As a candidate, the most important step in finding a job is getting your resume in order. Although a resume is just a piece of paper to get your feet in the door and get the first interview, without this piece of paper you will most probably have a very hard time finding a job. Hence, your resume is very important in the beginning phase of the selection process since it needs to make the employer interested in your profile and convinced that you might a good fit for the vacancy that they are having. However, making an effective resume can be quite a challenge and also deciding what type of resume works best to get you the job is not always easy.
Some years ago, the decision on what type of resume was appropriate was much easier, it was mainly about formatting and order. However, nowadays, with all digital tools available to us, there are many more types of resumes that could be used. Video resumes, infographic resumes, magazine resumes and the most creative formats are not uncommon at all anymore, especially for creative jobs.
But, let´s start with the “normal” paper version resume and what type of resume there is most effective. Broadly, there are three types of possible resumes:
A chronological resume starts with your most recent experience first and works backwards. Employers often prefer this kind of resume because it is easy to see what different work experience a candidate has but it often works especially well for candidates with a solid work history. For candidates just entering the workforce, this may be less effective since there is no real work experience yet.
On the other hand, the functional resume focuses on your experience and skills instead of listing your experience chronologically. Functional resumes focus on the various skills that you have developed over the years, not just from formal work only, and are perfect for candidates who want to change careers or are just entering the workforce. Skills can also be achieved through volunteer work, university assignments and other extra-curricular activities.
- Combination of these
A combination of these two is also possible. These resumes often start with a focus on skills and qualifications before listing work and educational experience chronologically. But work history is not the main focus of the resume and with this type of resume, it is much easier to highlight which skills, qualifications and experience make you a perfect candidate for the job.
Although the chronological resume is most commonly used, for experienced candidates a combination of chronological and functional is probably most effective to show why you are the best candidate for the job. By using a combination, you can start your resume with a very strong introduction section listing the skills and qualifications that make you a strong candidate and then list your work experience chronologically, which makes it easy to see for the hiring manager what experience you have.
However, for more creative jobs, the more traditional resume is probably not going to cut it and therefore definitely won´t be the most effective way to go. Hence, if you are applying for a creative job, you might have to consider different options. To name a few examples, if you are applying for a position at a television station, a video resume is probably much more effective. If you are applying for a graphic designer position, a nicely designed resume is a better option than the standard black and white resume. Therefore, it very much depends on the position you are applying for, which resume type and format might be most effective.
What type of resume do you think is most effective?