Like it or not, your resume will be judged by prospective employers and if they don’t like what they see on paper, you may not make it to an actual face-to-face interview. You probably already know how important it is to make sure the factual information on your resume is correct, and that you should always have someone else review it for you to check for spelling and grammar errors you may have overlooked. But, have you thought much about the style of your resume?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to resumes; you want to use a format and style that will best position you as a candidate. While the traditional resume approach is still the best for many applicants and positions, some candidates are choosing alternate approaches. Here are three trends that you might want to consider for giving your resume a style makeover:
1. Functional resumes
Instead of listing your job experience in chronological order, a functional resume is intended to focus on what you can do for the prospective employer, rather than on what you have done for previous employers. Generally, functional resumes begin with an objective or summary statement, include a skills summary section, and then provide concrete examples of experience in specific skill areas.
Because information is focused on skills rather than on a timeline, functional resumes are often a great choice for people who have had gaps in their employment history, those new to the workforce and those changing careers. However, be aware that some hiring managers are frustrated by functional resume formats because they cannot get the chronological picture they are used to seeing with other candidates’ resumes.
2. Infographic resumes
The idea behind infographic resumes is grabbing the reviewer’s attention right off the bat, by telling the story of your job experience through visuals. Think of an infographic resume as a marketing piece, where you are the product. You can use a combination of text, charts and pictures to sell yourself to prospective employers.
If you’re applying for a position in marketing, design or another creative field, an infographic resume may help you land that job. However, job applicants in administrative, manufacturing and professional fields will probably have better luck going with a more traditional chronological or functional resume format.
3. Video resumes
A video resume is just what it sounds like: a short video featuring you, the job applicant, as the star. They can be professionally produced or made using your computer’s webcam. Video resumes should be professional, presenting the same type of information you would show on a paper resume. A video resume might be something of interest to an employer seeking candidates with video-editing, marketing, or multi-media skills.
For most positions, a traditional chronological or functional resume on paper will give you a better chance of landing a job than will a video resume. Many employers intentionally ignore video resumes from candidates, to help avoid allegations that they use discriminatory hiring practices.
Remember that your resume is your opportunity to shine, and to show your prospective employer why you are the best person for the job. Whether you choose to use a traditional resume format or a different approach, make sure you have tailored the resume for the job you want. Position yourself in a way that highlights your ability to not only do the job you’ve applied for, but be an asset to the company in several capacities.
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