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Do You Know How to Select the Best Resume Format?

Aug 17, 2007
While there are a number of different potential resume format types from which you can select, the more popular format include the chronological resume format and the skill-based resume format. In general, it is best to select a format that best emphasizes your skills, rather than selecting the one that looks most organized.

Let's start with the chronological resume format. A chronological resume basically lists all of your accomplishments in order of when they were achieved. This usually includes if or when you received your degree, when you started a job, when you got promoted, and when you were awarded for any exemplary behavior.

Who does the chronological resume format work for? This seems obvious enough, but the chronological resume format will work much better for people with a long history of employment and progressive achievement. If, for instance, you have spent 4 years as director at one firm, 5 years as vice president at another, and then another 8 years as president of different firm, then you will want to use a chronological format to best accentuate your skills. Using this resume format will not only demonstrate that you have a long history in upper level management, but it will also demonstrate that you have been honing your skills, growing, and getting better.

If, on the other hand, you have just completed college and do not have a considerable amount of work-place experience, you will want to emphasize your skills. Perhaps you are only 20 years old, but you have accomplished a considerable amount and have picked up a number of skills from college, certification programs, and your own personal experience.

Rather than listing things in order of when they were completed, the skills-based resume format concentrates on when you are able to do, rather than when you became certified to do it. Rather than being constructed of a linear table, as most chronological formats are, the skills-based format instead is usually broken down into a number of tables, which are sometimes abreast. These tables are usually broken down into categories like objective (for pursuing the job in question), education, related employment, other employment, honors and award, and additional skills.

Regardless of which of these resume format types you select, you will want to organize it well and be sure to include your name as the heading, along with your home address in the top left corner, as is the standard protocol. You will also want to make a significant attempt to personalize the resume format for each client as you see fit. You will want to emphasis certain skills to certain employers and other skills to other employers.
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