Build an Impressive Resume in 10 Mins (or Less!)


A resume is a document designed to introduce a potential job candidate to a potential employer.

A good resume highlights the candidate’s strengths, special skills and achievements, all of which combine to present the candidate as the best match for an open position.

For your resume to be effective, it must be created in a format that best highlights your work and educational experience as it relates to your particular career goal or work objective. There are also creative formats that defy any category but that are clever and have worked for some people. Such resumes use innovative formats loaded with dramatic graphics, colors and shapes. Some of these resumes were well-done and well received, others were not.


Generally, the most common and useful types of resume formats are the chronological and functional resumes. To decide which type of resume you should use, read on to find out:

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The chronological resume is the most popular format. This format allows you to organise information by your work experience, upward mobility and your education and skills. It presents a career progression and allows employers to quickly screen out applicants whose background do not fit in with their preferred profile. This is the format you should adopt if you are looking for the same type of job or looking to move up in a related field. It is not ideal for people who have limited work experience (such as fresh graduates), those who have job gaps or those seeking a change of career.

On the other hand, a functional resume clusters your experiences under major skill areas. It is used in situations where an individual wants to avoid displaying obvious weaknesses that may be highlighted on a chronological resume. For instance, someone who has been an administrative assistant but now wants a career in sales will clearly benefit from a functional resume. With this format, you will be inviting potential employers to discover your possibilities and learn what you can do, rather than when and where you have been employed.  It can help to hide some weaknesses such as lack of educational credentials, gaps in employment history and limited work experience.

Major sections of a chronological resume

Name: The one seems obvious. But do not use a nickname as you need to present a professional image.

Mailing address: Include your street address with postal code. If you abbreviate, for instance, “Ave” rather than “Avenue”, keep it consistent.

Phone numbers and email address: An employer is more likely to phone you or send an email, so giving these contact information is essential.

Performance Profile: Ditch the job objective in favour of the performance profile. No one cares what you want. The only issue is whether you can do the job. Use words that will help get your resume pulled from the databases into which you load it.

Here are some examples:

Accomplished senior manager with a strong affinity for technology and keen business acumen for the application of emerging products to add value and expand markets

8 years of electronic manufacturing services management experience involving operations, supply chain and materials management. Skilled at evaluating complex issues, creating action plans and guiding execution.

Dedicated, results-oriented manager with the ability to build rapport at all levels. Successful track record of motivating employees to achieve maximum performance and increase bottom line profits. Internal training programs resulted in increased productivity and office innovation.

Education and Training: Recent graduates or those with good credentials but weak work experience should put their education and training towards the top. More experienced individuals with work experience can list their education and training towards the end.

Work history: Start with the most recent job. List each job along with details of what your accomplishments and special skills. Emphasize skills that directly relates to the job you are applying for.

Employment dates: If you have large employment gaps, use full years instead of months and years to avoid emphasizing the gaps.

 Sample template for a chronological resume

Your Full Name

Residential Address

Contact Number

Email Address

Performance Profile: A one or two-sentence summary of your accomplishments. This should be specifically targeted to the job position you are applying for.

Education and Training:

Highest Degree Earned and Graduation Date

School Name and Major

Relevant Certification and Courses: List two or three courses that match the job requirements

Work Experience:

Dates Joined and Left, Your Job Title

Name of Organisation

Use bullet points to list your significant achievements, one at a time. Statements should be concise and use facts and figures to support them

Since this is your current or most recent job, include more information about it than you do for subsequent jobs. Be sure to list any awards or recognition you received.

Dates Joined and Left, Your Job Title

Name of Organisation

Use bullet points to list your most significant accomplishments for the past jobs held

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Major sections of a functional resume

Name: The one seems obvious. But do not use a nickname as you need to present a professional image.

Mailing address: Include your street address with postal code. If you abbreviate, for instance, “Ave” rather than “Avenue”, keep it consistent.

Phone numbers and email address: An employer is more likely to phone you or send an email, so giving these contact information is essential.

Performance Profile: Ditch the job objective in favour of the performance profile. No one cares what you want. The only issue is whether you can do the job. Use words that will help get your resume pulled from the databases into which you load it.

Here are some examples:

Accomplished senior manager with a strong affinity for technology and keen business acumen for the application of emerging products to add value and expand markets

8 years of electronic manufacturing services management experience involving operations, supply chain and materials management. Skilled at evaluating complex issues, creating action plans and guiding execution.

Dedicated, results-oriented manager with the ability to build rapport at all levels. Successful track record of motivating employees to achieve maximum performance and increase bottom line profits. Internal training programs resulted in increased productivity and office innovation.

Work Experience: List your most marketable skills. Since this is the biggest reason why you should be hired, state how you have used and developed this skill in your career. Each bullet should include one example and list the name of the work organization.

Examples:

Sales Development:

Successfully rose to the top 5% of the company in sales and revenue generation, exceeding monthly sales targets.

Grew the market from 100 to 800, delivering exceptional customer service in the region in 6 months.

Developed and implemented sales plans for targeted penetration of the retail market.

Customer Service:

Skilled and effective professional with 6 years of supervisory experience. Proven track record in resolving and reducing customer complaints and meeting customer service level agreements.

Solid reputation for building productive customer service teams who are committed to achieving outstanding customer service standards. Reduced turnover by 10%. Introduced innovative strategies to improve quality of customer service.

 

Employment History: This is where you could state the job titles, dates joined and left for each organization you worked at.

Education and training: Recent graduates or those with good credentials but weak work experience should put their education and training towards the top. More experienced individuals with work experience can list their education and training towards the end.

 

Sample template for a functional resume

Your Full Name

Residential Address

Contact Number

Email Address

Performance Profile: A one or two-sentence summary of your accomplishments. This should be specifically targeted to the job position you are applying for.

Work Experience:

List Your Most Marketable Skill

Explain in detail how you have used this and developed this skill

List Your 2nd Most Marketable Skill

Explain in detail how you have used this and developed this skill

List Your 3rd Marketable Skill

Explain in detail how you have used this and developed this skill

Additional Reasons Why You are Qualified for the Job:

List a few accomplishments, specific skills or other aptitudes which may impress your potential employer. Use separate bullet points for each area.

Employment History:

State the name of the organisations you have worked at and the dates joined and left, starting with the most recent job.

Education and Training:

Include a listing of the degrees earned and certifications you have been awarded with.

 

We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?

Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!


 

Topics: Talent Management

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