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Do you have a resumé, or have you ever wondered why you were not selected for a job interview? Unfortunately, although you had the qualifications, you were not selected for an interview. Do you think it was the type of resumé that played a part in you not getting the invite for the interview? If so, it may be wise to consider switching to another format.

Knowing which type of resumé to use is important when trying to land your dream job. The main types of resumé formats are chronological, functional (or skills-based), and combination (or hybrid). One resumé format does not fit all job applications in today’s job market. To snag the job interview, use the format that best showcase your skills, experience, and background. The perfect format will always highlight your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

Three Types of Resumés

When deciding. which resumé to use, remember that your resumé is a supplement to your job application and not a replacement. Using the right format will help paint a bigger picture of your work history and skills. Keep in mind that your resumé is a professional document and only relevant information relating to the job you are applying for should be included. Be creative but avoid adding too many elaborate touches which could make the resumé messy and difficult to read.

Chronological Resumé

If the goal is to emphasize your work history and educational background, use the chronological format. Start with highlighting your work experience, with your most recent position at the top of the resumé in the order of when you held each position. This format will be more beneficial for a student or an entry-level candidate with some work experience. When you are steadily growing and being promoted in your industry, the chronological format is best to showcase your career growth and advancement. However, when you are thinking about working in a different industry, changing jobs regularly, or have too many gaps in employment history, it is not beneficial to use this type of resume. Nonetheless, the chronological resume format is first choice for most job seekers.

Functional Resumé

The second type of resumé is a functional (or skills-based). This type of resumé focuses more on relevant skills than work history. In other words, rather than highlighting work history, showcase your skills. The functional resumé should be used when looking for your first job, if the applicant has little to no work history, or has large gaps in employment. Only use this resumé to make your skills and accomplishments stand out, due to having no employment or short-term employment, and limited experience. Include your agency or company’s name, location, and job title to outline work experience. Adding bullet points in the resume makes it easier to read and highlights your work experience.

It is a great idea to consider including transferable skills gained through life experience such as community service or volunteer work. Transferrable skills are talents and abilities used on all jobs (i.e., as communication, leadership, teamwork, training, problem solving, and relationship building). If you just graduated, highlight your academic achievements. Likewise, if warranted, add skills gained through apprenticeships, internships, school, sports activities, and clubs.

For a student or entry-level candidate with little experience, or someone who is applying for a job in your current industry or field, and have no transferrable skills, avoid using the functional resumé. Caution: Use of this format without listing dates of employment and previous jobs may cause the employer to think you are hiding information.

Combination Resumé

The third type of resumé is combination. A combination resumé is composed of both elements of the chronological and functional resumés. This format equally focuses on both skills and work history. It is beneficial for anyone who is an expert in their field, in mid-career professional or higher, and has expertise and technical skills required for the job. Job seekers who are more experienced should use this format to show they have relevant and an extensive well-developed skill sets, as well as a consistent strong work history.

For most job seekers, a combination resumé is useful because it showcases when and where you worked and highlights your most relevant job skills without concealing any information. Using bullet points in this resumé makes it easier to read. If you are re-entering the workforce, or transitioning from the military to a civilian job, using a combination resumé is preferred. It is also a good idea to add some transferrable skills. Based on the job announcement, avoid using this resumé if you do not have the qualifications and skills, educational background, and limited work experience.

Learn More

Using only one type of resumé is a thing of the past. It is necessary to use the correct resumé based on the type of job you are seeking.

To learn more about classes offered by Alabama Cooperative Extension System in your area, visit the webpage at www.aces.edu to see the calendar of events. If you are interested in learning how Alabama Cooperative Extension System can provide your community with no-cost workforce development education, contact an agent today at aceshse@auburn.edu or 334-844-7560.

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