How to Pick Which Résumé Style is Right for You

January 1st, 2016

There’s no denying this simple truth: the résumé remains the most important part in anyone’s job search. When hiring managers need to parse through potentially hundreds of candidates for any open position, you only get a minute at the most to stand out from the pack. Your résumé needs to frame your candidacy in a clear, easy to read manner.

So that prompts the question — which résumé style is right for you? The answer primarily depends on where you stand in your career. Let’s take a closer look.

The Best Résumé Style for New Job Candidates

If you are fresh out of school with minimal professional experience to your name, your CV needs to focus on what skills and abilities you’ll bring to a potential employer. A functional résumé format emphasizes the skill set you’ve acquired through your education, self-study, as well as any internships or apprenticeships. Leverage the use of bullet points and keywords to highlight your skills, as this helps to draw the attention of the person reviewing your candidacy.

The functional résumé format also works well if you’ve had gaps in employment over the years or you recently decided to change your profession. Use the professional experience section to highlight any tangible career accomplishments, but obviously the emphasis needs to be placed on the abilities relevant for the open position in question.

The Chronological Résumé Format Works Best for Seasoned Workers

When boasting a career filled with tangible experiences, a chronological format works great for detailing the positive difference you’ve made for previous employers. This format is probably the most widely-used résumé style. A reverse chronological order should be followed, with your most recent job listed first in the professional section.

While your work experience needs to be highlighted more than the skills listing on the functional résumé, you should still include one — or better yet, consider a few bullet points after each position, noting the skills you leveraged on that specific job. Hiring managers want to see at a glance how you’ll make a difference for their company.

A hybrid format — combining the best of the chronological and functional styles — may work best for senior positions requiring a specific skill set. Work closely with your recruiter to ensure your résumé is suited for your current job search.

When searching for the knowledgeable recruiters able to boost your career prospects, look no further than 1st Staffing Group. As one of top recruiting firms in Midland and beyond, we know where the best jobs are in Texas and Oklahoma. Schedule some time with us today!

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