A resume format and a resume template are different. Below is a brief description of four different type of formats commonly used by job seekers.
Chronological Resume Format
A chronological resume in which the information is organized by dates the most recent position first, working backward 10-15 years. This stresses positions you held and companies where you worked. Recruiters and hiring managers tend to like this resume format because it’s easy to read and demonstrates job seekers’ continuous career growth. This format is used when the individual has steady advancement, no employment gaps and is applying for the same line of work.
Functional Resume Format
A functional resume is organized by relevant skills or functions. These accomplishments are near the beginning of the resume, rather than with past jobs. The record of employment is listed but without responsibilities. Hiring managers and recruiters dislike this resume format, as it’s easier to disguise a poor work record. This works well for problem careers, job hoppers, older workers, career transitioners, academic deficiencies or limited experience.
Combination Resume Format
A combination resume mixes the above formats. Information is organized in relevant skills and functions, followed by job titles, companies and a brief description of responsibilities. This powerful presentation shows relevant skills and accomplishments at the beginning but is later supported by the strong employment section.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) Format
There is also the Curriculum Vitae and an electronic scannable resume. Many job seekers confuse the difference between a curriculum vitae and a traditional resume. In certain parts of the world, a curriculum vitae is preferred over a resume. Many job seekers will use this style of resume when applying overseas. A resume tends to be shorter, more concise, and only contains information pertinent to the jobs it is being used to apply for. A curriculum vitae will be longer and more comprehensive. This format is often used when applying to academic programs and degree programs.
Keep personal information at the top of your resume, including name, address, telephone number, cell phone, fax and e-mail address.
After the identifying contact information will be the type of job or career you wish to secure. This is not mandatory but with or without it, the resume and cover letter should focus on the position and skills required. Avoid clichés and meaningless sentences. Example “challenging full-time position that will be rewarding and offer room for advancement”.
The remainder of the document depends on the resume format chosen. List in order of the most relevant education or experience. Again professional judgment makes a difference. Various factors in background and experience determine the choice.
After the education and employment sections, you can include other information (honors, affiliations, community work, languages).
Prune unnecessary words and proofread your resume numerous times. Get someone else to assist in proofreading – you don’t want any typos