Resume Format : Functional Resumes
Functional resumes focus more on relevant skills than work history. While the chronological format highlights work experience with detailed summaries of the achievements within each position, the functional format focuses on the applicants skill set relevant to the role you are applying for.
Create A Master List Of Skills
Go through each category and create a master list of the skills in your toolbox. Dont be afraid to list things that seem obvious, like computer skills or customer service.
Although they might seem like a given in your profession, many hiring managers still want to see these skills listed.
Never include skills that you are no longer familiar with. If you write a skill on your resume, hiring managers will be expecting that you can deliver on that activity.
If you are worried that a hiring manager will over or underestimate your level of proficiency, feel free to write beginner, intermediate, or proficient next to each skill listed.
Your Resume Is Not An Autobiography
Don’t confuse telling your story with creating your autobiography. Employers are inundated with resume submissions and are faced with weeding out the good from the bad. The first step involves quickly skimming through resumes and eliminating candidates who clearly are not qualified. Therefore, your resume needs to pass the skim test. Look at your resume and ask yourself:
- Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
- Does critical information jump off the page?
- Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
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The Perfect Resume Looks Like This
Resumes are essential to the job search, but let’s be honest: creating one is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time. With so many conflicting pieces of advice, you might feel like you don’t know where to start or what to do. But don’t worry this time, we’ve done the heavy lifting. We combed through some of our best resume advice and compiled it into one infographic to give you an easy-to-follow outline for a resume that will wow recruiters and hopefully, land you the job of your dreams.
Ready for a resume revamp? Read on below!
1. Design Matters: Don’t go overboard with intricately decorated templates. Look for sufficient white space, margins of at least .7 inches, and a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
2. Be Reachable: Make it easy for recruiters to reach out to you by providing your contact info near the header.
3. Show Off Your Skills: Don’t make recruiters hunt for the most critical information on your resume include a table of your key soft and hard skill sets up top. Make sure your highlighted skills show why you’re a good fit for the job all the better if these are keywords from the job description.
4. List Your Experience: This section should include each company you’ve worked for, your title, the dates you worked there, and several bullet points that describe your key accomplishments and responsibilities.
9. Keep It Concise: Limit your resume to 1-2 pages at the most.
What Not To Include When You’re Writing A Resume
What shouldn’t you include in your resume? Because resumes are typically only one to two pages long, your resume should contain only information related to the job for which you’re applying. There is some information that should be included in every resume. There are also some things that don’t need to be listed.
The hiring manager should be able to skim through your resume and see your qualifications without knowing everything about you. It often makes sense not to include information on your resume that could hinder your chances of getting an interview.
Here are some items that you should avoid including on your resume.
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Arrange Your Contact Information
Now that you know the format youre going to use, its time to start your resume. First things first, employers need to know who you are and how to contact you.
List the following contact details in your resume header at the top of the page:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Link to online portfolio
- LinkedIn profile
Traditionally, you would also include your mailing address on your resume. However, this is no longer mandatory because most job applications are sent via email.
Here are two examples of how you can format your contact information section:
Include Dates Hours Level Of Experience And Examples For Each Work Experience
For each work experience you list, make sure you include:
- Start and end dates .
- The number of hours you worked per week.
- The level and amount of experiencefor instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
- Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.
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Can You Put Too Much On A Resume
While it may sound like a helpful hint, the correct answer is false. In fact, including certain details on your resume can seriously damage your job search. From decreasing your chances of landing an interview to influencing potential salary, too much information on a resume can be detrimental for any candidate.
What Should My Resume Include
- Personal details Start by listing your full name and contact information, including your phone number and email address.
- Career objective or summary These are short statements to help you pitch yourself. If youve recently left school or university and dont have much professional experience yet, begin your resume with a career objective a sentence or two outlining your skills and your work ambitions. If you have experience in the workforce, you might want to include a short career summary instead, describing your experience and where youre aiming to go next in your career.
Next, include your education or work experience start with whichever is more recent.
After this, its a good idea to add some more information to reinforce or add to the picture of what youve got to offer.
- Skills, strengths or interests You could create headings for these topics and list information thats relevant to the job youre applying for. Highlight any relevant professional memberships, too.
- References Most employers will require references from people you know professionally who can vouch for your skills and abilities. You could include contact and company details for a former employer, manager, or an academic advisor if they agree to be your referee, or you might wish to write references available on request.
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Keep It Clear And Easy To Read
Your priority should be to keep your resume clear and easy to read. Be sure to leave enough white space on each page, use a 10- or 12-point font, and use a font that is easy to read .
That being said, dont leave too much white space. The key is to fill all, or at least three-quarters, of each page with relevant and helpful information so that the recruiter’s attention is not drawn to the blank space on the second page.
Add In Your Work Experience
This section will most likely be the bulk of your resume. Even if youre changing careers, employers still want to see where youve worked, what youve done, and the impact of that work to get a sense of your background and expertise.
Your Work Experience might be one entire category, or you might choose to break it up into Relevant Experience and Additional Experience to highlight the jobs that are most important for hiring managers to focus on. Either way, youll almost always want to have your most recent experience at the top and your older experience down below.
Within your work experience, youll want to include each official job title, the company , and the years you worked there. Below that, youll add in two to four bullet points explaining what you did in that job, the skills you built and exercised, the tools you used, and the results of what you did. If you accomplished a lot during your time there, focus on the responsibilities that made the most impact or youre the most proud of, as well as the ones that best align you with the job youre applying for . Its key here to list, if relevant, quantitative as well as qualitative accomplishments.
For example, you might write:
Associate Accountant, Finances and Co., Ann Arbor, MI
If you have a ton of experience and this category is starting to run long , consider kicking out your oldest jobs unless theyre super relevant to the job youre applying for, or extra impressive for your field.
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Add A Highlights Section
Modern resumes are built to be value-oriented, which requires providing information that is more achievement-based as opposed to task-based. If youve had multiple roles with varying achievements, select the top four you are most proud of and incorporate them into a Career Highlights section.
Try to avoid adding more than four as this section is meant to be the highlights of your achievements, and you dont want to create sections with long lists of bullets, creating a very boring way to read content.
How To Pick The Right Resume Format
There are three types of resume formats: reverse chronological, functional or skills-based, and a combination of the two. The choice depends on the type of job you are applying for and your level of experience.
The 3 resume formats are:
1) Reverse chronological resume format – This is the most popular resume format and is ideal for people with plenty of work experience that is relevant to the position theyre interested in.
2) Functional/skills-based resume format If you lack relevant work experience because you are a student/recent graduate, or you are looking to make a career change, the skills-based format is a better choice.
3) Combination resume format The combination resume is a great choice for job-seekers with a very diverse skill-set. Its useful if youre applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields, and you want to show all that in your resume. Say, for example, youre applying for a senior management role, and the requirements are expertise in Management, Sales, and Software Development.
So, which one do you go for?
In 90%+ cases, youd want to stick to the reverse-chronological resume format. This is the most common one, and most HR managers are used to this. Hence, in this guide, were going to focus on this specific format.
If youre a recent graduate, or possess a diverse set of skills & work experience, you might want to pick one of the other 2 formats. Check out our guide to resume formats to learn how to write either.
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What Are Some Examples Of A Good Resume
Heres the thing: Your resume wont ever look exactly like someone elses, nor should it. How you choose to format it, organize your information, and talk about specific experiences depends not just on your career path, but on your field, the job youre applying for, the company that job is at, and more.
So there isnt a universal way to do a resume. But there are common themes. To give you some context as to how yours might turn out, here are three examples of different kinds of resumes.
College Graduation Date On Resume
There is no need to include your college graduation date unless you’re a recent college graduate. Here’s an example of college listed on a resume without dates:
Bachelor of Arts in EnglishUniversity of New York
Here’s an example of a college graduation date listed on a resume:
Bachelor of Arts in English, 2020University of New York
Many people choose to drop their graduation date from their resume when the degree was earned 10 years prior. If you are worried about age discrimination, leaving off this information is a good way to shield your age.
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Retail Resume Summary Examples
- Experienced Assistant Store Manager with strong leadership, problem-solving, time-management and organizational skills that have been honed and expanded in a large customer focused retail environment.
- Highly organized and innovative Buyer with 15+ years of experience identifying opportunities for improved inventory management and reducing purchase budgets to increase revenue. Passionate about customer service and delivering superior products in a timely manner.
- Organized and intuitive Merchandiser with 3+ years of experience boostings sales and foot traffic by strategically organizing products based on price, popularity and style.
- Efficient and energetic Retail Manager with 15+ years of experience driving increased customer traffic and sales by creating a friendly shopping environment. Effectively instills customer service skills in all employees with comprehensive training and rewards programs.
- Responsible, dedicated Stock Associate with more than three years of experience processing store shipments, organizing the stock room and labeling and scanning merchandise.
- Hardworking Cashier with 3 years of experience providing quick and efficient service to customers, accompanied by a proven track record of professionalism and maintaining a welcoming environment.
List Relevant Skills And Keywords
Resume keywords are important terms of interest that recruiters look for whether skimming a resume or searching within an applicant tracking system . The more role-specific keywordsoften hard skillsyour resume contains, the better optimized your resume is.
99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to sort, filter, and search applicants. Some ATS, like Taleo, can automatically rank your resumes content against the job description, allowing recruiters to focus only on the best applicants. Recruiters often also search their applicant pool for important resume keywords, like customer service, accounts receivable, or Adobe Photoshop.
Where on your resume should you include important skills?
Its crucial to incorporate important skills throughout your entire resume, beginning with your headline which should, when possible, include the most relevant keyword: the job title. You can also list skills in a dedicated skills section of your resume if using the hybrid resume format.
How do you find keywords to include in your resume?
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Formatting Tips And How To Include Older Experience
Listing 20 or 30 years of experience can clutter up your resume and make it much too long. Unless you are a senior executive, the ideal resume length is one to two pages. The key to a winning resume is providing relevant details on your work history not every detail.
When you leave off employment information, you need to be consistent and still provide a timeline of your work history to employers.
Leave off your oldest jobs when editing your resume, not random positions.
If you worked in a relevant position 17 years ago, you will need to include all the jobs you’ve held for the past 17 years .
If you worked at prestigious companies 15+ years ago, or want to have a full history on your resume, you can list job title, company name, and the year you worked there, and not include details on responsibilities. This will get the information on the page without taking up too much space.
Or you can list the positions as additional experience below your current work history :
~ Additional experience includes roles as an Executive Assistant for Techno Corporation and as Administrative Assistant for XZY Medical Group . ~
Important Facts About The Federal Hiring Process
- The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.
- Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.
- After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.
- Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.
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Key Elements Of A Resume
Resumes tell the employer about your experiences, skills and work history. Use your resume to highlight items that indicate you are a good worker, are qualified for the position and bring desirable skills to the job. If you are a student and have little or no previous job experiences, enhance information about your school and community activities.
Name Current and Permanent address Telephone number
In one short sentence summarize your goal for your job search.The goal statement should be related to the specific position for which you are applying. It is also effective to highlight your skills in the goal statement.Examples:Seeking a position as a social worker providing service to the aged.Seeking a position that utilizes my skills in counseling, research, and proposal writing.
Work supervisor Character reference Include the name, relationship to you, organization, contact phone numbers.
Limit your resume to one or two pages.Do not include birth date, health status or social security number.Limit the use of personal pronouns such as “I. Begin sentences with action verbs.Be honest but avoid writing anything negative in your resume.Make your resume error free. Have someone proof read it for you.Use a simple, easy to read font style, 10-14 point.Use high quality paper.
Stick With Two Fonts At Most
What should a resume look like so that you are memorable in a good way and not because you embarrassed yourself? Stick with simplicity. It’s tempting to use all of the typefaces at your disposal, but having more than two fonts in any document only lessens its readability. One font is all you really need. If you use two, make sure they complement each other. For example, use one font for the headings and the second font for the body text.
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