


Samantha Pearce