Home Articles Job Search 3 Resume Formats to Impress Recruiters and Formatting Tips that Matter

Hiring managers take but seconds to segregate resumes into “Yes” and “No” trays. Job seekers need to make a good first impression to catch a recruiter’s eye and make it to the next round. The correct selection of a resume format and proper formatting of a resume can actually play a vital role in landing a job.

Three popular resume formats to choose from are chronological, functional, and combination. A skillfully structured resume will accentuate the positives while not really emphasizing aspects you’d want not to highlight.

Functional Resume

More than 70% of the positions in the HR field are held by women. The job involves interviewing and hiring new employees, onboarding them, educating the workforce, and ensuring smooth severance and transitions from a company. Human Resource managers also need excellent conflict management skills. Women HR Managers have a median income of $69,160. One of the reasons women have done well in this field is that the necessary skills to excel in this job match women’s gender-related traits. At the other extreme, almost all crane operators are men. Sometimes, gender bias is defined by the demands of the job. Women with empathy and emotional intelligence naturally make for great HR employees.

How to write a functional resume

Usually, a brief summary of qualifications is at the beginning of a functional resume The summary tells the recruiter about what to expect. A strong summary relevant for the job applied for will take things forward.

This is followed by a list of skills that you wish to highlight. The skills should be buttressed by examples of where you were able to use them for the benefit of the employer. By judiciously highlighting skills, candidates can hope to impress the H.R managers even if they’ve taken a break from work.

Weave in keywords used in the job brief. This will allow your resume to appear in the search results when recruiters search the job portals or the search engines. Also, keywords added skillfully to the copy of a resume will create a positive subconscious impression on the reader.

Round off the resume with your employment history.

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Chronological Resume

This is the most common type of resume. It lists the candidate’s work history in a reverse chronological order. It can begin with a summary before moving on to the job history with the latest job being mentioned first.

A chronological resume works best for job seekers who wish to present a clear picture of development and growth in a single field. It’s the preferred type of resume for government jobs and teaching positions.

This resume format should be avoided if you’re just beginning your career, are shifting careers, or have taken a break from work and are reapplying.

How to write a chronological resume

This resume begins with the candidate’s contact information.

A summary or overview that crisply presents the candidate’s soft and hard skills that the recruiter can take in immediately.

This is followed by the list of professional experience where you should also mention the standout achievements in your stints with various employers.

End by mentioning education, training, and vocational experiences.

Combination Resume

These resumes enable candidates to benefit from the salient features of both chronological and functional resumes. They contain a time-based list of employment and also provide scope for highlighting skills. Recruiters are thus able to assess experience and compare with the skills acquired. It gives them a clearer picture of the candidate’s abilities.

A combination resume is a good idea for junior managers that wish to impress with the combined impact of years in the industry and the skills earned.

How to write a combination resume

This resume can begin chronologically or by showcasing your skills. A summary preceding everything else is also an option. Here are some tips to catch a recruiter's eye with a resume:

1. A resume with a headline that encapsulates a candidate’s eligibility for a job is likelier to go into the “Yes” tray.
2. A resume profile elaborates on the headline and informs the recruiter about the candidate’s skills and experience.
3. A branding statement is a crisp sentence that tells the hiring managers about the strongest benefit of hiring you.
4. A summary statement in a resume consists of one or two paragraphs that highlight the salient features of your professional experience.
5. A resume featuring an objective informs recruiters about your expectations, and lets them take a call on if what’s on offer is a good fit for what you seek.

Resume formatting tips

1. Be judicious in your choice of bullet points, italics, numbers. Choose a font style that’s easy on the eye and appears professional. Times New Roman, Arial, and Tahoma are good choices. The body of the copy should be in font size between 10-12. Maintain consistency of style. Stay with either a bulleted or a numbered list.
2. Let everything about the resume reflect your professionalism, including the email.
3. Left align the copy since this is easiest to read.
4. Use margins. A 1” margin on all sides is standard and allows for a well-spaced resume. With shorter margins like 0.5”, there’s a chance that some content may be left out when soft copies are converted into formats such as PDF.
5. Use section headers to guide the flow of thoughts and facilitate scanning.

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