Crafting Your Résumé – Choose the Best Format for the Job

Crafting Your Résumé – Choose the Best Format for the Job

When it comes to job hunting, one of the most important things you’ll need is a solid résumé. So, of course, you want to craft the best, most professional looking one you can.

More than just a rundown of your education, work history, and skills your résumé is also a marketing tool. Think of it as a piece of advertising used to sell yourself to a recruiter or hiring manager. Like most advertisements, assume it will only be given a quick glance – therefore it must really stand out. And to do that, it also needs to be well-formatted.

Before you get started designing your résumé, you’ll want to outline what information should be included. Then you can choose a format that best suits this content.

Types of Resumes

There are several different resume formats you might want to consider. The one you ultimately should choose depends on a few factors. All resumes should begin with your name and contact information. From then on out, however, it’s about choosing what to highlight.

The most common three types are a functional or skill-based format, reverse chronological format, and a combination of the two.

Each of these formats has a different primary focus.

Functional & Skill Based Résumés

If you’re new to the field, have employment gaps, or lack relevant career experience, this is likely your ideal format. Instead of focusing on what you’ve done, it highlights what you can do. It’s also a good format for those looking to change fields or careers.

Because it puts an emphasis on your skills, it can somewhat glaze over what you lack in experience. However, you’ll want to be careful not to appear as if you’re hiding something.

This type of résumé begins by highlighting all of your strongest qualifications. It should also have a robust listing of skills relevant to your desired position.

You’ll still need to include work history, but it will essentially play second fiddle to your abilities.

Reverse Chronological Résumés

By far one of the most popular formats is the familiar reverse chronological résumé. If you’ve had consistent and relevant work experience, this may be the best format for you.

It is pretty much exactly what you expect, too. It lists all relevant work experience, in order, starting with your most recent job.

While it is the most common and familiar format to most employers, it may, however, lack creativity. So, this may be a plus and/or a minus, depending on the type of position for which you’re applying.

Hybrid Résumés

For those with a diverse skill set, especially in a creative field, with plenty of relevant experience, there’s the hybrid format. This blends a combination of the former two types of resumes to highlight both your skills and work experience. It’s not an ideal format for someone seeking an entry level position or lacking in experience.

Education is the least highlighted section of this format, as it’s less relevant than your work history. Though you should still include it, it’s far less crucial on a hybrid resume. Instead, you’ll want to dedicate the most space to showing off your professional profile, work history, and skills. Awards, notable achievements, and accolated are often also a highlight on these résumés.