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Best Resume Format

A Resume is probably the most important document you draft in your professional career. It helps to bridge the gap between a recruiter and you. It also allows you to express your view of your own career, talk about your strengths and achievements, and tell the prospective employers about all that you have done and everything that you are capable of. In other words, your resume is a reflection of your life. Since you are narrating your story, it is important to choose the right format which does justice to your professional experience and skills. When it comes to writing a resume, one size DOES NOT fit all. Today, I am going to talk about three evergreen resume formats – Chronological, Functional, and Combined.

But before we begin, let’s tackle a more pertinent question:

What is the difference between a Resume and a CV?

Although used interchangeably, there are many differences between a Resume and a CV:

A CV (Curriculum Vitae, meaning ‘the course of life’ in Latin) is an in-depth document containing details about your professional achievements, education, and other accomplishments like awards, publications, etc.

On the other hand, a Resume is a short and concise document highlighting the major aspects of your career. It does not have to be chronological or cover your entire career. It can be customized based on the needs of the specific job.

In simpler words, the differences are as follows:

  • CV – is detailed and long, covers the entire span of your career, and is static.
  • Resume – is concise and short, covers only relevant areas of your career, and is customizable.

Also Read: 10 commandments for an impactful résumé

With this understanding clear, let’s look at the three evergreen resume formats.

Best Resume Formats – Chronological Resume Format

As an HR Manager, I would receive hundreds of resumes in a month. While I don’t have specific numbers, but it would be safe to say that nearly 75% of them would be written in the reverse chronological format. The primary reason behind this format being a favorite with job-seekers is that since the work experience is listed in order of the most recent to the oldest, it emphasizes the work experience of the candidate. A chronological resume format must include the following points in the given order:

  1. Your contact information – Name, email address, contact numbers, location, and LinkedIn or other social media profiles.
  2. Summary – A 2/3 sentence introduction to highlight your strengths and areas of expertise. Also, ensure that you include your professional title here.
  3. Work Experience – This forms the bulk of your resume written in the reverse chronological order (write the most recent job/current job first).
  4. Skills – If your job requires certain skills, then ensure that you highlight them in this section.
  5. Education – Again, follow the reverse chronological order.
  6. Certifications (if any)
Remember – In the Chronological Format the Work Experience is highlighted and forms the bulk of the content.

 

Best Resume Formats – Functional Resume Format

Also, known as a Skill-based resume format, the functional resume allows job seekers to emphasize their skills rather than the work experience. The idea is to highlight the skills or specific aspects of your experience relevant to the job that you are seeking. A functional resume must include the following points:

  1. Your contact information – Name, email address, contact numbers, location, and LinkedIn or other social media profiles.
  2. Summary – A 2/3 sentence introduction to highlight your strengths and areas of expertise. Ensure that you include your professional title here.
  3. Skills – Select three to four skill sets that are relevant to the job description and those that you can justify with experience or accomplishments. Further, list down these skills and describe your experience with each of them without talking about the companies you worked for.
  4. Work Experience – This can be chronological or reverse chronological. Simply mention the name of the organization, position held, and dates of employment. You can add volunteer positions and consultant roles too.
  5. Education and Certifications – Briefly jot down your education details and certifications (if any).
Remember – In the Functional Format the Skills are highlighted and form the bulk of the content.

 

Best Resume Formats – Combined Resume Format

In order to get the best of both the worlds, you can also opt for a combined resume format with lays equal emphasis on skills as well as work experience. In this format, many other sections are not included. Here is what you should include in a combined resume format:

  1. Your contact information – Name, email address, contact numbers, location, and LinkedIn or other social media profiles.
  2. Summary of Skills – As specified in the functional resume format.
  3. Additional skills – Skills that you have acquired outside your job.
  4. Work Experience – As specified in the chronological resume format.
  5. Education – A simple bulleted list.

You can add work experience before skills if you feel that creates a better flow.

Remember – In the Combined Format the You can create a resume emphasizing the Work Experience/skills as required by your profile and the job applied for.

Also Read: Top 5 Mistakes on Resume- it’s over for you

All these resume formats have their own pros and cons and different formats are applicable for different levels of seniority. Hence, they need careful selection. But, that is for another day.

Summing Up

At Change Ur Story, we have a strong belief that each professional has a unique story which needs to be narrated differently. We also understand that every job requires specific skill sets which must be highlighted optimally to get your profile noticed. With our Targeted Resume Writing Services, we ensure that your resume is tailor-made to make the prospective employers see what they want. Drop us a line and let’s start writing your story today!

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