How to Pick a Resume Format

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There are a variety of job resume formats out there and our expert is here to help you pick the best one for you with this free job hunting video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Write a Great Resume
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Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Tina Beuchler with Business Growth Training, and I’m here on behalf of In this clip, I want to talk about choosing a format for your resume. First of all, some of you might have a resume; some of you might have a CV/Curriculum Vitae. Generally speaking, a resume should only be 2 pages, maximum 2 pages. If you’re looking for a very high-level position, you might switch to a CV. A CV certainly may be more that 2 pages, but for today we’re going to focus on your resume. Once you’ve set your goal and developed product knowledge, you need to determine what kind of format that you’re going to use. There are 3 formats that you can choose from. The first format is chronological resume. A chronological resume starts with the last position you held and the company that you worked for, and then goes back from there to the company before that and the company before that and the company before that. Under each of those job titles, you highlight the keep skills and accomplishments that you achieved during that stay at that company. After that, we go into education and that kind of thing. But the key thing about a chronological resume is that it focuses on your skills as they happen from the present and proceed backwards. If you are going to go to a functional resume, a functional resume focuses on 3 maybe 4 key skill sets. What you do is you choose you key skill from different jobs and move them into as specific skill set. What I might choose is communication skills, and I would take the key skills I have in the areas of communication from my last job, from the job that I had before and the job that I had before that, and I would take all my communication skills and highlight them in one specific area. Second thing might be marketing and sales, so you would choose fundamental skill sets and market your skills in that area. The third one is a combined format and it uses a little bit of the chronological and a little bit of the functional. It lists your employment in a chronological order, but it also has some areas key skill sets. If you are looking for work in the computer industry, you probably do a combined format. Somewhere on your resume, you will have highlight of technical skills, and it would just be a list of different programs, formats, and platforms that you’ve worked with. So, an employer can easily find the skills that you have to offer and then also find where you have worked, the company that you worked for, and the position you held. If your last job is not at all similar to the kind of job that you’re looking for, or if you’ve had a lot of employment gaps, then the format that you would choose would be functional.


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