Probably one of the most frequent question that I have emailed to me on a regular basis through CPACareerCoach.com is in regards to resume models. Maybe you have never heard it described that way before but there are basically a few resume models or formats that you can select from. While some will argue that there are 5 or 6 different types of resume formats that you could use, there are basically three that I would recommend. Choosing the right resume format is important. Regardless of the resume model that you choose, you should always keep in mind that even the best resume will not get you the job. A good resume just gets you the interview. I have met bad candidates with great resumes and bad resumes with great candidates.
1. Chronological Resume Model – This is the most widely accepted resume format in the business world today. The truth is that even if you decide to go with one of the other two styles, you should have a chronological resume as a backup. The reason for this is because so many professional prefer to see what you did (skill wise) and where (employer). That being said, if you are making a career switch or have some pretty big gaps in employment, the chronological resume might not get your foot in the door.
2. Functional Resume Model – The purpose of this style of resume is to accentuate your skills and abilities and minimize your weaknesses. Weaknesses, as mentioned before, could be significant changes in your career focus, large gaps of employment, and so on. Basically, the majority of the first page is designed in such a way that you highlight 3 or 4 skills sets that you believe are vitally important for the position for which you are trying to be hired. Your dates of employment then appear at the end of the resume taking a least prominent role on the resume. You may need to search for a few resume examples in order to really get a good feel for this style of a resume.
3. The Hybrid Resume Model – This style is really an interesting hybrid of the two earlier resume models mentioned. There are certain reasons as to why you would want to use this as your main resume though. If you get a lot of requests for a chronological resume, but still have gaps, then you might want to try this style. While many different people have different ideas on how this hybrid resume model should look, the truth is that there is basically one concept. The first half of the resume will look exactly like the functional resume. It will highlight at least 3 or 4 major areas of competency for the purpose of really selling your unique skills for the job. Then, the employment section will look much like the chronological resume model with one exception. You will need to really condense it as much as possible. You never want to go over two pages on a resume, ever. I know HR managers that will toss out a three page resume without even looking at it.
There you have it, three of the top resume models that you can pick from. If you are a bit confused as to what to do in your situation, feel free to reach out to me and I would be happy to help.