Resume Format Resources

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The right resume format can help your job application stand out above the rest. Resume templates are useful tools when formatting your resume, but take care to treat your resume as a highly personal, individualized document. In addition, tailor your resume as much as possible to each job to which you apply.

A resume is a recruitment tool used to introduce an applicant to an employer and grants an overview of the applicant's education background, work experience, and job history. A resume also works to market an applicant in a way that successfully conveys the benefits that the person brings to an employer. There is no standard format for creating a resume, though there are a few conventional formats that may be used depending on preferred presentation style. All resume formats generally present the same information but differ in design. Resume styles include the reverse chronological resume, functional resume, and the hybrid resume.

The most common format used to create an effective resume is the reverse chronological format. The main body of the reverse chronological resume is the list of professional experience. Experience is listed from newest to oldest and conveys the trajectory of a career from some point in the past through the present. Similarly, education is listed with the most recently attained degree at the top. Finally, work experience is listed with the current (or most recent) job first. Each section lists the beginning and end dates for each experience.

A second format, called the functional resume, ignores the general chronology of experience and focuses on skill areas and job functions. This form of resume is aimed at highlighting skills, education, and other experience directly relevant to the position being applied for. Functional resumes summarize experience in blocks of related material and spotlight specific competencies and experience. Functional resumes are best used for applicants changing careers or when applying for a job requiring a very specific set of skills.

A hybrid resume is a mix of the reverse chronological and functional. A hybrid resume is organized in a way that first focuses on a list of skills, experience, and competencies (as in a functional resume), then includes a chronological list of education, experience, and jobs. Hybrid resumes are the least used of the resume formats.
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