Choosing the best resume format is extremely important because there are many factors to take into account. These include the length of your resume and your accomplishments, as well as possible shortcomings. Whichever resume format you choose, make sure to include examples of accomplishments that benefited your previous employers. Three common types of resumes are chronological, functional and combination (skills based). Keep in mind that businesses prefer either a chronological resume or a combination resume.
Chronological resumes highlight consistency. This format stresses what you accomplished in each of the positions you held. A chronological resume focuses primarily on the history of your work experience and education. It also shows your progress and advancements in your career. This resume format is popular among businesses.
A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, without including chronological time and job titles. It presents a profile of your experience based on professional strengths or groups of skills. Your employment history usually follows, but in less detail than in a chronological resume. It is used most often by people with gaps in their work history, those who are changing careers and individuals with limited work experience. Employers generally do not prefer to receive functional resumes as they do not show your work history or career progress.
A combination (or combined) resume combines the best features of the traditional chronological (where the dates are in reverse order) and functional (where skills are listed in the beginning) resumes. A combination resume can also be referred to as a skills based resume. A combination resume works for entry level candidates as well as for those who have many years experience and need a better resume.
Resume selection chart
|If you are...||then use a...|
|Chronological Resume||Combination Resume||Functional Resume|
|A younger worker and/or have limited work experience||Possible||Recommended||Possible|
|An older worker with a continuous work history||Recommended||Recommended||Not Suggested|
|Returning to the workforce after a gap in employment for a variety of reasons (Example: incarceration, parenting, illness, care giving)||Not Suggested||Recommended||Possible|
|Changing careers or your area of focus||Not Suggested||Recommended||Possible|
|Someone who has changed jobs frequently or has had a wide variety of jobs||Not Suggested||Recommended||Possible|
|Veteran entering a civilian job||Possible||Recommended||Possible|
For more help with your resume, please visit your local New York State Career Center.
For more help with your resume, please visit the NYS Career Center Locator
Below you will find a list of action verbs that could be used on a resume. For a longer list, here are some additional Action Verbs
Conducted, coordinated, developed, directed, established, evaluated, facilitated, formulated, guided, improved, presided, scheduled, supervised, trained
Addressed, clarified, conferred, drafted, explained, formulated, motivated, negotiated, persuaded, presented, promoted, translated, wrote
Analyzed, assembled, built, consulted, designed, examined, identified, interpreted, operated, overhauled, remodeled, repaired, researched, revised
Advised, arranged, coached, counseled, diagnosed, facilitated, instructed, oriented, represented
Conceptualized, created, designed, fashioned, illustrated, initiated, invented, originated, performed
Assessed, designed, evaluated, identified, inspected, researched, summarized
Administered, analyzed, balanced, budgeted, calculated, contracted, forecast, marketed, planned, projected, recommended
Revised, collected, catalogued, classified, compiled clarified, indexed, organized, prepared, processed, simplified, systemized
Consolidated, distributed, expedited, generated, increased, marketed, obtained, penetrated, promoted, recruited, stimulated
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