A resume is a resume, right? Wrong. Resumes are not generic, cookie-cutter documents that you simply send off to a number of employers, hoping that one of them will like what they see and call you back. A resume is a targeted, specific outline of your experience, accomplishments, and qualifications.

There are three basic types of resumes —reverse-chronological, functional, and combination. The most popular resume is the reverse-chronological. It lists your experience, accomplishments, and education in a reverse-chronological order from the most recent to the oldest. The functional resume emphasizes skills over where those skills were attained. The combination resume is a mixture of both the reverse-chronological and functional resumes,showcasing your skills and where you attained those skills.

Reverse-Chronological Resume

The reverse-chronological resume lists your job history and experience from most recent to oldest. This resume is used to highlight your established work history and promote you as a dependable, seasoned, and experienced employee. Choose this resume when you have consistent employment (no job gaps). The reverse-chronological resume includes, in this order:

· Opening Summary: A dynamic paragraph that showcases what you can bring to the employer or to the school. It should include at least one quantified accomplishment that’s relevant to your current career goal.

· Accomplishments: A detailed listing, by company, of what you’ve achieved. It must contained quantified data (dollar figures, percentages) of results.

· Experience: Detail your experience, in reverse-chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Include Company Name, Position Held, Dates Employed, and Duties Performed.

· Education: List your education from most recent to oldest, including degrees, certificates, and specialized training. If you’re a recent graduate with little to no experience in your given field, education would go before Professional Experience.

Functional Resume

The functional resume focuses on your abilities rather than where you were employed. It showcases your merits and qualifications. It is a good idea to dovetail the expertise you have to the requirements listed in the job description to which you are responding. That is, if the job calls for someone with the ability to “delegate work to employees,” then mention your ability to “manage large projects and delegate work to employees.” Target your qualifications and abilities to the job. So, if you are trying to become a warehouse manager, mention your experience in inventory or quality control. Any qualifications relevant to the position should be mentioned. Also, list your most prestigious accomplishments first, no matter when they happened in your life. A functional resume can be organized as such:

· Opening Summary: A dynamic paragraph that showcases what you can bring to the employer or to the school. It should include at least one quantified accomplishment that’s relevant to your current career goal.

· Accomplishments: Give targeted and quantified examples of your merits.

· Skills Section: Here you showcase what you know and what you can do. For example, if you’re an accountant, the subheadings might be: “taxation”, “audits”, etc.

· Experience: List most relevant experience first, not the most recent.

· Education: List all educational accomplishments, including any special training. .If you’re a recent graduate with little to no experience in your given field, education would go before Professional Experience.

Combination Resume

The combination resume, obviously, combines the best features of functional and chronological resumes and focuses on how your experience and qualifications benefit the company. A combination resume lists your experience, qualifications, and education in reverse-chronological order, but targets and highlights your relevant skills for the current career goal. This type of resume is good for people who are over or under-qualified for a position, or someone looking to change career fields, such as an art teacher wanting to become a graphics designer. The combination resume includes:

· Opening Summary: A dynamic paragraph that showcases what you can bring to the employer or to the school. It should include at least one quantified accomplishment that’s relevant to your current career goal.

· Accomplishments: Give targeted and quantified examples of your merits.

· Skills Section: Here you showcase what you know and what you can do. For example, if you’re an accountant, the subheadings might be: “taxation”, “audits”, etc.

· Experience: List relevant work history in reverse-chronological order.

· Education: List education in reverse-chronological order. If you’re a recent graduate with little to no experience in your given field, education would go before Professional Experience.

No matter what type of resume you choose, be sure to check it for spelling and grammar errors, as well as errors in time or dates. Modern resumes are as long as they need to be (one or two pages) provided they only contain information relevant to the career goal. The sooner you send a clean, well-thought out resume, along with a powerful cover letter, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a long and prosperous career.

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