Types of Resumes

So far we have focused on the most common type of resume—the reverse chronological resume—in which your most recent job is listed first. This is the type of resume usually preferred by those who have to read a large number of resumes, and it is by far the most popular and widely circulated. However, this style of presentation may not be the most effective way to highlight your skills and accomplishments.

The main difference lies in how you organize the information. Essentially, the work experience section is divided in two, with your job duties and accomplishments constituting one section and your employers’ names, cities, and states; your positions; and the dates employed making up the other. Place the first section near the top of your resume, just below your job objective (if used), and call it Accomplishments or Achievements. The second section, containing the bare essentials of your work history, should come after the accomplishments section and can be
called Employment History, since it is a chronological overview of your former jobs.

The other sections of your resume remain the same. The work experience section is the only one affected in the functional format. By placing the section that focuses on your achievements at the beginning, you draw
attention to these achievements. This puts less emphasis on whom you worked for and when, and more on what you did and what you are capable of doing.

If you are changing careers, the emphasis on skills and achievements is important. The identities of previous employers (who aren’t part of your new career field) need to be downplayed. A functional resume can help
accomplish this task. If you are reentering the workforce after a long absence, a functional resume is the obvious choice. And if you lack full time work experience, you will need to draw attention away from this fact
and put the focus on your skills and abilities. You may need to highlight your volunteer activities and part-time work. Education may also play a more important role in your resume.

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