JOB-HUNTING MATERIALS - PREPARE YOUR RESUME
Do you need to work on your resume?
The answer is "yes" if any of the following are true for you:
There is no single way to prepare a resume. In fact, there are three common resume formats -- chronological, functional, and combination -- and they don't work equally well for all job-seekers.
The chronological resume is the most commonly used format. It lists work experience in reverse order, starting with the most recent. A 2005 HotJobs.com survey found that 84 percent of recruiters prefer chronological resumes so it's a good choice for those with a solid work history.
However, it is not a good format to use if you are changing careers. That's because the reason employers prefer these resumes is the format makes it easy for them to quickly weed out candidates whose experience doesn't precisely match what they're looking for. So if you're changing careers, a functional or combination resume will be a better choice.
Instead of listing your experience chronologically, in a functional resume you create headings for each skill you want to demonstrate, then summarize your previous experiences and accomplishments using those skills. The summary can include experience acquired through volunteer work, educational programs, or paid employment.
However, because this format is often used by applicants who have gaps or weaknesses in their work history, some employers view functional resumes with suspicion.
For career changers, the combination resume offers the best of both worlds, by combining elements of both the chronological and functional resumes. This resume is a good choice because it highlights your skills while giving employers the chronological work history that most want to see on a resume.
It includes a section with headings of relevant skills and summaries of your accomplishments in those areas. For example, under a heading titled "Customer Service and Sales" you might include points such as "Received thank-you letters from satisfied clients (available on request)" or "As a sales representative, consistently exceeded sales targets by 20%."
The skills section is followed with a brief chronological summary of previous jobs or other activities, such as "Homemaker, 2003-2006" or "Volunteer for ABC Society, organizing fundraising events, 2002-2004".
No matter what resume format you use, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
We do hope your resume helps you land your dream job.
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).
FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.