Fundamentals for Building a Perfect Resume

Being a seasoned job hunter, you should already be having a couple of essentials in your file: Accolades and Awards, Business Cards, Certificates, Cover Letters, and of course, a well-formatted Curriculum Vitae.

But would you care to keep up to date with the latest trend of Resumes being used doing rounds in the industry in recent times?

Why is it important to have a format for your resume?

We all know that a resume is a document used by job seekers (here, you) to quickly and easily let a hiring manager know what skills they have, what their work history is, and any achievements they might have. And yes, we already have all these things in a specified format in our CVs.

Hope we are good till now.

Well, it is, only until you realize that it is relatively easier to write a bad resume, than a good one. Statistics prove that 80% of the resumes out there that go to the mailbox of the hiring manager are bad ones, and it is a good thing.

Wait, read the last line again: Yes, it is a good thing that there are a lot of bad resumes out there. The only catch here is that yours should not be one of those. While we wait for the recruiter to slog through the pile of bad resumes, seeing an eloquent and catchy resume is like a breath of fresh air which could get you shortlisted immediately.

And if you stick with us till the end, your resume could help you jump the queue and directly make it to the interview round.

Types of Resume Formats

Chronological Resume Format

This type is the oldest and the most popular format to date. Simply put, your resume would consist of a chronological listing of everything you’d done up to that point, starting with your most recent and working backward. This shows the recruiter that your most recent work experience is relevant to their job requirements and that you’ve had a normal career without gaps or terminations in your experiences or education.

This format wasn’t just the industry standard requirement, but it went on to become the global standard. Everyone from Architectural Designers to Football coaches used the same format, and till a time, it was fine.

Until someone realized that when each job is different, shouldn’t there be specific formats for each category or role? Why can’t I make it more functional? This is when the functional resume was born.

Functional Resume Format

Rather than listing a ton of information that might not relate to what you’ve done, it highlights what is most relevant for the position you’re going after. A functional resume seeks to target the job you’re trying for and makes sure that you highlight the skills and abilities you possess that relate to that particular position.

Then someone thought, “I want to be able to use both the chronological and functional resume formats together, it won’t do any harm in combining both the models, right?” And hence, the combination resume came into existence.

Combination Resume Format

The combination resume gathers the best parts of a functional resume – relevant skills, qualifications, and specifically targeted information and combines it with the chronological resume format – everything you’ve done in the past that has gotten you to where you stand now.

But the question arises – “Which one of the three formats would be suitable for me? And are these resume formats up to date with the recent trends?”

Choosing the best format for a resume

The first thing to do when deciding on what type of resume you want to build (chronological, functional, or combination) is to figure out a resume layout that matches your needs and shows who you are.

While organizing a resume, the following categories are often in this order:

  • Summary or Profile
  • Skills or Certifications
  • Experience – if any (starting from the most recent, going backward)
  • Educational Qualifications

Chronological resumes are great for people who are just starting out or find themselves in the mid-level of their careers, who have had a steady career path in the same domain for an extended period of time, or who are applying for jobs in similar fields and have few if any, gaps in their employment history. Most people are in this part of their professional life so they use a chronological resume. Therefore, the chronological resume is the most popular.

Functional resumes are great for those people who have had breaks or career gaps in their work history or are making a significant career change. Candidates new to the job market should also prefer to use a functional resume as it focuses more on skills rather than work experiences.

Combination resumes work well for candidates looking for a minor career change and shift from one industry to another. It also shows well-developed skills and talents and so, is a great choice for masters and veterans in their field of work.

Review your Resume

Make a plan to get your resume reviewed by peers and experts in order to get any missed-out bullets included. 

Your peers and fellow students (if you are a recent graduate) could help you with their input as you both are in the same line of roles.

A review of your CV by an expert whom you can trust, like your college professor or your friendly neighborhood HR, could help you give insights into any mistakes that you are making.