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What Is The Most Effective Resume Style?

Effective resumes are an essential part of job hunting and can help you get noticed when applying for a job. There are lots of different styles available and discussion about what to use. We will be discussing the most effective resume style to use and elements to include that have been effective over and over again. 

Chronological Format

Chronological format is the most effective resume style for experienced candidates. The reason for this is because it’s easy to read, and it shows your experience in chronological order. This can be important if you have a lot of experience or if you need to show your growth over time.

It also helps prevent any confusion about where someone started their career with a specific company, etc.

Visual Appeal

Your resume should be visually appealing while still complying with the basic requirements of a resume in today’s market (meaning it will pass through ATS, looks like a resume, and captures a good solid summary that tells your professional story in synopsis. It should target your qualification(s) for the position of interest. Please note that this area should change if your position of interest changes.  the key content needed for HR/hiring managers). The choices of font and color are really dependent on your role, field, and experience level. It is important that the aesthetics mirror the kind of company/field in which you want to work, your personality, and the professionalism needed for the position to which you are applying.  

Summary Section

As part of the resume, you want your resume to start with a career summary that highlights who you are and your relevant qualifications for the target role. This may end up being adjusted based on the position you are targeting. A target role is the position that you are applying to (e.g., “software engineer” or “account executive”).

The goal here is for employers who receive hundreds of applications from prospective employees each day not only know exactly what kind of person they’re hiring from one glance at their resume but also have an idea as well as some additional information about what kind experience or skill sets might make them ideal candidates for those jobs.

Core Competencies Section

This section (could also be labeled skills, areas of expertise, etc.) features your keywords. Most recruiters and hiring managers will skim this section, but this is critical because it includes the keywords ATS are looking to find.  Be sure these are relevant, clear, specific to the target role, and honest. You may change these based on the position to which you are applying, but they don’t need to be packed in to make your resume match 100%. Instead, they should represent an accurate snapshot of your background. 

Reverse Chronological Order

The experience section should be the most recent position to the least recent. Each role should include the company (unless it’s under a more recent role with the same company), city and state, dates of employment (with months if there is no employment gap), and your title.

Experience Section

For the experience, you can use a hybrid paragraph-bullet format, where the job description is in the paragraph and achievements are in the bullets, or you can use bullets for each with a subhead to identify the achievements. You don’t want more than eight (8) bullets for any section, as that tends to be the point where people stop reading, and bullets should be no more than two lines long. If you have additional content, you can use sub-bullets below the same point to add more details. 

Achievements Section

You can include a separate achievements section or break them down by role, but you want your resume to be achievement-based. These can be metrics-driven (i.e., increased sales by 27%) or they can be anything you’ve done that goes above and beyond your job description (i.e., established a partnership between your company and a leading retailer to sell your products exclusively).  

Education Section

If you have a formal education, add it. There are many ways to do this and some of them are as simple as including the name of your school or college in the appropriate space.

Dates are not included with education, but you do want your degrees earned, the majors for each, the name of the school, and the location. If you did not attend school past high school, you can list high school or remove this section. You can also list credentials here.  

If you have any certifications or licenses that are relevant to the job being applied for (such as Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator), then put them down there too!

Technical Skills Section

Include your technical skills on the resume. If you have a few these can be included in the Summary section. If you have a lot of different technical skills, you can include these at the end of the resume.

Now let’s put this all together. The following are few resume samples of the chronological format in action: 

If you would like more help with your resume, check out our Resume Writing Package, Resume Bundles, or contact us today for a customized quote. 

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