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Saturday, 18 February 2012

How To Write Good Resume

The resume is a primary tool in finding a good job. When writing a resume, one should pay particular attention to its overall structure. There are several different guidelines that can help in doing this.

SELECT YOUR FORMAT: Selecting your resume format is a major strategic decision. Real and compelling differences characterize the two most common formats, which have impact on the receptivity employers have to your initiatives.

No universally "right" format is appropriate for all people. Your review of your own objective and background will be your most effective guide to selecting the best format for you.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL FORMAT: Your employment record is the primary organizing principle for this format, a job-by-job historical narrative of your work effectiveness.

This format accentuates your formal qualifications for the work you are seeking. Appropriate for directly qualified candidates with linear progression paths, it showcases the track record of clearly pertinent, often increasingly responsible experiences. Seasoned judgment in grappling with job challenges is emphasized.

Recruiters and some hiring managers are accustomed to, and often prefer, a traditional format. Many find it familiar, straightforward and easy to use when making preliminary decisions of inclusion and exclusion.

For candidates who are starting or changing a career, this format emphasizes the lack of direct, in-depth experience in the targeted career area. It underscores past identity rather than future potential.

Gaps in employment, conspicuously brief or long affiliations, and time periods elapsed since certain qualifying experiences are spotlighted.

Rather than accenting accomplishments on the job, it lends itself to a somewhat dry, repetitive recitation of job responsibilities.

Criteria for Use: The chronological format is particularly effective for people with clear-cut qualifications, who are continuing or advancing in a particular career direction. It is acceptable for other, less overtly qualified people. This format can be productive if you cite relevant skills and tasks that support your objective within the job-by-job description.

THE FUNCTIONAL FORMAT: Your key skills, knowledge and related accomplishments are the primary organizing principles of this format, citing relevant examples of effectiveness as proof and prediction of your ability to contribute.

This format provides an opportunity to establish the transferability of skills and accomplishments for candidates who are starting or changing a career. Grouping these items in self-contained categories builds a case for your ability to function in a new situation. The conventional resume format dilutes or contradicts this talent.

Not limited to paid employment, you can give status to qualifying experience from every area of life. This format widens the scope of informal experiences supportive of your career objective, including special projects, internships, community service and relevant leisure pursuits. It eliminates distinctions that discount their importance.

For directly qualified candidates with a linear progression path, this format challenges the standard presentation of personal strengths. Executive recruiters and other employment professionals prefer a job-by-job description to trace with clarity exactly what has been done, for whom, where and when.

Some employers assume that this format hides background information of importance. In a purely functional resume, key time/space anchors that employers expect are not given. This information can be essential to credibility.

Criteria for Use: The functional format is particularly effective and highly recommended for people without direct experience in the area of their career objective. Since it accents skills and achievements, it is effective and often desired by people who are well established in a career.

THE COMBINATION FORMAT: The combination format recognizes the inherent drawbacks of both the chronological and functional formats used in their pure forms.

The pure chronological resume is too mundane, a bland work autobiography. It is descriptive, but tends not to be persuasive about personal qualifications.

The pure functional resume is too free-floating and reads like a set of assertions about abilities, unlinked to verifiable sources of confirmation.

Whether you prefer the chronological or functional format, the most effective resume blends the best elements of each.

The Chronological-Combination Resume: This format retains the structure of a job-by-job delineation of experience and emphasizes accomplishments, the hallmark of the functional resume.

The Functional-Combination Resume: This format retains the structure of key skills, knowledge and accomplishments, incorporating a distilled EXPERIENCE section, which denotes career-related time/space anchors, the hallmark of the chronological resume.

All References to Resumes in This Guide Assume a Combination Format: Chronological-combination resumes and functional-combination resumes will be referred to simply as chronological and functional resumes.


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