Your resume is an effective way of marketing yourself by describing information that supports your job objective. A good resume reaffirms your skills, abilities and experiences. Think of your resume as always being a “work in progress.” You can always make changes, additions and updates.
There are many different types of resume formats in the marketplace. The two most common are the chronological and the functional resumes.
The Chronological Resume
The chronological resume is the most frequently used resume style. It is like a timeline listing your most recent experiences first. This type of resume gives you the opportunity to showcase what you have accomplished with an emphasis on your responsibilities, skills, and duties.
The Functional Resume
The functional resume is designed to stress the qualifications and skills of the job seeker without a detailed timeline. It is particularly suitable for a person who has worked for one organization, yet has a wide array of experience. It is also appropriate for individuals changing careers or recent graduates. Keep in mind that most employers prefer a chronological resume.
Resume Tips Do’s and Don’ts
There are basic rules for designing and composing a resume. The following guidelines will assist you in organizing your thoughts and writing a convincing resume.
- Do write it yourself
- Do check your spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Do keep the same format throughout (if dates are listed on the left, don’t randomly switch to the right)
- Do include a professional e-mail address
- Do be brief and match your skills to the job you are applying for
- Do be honest and positive
- Do be specific and include accomplishments and improvements
- Do use action words and short phrases (avoid using “I”)
- Do proofread and have someone else proofread
- Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms; they can be confusing or misunderstood. (Examples: PG&E =Pacific Gas and Electric, EDD= Employment Development Department, CCOC= Central County Occupational Center, WEX = Work Experience
- Don’t include extra information such as personal data that does not support your objective or summary statement. This includes age, social security number, a photograph of you, marital status, number of children or health
- Don’t use odd sized, fancy, or colored paper; ordinary, 8.5”x11” white paper is preferred
- Don’t list references. You will be expected to provide these at the interview, or upon request
- Don’t include your past or current salary requirements
- Start with a first draft. Begin the process with the knowledge that a great resume is rarely written the first time; expect to do several revisions.
- Open with an objective statement. (Optional) Indicate the position for which you are applying. Example: Seeking a position as a (insert a specific job title).
- Keep your resume to one page. Employers and staffing agencies simply do not have the time to read a lengthy document. Make your resume easy to read, straightforward, and to the point.
- List jobs by month and year. Gaps between employment dates can be a problem. Be sure to list any temporary or volunteer work you did during the gaps.
- Use the present tense to describe your current job. All previous positions should be described in past tense.