Monday, 10 October 2011

Types of Resumes

You can choose to create your resume in any of three styles and pick from two alternative formats for their presentation. The three types of resumes are chronological, functional, and hybrid.(Chapter 3 helps you determine which type is best for you.) The two alternative formats are electronic and Internet.

The chronological resume
A chronological resume describes your work experience as history. It is structured around dates, employers, and titles, beginning with your most recent job and working backward to your first position in the workplace. This format enables you to demonstrate a steady progression of your work skills and responsibilities. On the other hand, this resume type also focuses the reader's attention on what you have done, rather than on what you can do. Indeed, the chronological resume is often described as the "obituary resume" because it's the perfect format for writing a worklife summary.

Chronological resumes are the most prevalent type of resume in circulation today - for many reasons. First, this account of a person's employment past is easier to write than either a functional or hybrid resume. It has a logical structure and requires information that the writer is likely to have readily at hand. Second, the chronological resume also makes the recruiter's job easier. It formats experience so that it can be quickly and accurately compared to the requirements for an open position and provides a reasonable structure for a follow-up interview.

The functional resume
A functional resume is a description of what you can do, arranged according to how well you can do it. Its organizing principle is your capabilities, not a chronology of your experience. In effect, a functional resume leads with your strength by focusing on your skills and abilities, regardless of when you applied them in your career. The details of your employment history are included only to the extent that they illustrate your functional expertise.

Functional resumes are not as popular as chronological resumes. They are more difficult to write and are not as easily used by recruiters. They require that you organize the presentation of your career information by the contribution you can make to a future employer rather than by what you did for an employer in the past. And they can be more difficult for recruiters to evaluate because they don't present your career in a traditional linear format. But functional resumes can be particularly effective in describing your qualifications if you don't have a long track record of work experience or if there are gaps in your work history - for child rearing, education, or to take time off - and therefore can't demonstrate an unbroken record of employment experience.

The hybrid resume
The hybrid resume, also called the "combination resume," attempts to combine the best elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It includes a brief history of your work record and a detailed description of your functional qualifications. Typically, you position the work history section after the presentation of your qualifications so that recruiters can quickly scan and evaluate your skills and experience.

Hybrid resumes are as difficult to write as functional resumes. Moreover, the addition of a work history section consumes space on your resume and can force you to cut information in order to keep the document at an acceptable length. Further, including two experience sections can cause overlap and redundancy in the information that you present. Nevertheless, this format provides almost everything a recruiter needs to evaluate your credentials: a summary of your past work record, plus a detailed description of the skills and abilities you can offer to a future employer.

The electronic resume
The electronic resume is a special format designed for the high-tech environment prevalent in human resource departments today. Many employers now rely on computer-based resume management systems to store and organize the resumes they receive from candidates. These systems require that your paper resume be converted into information that a computer can accept and use. The conversion is accomplished with a device called a scanner. Scanners are very sensitive, however, and can't process many of the standard features used in word-processed documents. Therefore, the only way you can ensure that your resume will be included in such systems is to reconfigure it to make the document "computer-friendly."

Electronic resumes involve adjustments to both the format and content of your resume. To help scanners "read" your resume, you have to eliminate all the underlining, italics, graphics, and other conventions you ordinarily use to structure and highlight your information. In addition, to help the computer find your resume in its database, you have to augment your resume's content with keywords that describe your background and skills. Finally, take precautions in producing your resume to avoid other problems that can affect its accurate processing into a resume management system.

The Internet resume
A growing number of employers are also using the Internet to acquire resumes from candidates. They post their open positions at their own Web sites and at commercial recruitment sites and even ask that responses to print advertisements be sent to a designated e-mail address. When you use the Internet to apply for these openings or to transmit your resume, you gain the advantage of speed. Your credentials arrive at the employer's human resource department where they can be processed and evaluated while the resumes of other job seekers are still working their way through the mail.

When you send your resume over the Internet, it usually travels in the body of an e-mail message. As with resume management systems, the software programs used to send e-mail don't transmit traditional printed documents well. The journey through cyberspace may garble their contents, rendering them unintelligible. To use the Internet effectively, you must configure your resume for online transmission. You have to convert it to plain unformatted text and narrow the margins of the document to a maximum of 65 characters. In addition, you must eliminate all Greek, mathematical, and business symbols from the body of your resume.
Don't send your resume as an attachment to an e-mail message. Many computer viruses are transmitted as attachments, so most human resource departments are now reluctant to open them.

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