Knowing about the different resume types available today can help candidates to highlight themselves in the best light possible. In addition, this can also go a long way in assisting interviewers to identify and separate suitable candidates from the rest of the crowd. Remember, your achievements are only as good as your resume. Sorry to break your illusion, but that is how it is. Just as a proper resume type can boost your chances of getting hired, a poor resume can certainly, usually, put a severe dent on it.
What are the different resume types?
They are two different resume types – Functional resume and Chronological resume.
What is it?
To explain what a functional resume is, imagine that you are writing about "job experiences" as a part of your resume, and you find yourself at a dead-end. Now, there can be two reasons to this. Either you have a weak and limited work history, or you might be someone with a “scattered” work history – employed at jobs which, even though meaningful, but not relevant to the field in which you are applying for a job.
How does it help?
This type of situation is exactly where a functional resume format comes in handy. A functional resume puts less emphasis on dates and positions, and more on your skills, qualities, and abilities. This type of format helps you organise qualifications in functional categories, based on your strengths and weaknesses.
What is it?
A chronological resume, however, is preferable for someone with high credentials and relevant job experiences. The only concern is about how to present themselves in the best way possible.
How does it help?
Putting experience over everything else, this resume type sheds light on the candidate's work history. First listing them in a reverse chronological order (hence the name), followed by his/her educational history, and finally their hobbies and activities.
Which is the better resume type?
Being a summary of everything about you, a resume does not have a hard and fast rule on its length. But it is advisable, given the time constraints of interviews, to limit the length of a resume to about a page (preferably an A4 size paper). And this is where the shortcomings of different resume types come to light.
Popular opinions prefer the functional resume format over the chronological one, with reasons being that it organises skills into “functional categories” and places more focus on “specific objective and audience”. But a study conducted by the University of Georgia showed that, when limited to a one-page resume type format, HR professionals preferred the chronological format over other resume types. This is because a chronological resume type utilises a more concise and organised format, thereby improving readability.
Interviewers are often tasked with conducting interviews to screen good candidates out from a large applicant pool. In such a situation, presentation and format become critical. While the functional resume type proves to be too explicitly detailed and taxing to read, the chronological resume type helps candidates (even those who have limited job experience) to communicate their background more efficiently and effectively. Simon Raybould, a Senior Research Associate at Newcastle University, UK, while talking about presentations, describes its importance in the best way possible:
“Presentations are not about the presenter; they are about the audience and what they need”.
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