Resume Formatting Tips

The format of your resume depends on the job you are applying for as well as the phase in your career path. For example, if you are in college or a newly graduate, then place your educational information first. If you have more impressive work experience than educational experience, then place your work experience towards the top. Always order information in reverse chronological order. This way your most recent and therefore relevant information will appear first.

There are three main types of resume formats. The first and most common is the Chronological resume, which lists work history in reverse chronological order. However, this is not always the best format for all job seekers. The hiring manager will see clearly where you have worked in the past and whether or not you have worked in the same type of position, which could be a disservice.

If your past experience is not a perfect fit for the position you are currently applying for, then the Functional resume is a second option. This structures the list by accomplishments under headers like “Sales” or “Management.” If you have long gaps in employment, then this format may be a better option as well so that it focuses on your accomplishments rather than your time off. Unfortunately, experienced recruiters know that the Functional resume is generally used to hide a lack of qualifications, so they may not be fooled by the format.

The final option is the Hybrid resume. This is a combination of the other two formats. It starts with a strong introduction that lists your qualifications and skills. After this introduction, list your work history with descriptions that show your accomplishments on the job.

Before you send out your resume though, take a look over it. You may need to change or emphasize certain parts of your resume depending on the job you apply for. Customize your resume to reflect the most important qualifications that you have for this particular position.

Save a space for a concise list of skills that you have required. For example, list computer skills, language skills, and similar assets that could help you in the position. You do not need to include a list of references in your resume. A resume should not exceed a single page, so don’t add unnecessary information. Instead, keep a separate list of references that you can provide if the employer asks for it.

Job seekers sometimes think that it is better to make their resume stand out with unorthodox formats. It is better to create a resume that is easy to read and understand because your plan may backfire and an employer may not invest the extra seconds it takes to figure out a strange format. Use standard texts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana. Use MS-Word alignment and spacing rather than tabs. This standard formatting prevents the document from being improperly converted on different computers. Use MS-Word bullets as well instead of graphics or logos so that the format stays standard. Any kind of graphics or images on your resume may cause formatting problems when it is converted to HTML, so double check these logos before sending the resume.

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