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Your Tennessee Job Hunt: Find the Right Resume Format for Your Experience and Goals

If you are searching for a job in Middle Tennessee, you know that the competition is tough.  In most cases, you will go up against dozens, if not hundreds, of other job seekers for the positions you want.  How can you stand out from the crowd?

Start by creating the strongest résumé you can.  Your résumé’s primary purpose is to help potential employers understand the unique blend of accomplishments, experience and education that make you the ideal choice for their job openings.  Think of your résumé as a marketing tool to get you in the employer’s door.

On its own, your résumé will not get you the job.  Still, the type of résumé format you choose may rule you in or out of consideration for an available position.  Here are the most common types, courtesy of About.com:

  • Functional.  This résumé type highlights your skills and experience, as opposed to your work history.
  • Chronological.  This type of résumé starts by listing your work history, beginning with your most recent position and working backward.  Employers prefer this type of résumé because it’s easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.
  • Combination or Hybrid.  The combination résumé lists your skills and experience first, but also includes your work history, listed in reverse chronological order.  It allows you to highlight your relevant skills, but also provide the chronological work history many employers prefer.
  • Targeted.  A targeted résumé is highly customized and specifically highlights your experience and skills that are relevant to the individual job for which you are applying.

So what kind of résumé format is right for you?  The answer is: it depends on your experience, work history and the type of job you’re seeking.  Consider the following questions to decide which type of résumé will help you put your best foot forward:

  • Do you have significant gaps in your work history? If so, a functional résumé may be best, because it focuses on your abilities – not the chronological timeline of your employment history.  One caveat:  many internet job boards will not accept this format.
  • Are you changing direction in your career? Again, a functional résumé may be the right choice.  It allows you to present the skills and experience you possess that will transfer well into a different line of employment.
  • Have you been promoted several times or taken jobs with increasing responsibility? A chronological résumé is well-suited to showcasing your growth and career advancement over time.
  • Are your qualifications and experience a great match for the available position? In this case, a targeted résumé is the way to go.  While it requires significantly more work to create a new résumé specifically tailored to the available job, it’s usually well worth the effort.  The targeted résumé will highlight the ways in which you are a perfect match for the job and help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Still not sure which way to go? While the majority of employers tend to prefer the chronological format (because it’s easy to read and clearly presents your job history over time) the best modern résumés are combination or hybrid.  This résumé format provides the best of both worlds – a paragraph or list that summarizes your main areas of accomplishment and experience, as well as a detailed reverse-chronology work history with information about your achievements in each position.

If you’re looking for jobs in Middle Tennessee and could use some advice on preparing your résumé, give Wood Personnel a call.  Whether you’re searching for temporary employment, a permanent position or some extra money on the weekend, Wood Personnel has the career opportunities you need!