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DOWNLOAD PDF: Resume Guidelines

Everyone you ask will have a different perspective about what your resume should look like. Basically, there are three distinctly different resume formats that are more appropriate when you are trying to highlight specific skills and experience:

  • Functional – The functional format focuses the reader’s attention on your skills and experience and not where you worked and when.
  • Targeted – The targeted format focuses on a particular position at a targeted employer.
  • Chronological – The chronological format focuses on your career progression by listing your prior jobs in reverse chronological order. This format is the most common primarily because it is the one most employers prefer to see.

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.

In my experience as head of an executive search firm, one of our first tasks for clients was to review resumes and select only those from candidates that appeared to be closest to what our client wanted. We then interviewed only those candidates and subsequently participated 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 scenarios:

  • You are at a senior level, particularly as an executive.
  • You have ten or more years of experience, especially if it has been with only one employer.
  • You want or need to change careers to a different industry.

When preparing a resume earlier in your career, you were only able to show limited experience and skills. Making a career transition at a more senior level when you have several years of work experience changes your approach as you now need to focus potential employers’ attention on your skills, functional experience, and achievements.

If you also need to make an industry change, potential employers often will not see the transferability of your skills and industry experience to theirs. Consequently, you  must focus on describing the transferability of your skills and experience and de-emphasize your industry experience.

If you see yourself in one of the above three scenarios, my recommendation is to combine the best features of the chronological format with the best features of the functional 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 where you worked.  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: 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.