Every person you ask, including those who charge a fee to prepare your resume, will have a different perspective about what your resume should look like. There are, however, some distinctly different resume formats that are more appropriate when you are trying to highlight specific skills and experience.
A functional format, for example, focuses the reader’s attention on your skills and experience and not where you worked and when. A targeted format focuses on a particular position at a targeted employer. A chronological format, which you have probably used in the past, focuses on your career progression by listing your prior jobs in reverse chronological order.
Each resume format has its particular strengths as to when it might be the preferred choice. The formats are often modified or combined to accomplish specific objectives or to accommodate different career situations as one progresses in their career.
My experience as an executive recruiter included interviewing candidates and participating with employers in candidate interviews and their selection process. My experience as a career transition coach specializes in working with executives and other senior-level people in the following types of situations:
- You are at a senior level with ten or more years of experience at your last employer.
- You are at a senior level, particularly as an executive.
- You have more than ten years of work experience and you want to change careers to a different industry.
To make a career transition now when you have several years of work experience and probably are at a more senior level, you need to focus employers’ attention on your skills, functional experience, and achievements that are transferable to a position they need filled. You will also need to de-emphasize your work history as potential employers often may not see the transferability of your industry experience to theirs.
The resume format I recommend you use, if you see yourself in one of the above three scenarios, is a combination format that leads with the best features of a functional format followed by the best features of a chronological format.
The combination of those two formats will create a powerful resume that will be critical to enhancing your career search because it enables you to focus on your skills, functional experience, and achievements rather than on your work history. It also helps you to more clearly describe your Verbal Business Card (see employment networking) when you are networking and trying to get people to help you with your career search.
Click on the link below to download a PDF that contains more guidance on how to prepare your resume, along with an example of a combined format resume that will help you to prepare yours.
DOWNLOAD PDF: Executive Resume Guidelines
If you need more comprehensive information that will facilitate your career search, consider purchasing my book, 12 Steps to a New Career. If you want to work with an expert to help you craft a strong and compelling resume, contact Carl.