What type of resume will bring you the greater chance of success?
Which would grab the hiring manager’s attention?
Would you have recruiters calling you if you used another approach to preparing your resume?
The answers to these questions is that it all depends. Your circumstances, and what you are trying to do, makes all the difference to the approach you should take.
The case for a Chronological Resume
Chronological resumes have your work experience laid out in date order. Your current position is listed first and then going back, correctly known as reverse chronological order.
These resumes are by far the most common and really should be the first preference. They are the most logical in displaying work experience and the dates make it clear how long you were in your jobs and the achievements/responsibilities/skills gained are also clearly showcased. You should use these resumes if the following applies to you:
- Your next role sought is a logical next step in your work history timeline
- You have no, or very few gaps in your work record
- You are remaining within the same career/industry/role type
- You possess all the skills/education required for the job you are applying for
You can use your work experience, skills and strong work record to your advantage when you are applying for a role that you are perfect for. Ensure that it is easy for someone reading your resume to make the connection to your past experiences and skills gained with what they are specifically after. Tailoring the resume to connect the dots is the way you will get noticed.
Remember to also articulate your passion for the particular role you are seeking, why you really want to work in that job, at their company. This coupled with the right skills will get you over the first hurdle.
The case for a Functional Resume
Alternatively, Functional resumes are a good idea if the reverse of the above is true. You will need a different approach to get you noticed if any of the following applies to your situation:
- You are considering seeking a job on a different career track to your work history
- You have a long gap in your work experience, e.g. parenting, being made redundant, recovery from illness or other reason
- You lack the requisite work experience, skill set or education specified e.g. recent graduate
- The role is a bit of a stretch in some way, you would not automatically be considered as ideal
Functional resumes list your skills and experience gained in various areas, with your achievements and experience gained over various roles listed in those areas, e.g. leadership, project management, supervisory/coaching skills, sales, budgeting, financial reporting or any area you have experience. The key is to highlight the competency areas that are specified in the job description.
If you have a mismatch between your work experience or skills against the job description, you can do quite a bit to camouflage this fact. Your relevant experience gained in volunteer roles, internships or in industries that don’t quite fit with the sought after position can be listed by their functionality, rather than chronological order.
Using this approach will still give you an opportunity to impress or at least earn yourself an interview when you’d otherwise be out of the running. Once at the interview stage, you can use your personality and passion to shine.
A combination of both resumes can be used to sell yourself into a new role that you really want. Use the best features of both types of resumes to help you sway the recruiters. Target the areas that match the job specifications and good luck!
What other ways have you tailored your resume to suit the job you are applying for?
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.