Friday, March 6, 2009

Functional vs. Chronological Resumes

As the job market becomes more and more competitive during the current economic climate, our candidates frequently ask us about resumes styles. Resumes are like your employment fingerprint, each one is different. Individuals reviewing resumes are often looking for very different things as well and what one manager loves about a resume another manager may strongly dislike.

Common advice is to customize your resume for each position you are applying for. There is no bigger turn-off for a client than advertising for a "Receptionist" position and getting a resume that indicates in the objective that this person wants to be an "Accounting Manager". It shows that the candidate is not very detail oriented, a common corporate requirement these days.

Candidates applying with DISCOVER STAFFING often ask us for our professional opinion regarding resume styles. Should they create a traditional "Chronological Resume" or try experimenting with a "Functional Resume"?

WikiAnswers provides some quick definitions here:
In a chronological resume you have to list your job experience in date order, starting with the most recent first.

The sections of a chronological resume are: Personal Details, Personal Profile or Job Objective, and Career and Related Accomplishments including Work Experience, Education, Professional Affiliations and Interests. You'll need to highlight your job experience. [Please also keep in mind that if you include interests in your resume, make them related to your professional experience. If you enjoy blogging indicate how you have created a blog for a volunteer organization you belong to. If you enjoy knitting, leave it off the resume.]

Here is a link for formatting a chronological resume.

Functional resumes are best used in situations where specific skills and accomplishments gained through experience or academic qualifications will demonstrate the candidate's competency. Your skills should be listed in order of their importance.

The functional resume is ideal if you're looking for a complete career change. This resume is ideal for students who have no previous work experience and are applying for their first job. Avoid the functional resume when you are applying for traditional jobs, especially positions within government entities or private institutions.

A functional resume's categories are based on: Personal Details, Career Objective, Professional Experience, Work Experience(optional), Professional Affiliations, Education, and Awards.

Here is a link to an example of a functional resume.

And finally here is a great resource for resume examples based on specific situations.