Resume Writing

Providing a good resume to a prospective employer can change your life. In almost every job application process, it is one of the first pieces of information that you give them, so making one that properly summarizes who you are, what you are interested in and what you have previously done is invaluable to your career.

There are several types of resumes that each serve specific purposes when looking for employment. Chronological resumes are composed with past experience in mind, whereas functional resumes focus more on the applicable skills that you presently possess. You may also compose a combination resume, which features both your experience and your skills, but there is one thing that must not be forgotten: cleanliness and concision are key factors that must not be overlooked.

Chronological Resume

One of the most common forms of the resume is the chronological. Its main purpose is to display your experience, and to communicate that the time you have put into a certain area of expertise has inflated your value. They should also imply that your past is an aggregation of positive actions that have benefited companies, suggesting that the company reviewing your resume will inevitably benefit too.

young man writing his resume on his computer

There are a few easy steps you need to follow to get an effective chronological resume. First, outline your employment history, the most recent area of employment at the top. You should include information about the company, as well as your given title and required duties. To highlight your skills in a certain area, emphasize whatever you have accomplished or what you have been rewarded with. Furthermore, any emphasis on cost-cutting measures will be all the more valued.

Next, put information about your education in the same format, outlining your schooling and accomplishments. If you received good grades during college or university, place some emphasis on that. If you are young, it is okay to put information pertaining to secondary school, but otherwise it is rather unprofessional.

If there are any other formative experiences that you have progressively improved upon, include them too. Companies want people interested in what they do, so it does not hurt to include specific skills or topics, so long as they do not take up too much space.

Functional Resume

A functional resume is similar to a chronological one, but it is less focused on the progression of your experience and more focused on fostering your present identity through the exposition of many domains, including education, skills, employment and interests.

One thing that is worth featuring is a list of skills that define who you are, or perhaps a mission statement following your information. If it is a very specific position, a single sentence can make a huge difference in influencing an employer.

Below, give details pertaining to your education, following the same template as the chronological resume. Again, omit this entry if you did not attend college or university, as this will be what major companies are looking for. Do the same for your employment history.

You should, however, pay attention to how you present your accolades in a functional resume. You can either present it by category, such as “Major Achievements” or “Special Skills”. Conversely, you may use bullet points, or perhaps small boxes that feature your awards, away from your education and experience.

Combination Resume

Combination resumes function by providing two separate narratives to your professional career. The first, the chronological, will be how you got to where you are, and the second, the functional, will show what your current skills are.

One option that you have in your employment history is to provide more than one line of experience. If you have labor experience and managerial experience and you are applying for an on-site position at an energy firm, then showing both separately may suggest a certain amount of dynamism that others lack. Also, if you want to show off your skills without isolating them, you can put more effort into displaying them in your experience timeline. For example, if you learned programming at a particular software company, mention it there instead of in another category.