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Resume Writing

Putting Together a Solid Resume

Designing a resume is very critical. Quite often, it is the basis for what opinion a prospective employer will have of you. Ideally, with a once-over on your resume, the employer can give you the opportunity to develop a second impression.

Looking at the job search as a marketing campaign, as discussed in the article ‘Personal Marketing Strategy’, the resume can be considered as a print advertisement or a marketing brochure. Taking a look through a magazine, you should see many ads. Can you find one telling you to purchase a product since the company needs to raise profits? Such a beast would be difficult to find. What you will see are ads telling you what the product in question does for you – it will make your smile brighter, give your hair a shine, or quite to the point, better your life. In putting together a resume, assess the employer’s needs and establish how you can be the ideal option in filling those needs. With access to a computer (and since you are reading this article, you have the access) and a good printer, designing a targeted resume for every opportunity for which you apply should not be too difficult. Mass producing your resume will mean that you’d have to do some educated guesswork to design one that impresses everyone.

Choosing a Resume Format

The decision on what type of resume format to use comes next. Basically, resumes are of three kinds: chronological, functional, and a hybrid of the two. The sections below explain what each of these is and when to prefer one type over another.

Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is arguably the most popular of the three. Here, work experience is outlined in reverse chronological order i.e. with the most recent experience first. The duration of time of employment is listed first, then the name of the employer and finally the employer’s location. A job description is also included for each. Once this is done, a section on education follows. To show career growth, a chronological resume may be the ideal format for you. In case your current or immediate previous job is [or was] as a store manager, with the one before being department manager, and the initial one being sales clerk, this demonstrates a history of promotion. But if your work history has been complicated or stagnant, you should not use a chronological resume. A change in career can also be ill-suited by a chronological resume.

Functional Resume

A functional resume sets your expertise apart by function, focusing thus on your aptitude and abilities. This can be useful when changing careers to show how you can transfer your skills to the organization. As was earlier stated, showing prospective employers what you can deliver for them is very important. A functional resume is all about that. Give a functional job objective first, with a follow-through comprising several paragraphs, each detailing a different job function. Sample functions are: Accounting, Management/Supervision, and Writing and Editing. List them in their order of priority for proper emphasis. When customizing your resume for different employers, change your functional job objective and the order in which you list functions as you please. Nonetheless, failure to list your previous jobs may lead the person reviewing your resume to become suspicious.

Combination Resume

A combination resume is exactly that- a hybrid of a functional resume with a chronological one. The objective is placed at the top, of course following your name and address. Respective to that are description paragraphs of job functions. Title a section as “Employment Experience” next. This is where the chronological detail of the resume comes in. Employers and dates are listed hereby, holding off further descriptions as your abilities have already been described in the functional part of this resume. This format is useful if you are changing careers but still have a solid employment history. I also find it handy if your job duties on a single period of employment were quite diverse and you intend to stress on your various abilities. Having spent a long time at a job but moved up considerably through the organization, you may prefer to use a combination resume.