Fitting all of your relevant work history into a single one- to two-page document isn’t easy. You likely have a lot of details to share, including information about your skills, accomplishments, and more. Plus, you have to make sure that your resume leaves a strong impression. You only have a few seconds to catch a hiring manager’s eye. Otherwise, you won’t land an interview.
Choosing the right format is a critical part of the resume writing process. If you want to make sure your approach is ideal, here’s what you need to know about the options.
When people picture a resume, this is usually the format that springs to mind. You list details about your history in reverse-chronological order, ensuring your most recent experience is toward the top.
Usually, you begin a chronological resume by listing your name and contact details first. Next, you can include a professional summary, allowing you to highlight critical aspects of your capabilities.
Whether you list your work history or education next will depend on what’s most relevant and recent. If you’re a new graduate trying to land an entry-level role, your degree should come first. Otherwise, lead off with your work history, listing your relevant positions in reverse-chronological order.
As you discuss each job, you’ll list a few accomplishments that showcase your capabilities. The goal is to demonstrate your value while putting your skillset on display, quantifying the details when possible for context.
In most cases, this format is the best option for a resume. If your career has been relatively linear, it feels like a natural fit. Plus, it aligns with the hiring manager’s expectations and, if you’re applying online, there’s a good chance the applicant tracking system (ATS) can scan it.
Also known as a skills-based resume, functional resume formats focus more on your skills and accomplishments and less on detailing your work history. After your name and professional summary, you create a skill and expertise section. There, you’ll group your capabilities into subcategories that are relevant to the target position, highlighting your skills by showcasing them in related achievements. After that, you’ll still list your work history and education, though both of these sections will be simplified.
Typically, it’s best to avoid using a functional resume. Most hiring managers are suspicious when they see this format, as they assume the candidate is trying to hide something. Additionally, an ATS may have trouble scanning it.
However, if you don’t have recent relevant work history, this approach might work. Just understand that using it is a bit risky.
If you want to get the best of both worlds, a combination resume might be ideal. Here, after your professional summary, you add a section that highlights your relevant skills. You may break them up into two categories that align with the position. However, you can also keep them together if what you’re listing is closely aligned.
Usually, this format is best if you aren’t sure that your work history speaks for itself. For example, if you’re changing careers, it could allow you to demonstrate that you have the right skills quickly.
Ultimately, all three of the resume formats above are potentially viable. Consider which will work best for you and use it as a starting point. If you’d like more guidance, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our resume writing expertise can benefit you as you search for new Mississippi jobs.