You’re staring at your work history with plenty of resume format questions on your mind, mainly “How can I make this resume stand out?” Individual skills and experience level are key components of making hiring managers take a second glance at yours. These answers to resume format questions may vary depending on a few variables.
Should Your Resume Be Functional or Chronological?
A chronological resume is the most beneficial if you want to highlight consistent employment and development in a particular job field, especially if that field is closely related to the job you’re applying for. They are organized in reverse chronological order and include job title, company name and location, dates of employment and sometimes job duties.
The functional resume, however, lists jobs according to which ones display skills that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for, or it may make skills the focus and list out relevant jobs under main skills. Some job seekers choose to merge their skills together into small blurbs. Additionally, some opt out of dates and may even remove the job title altogether. One of the most common resume format questions is whether less is actually more when it comes to writing out resumes. While the latter resume looks more like CliffsNotes and is easier to read, there are cons; the employer may suspect that you are hiding an unfavorable quality about your work history. Only go for a functional or functional/chronological hybrid resume format if you have no relevant experience or have large employment gaps you’d prefer not to draw attention to as you would with a standard chronological resume.
How Do I Determine What to Include?
The answer to resume format questions along these lines depends on the type of job posting, the hiring manager’s preferences and the skills that should be highlighted. Whether you have worked for a company for a decade or a few months, the hiring manager needs to know that the skills acquired from that position will benefit their company. Let’s say you were a receptionist who regularly updated a company’s social media account and proofread the occasional blog for the company website. If you’re applying for an administrative assistant position, the communication skills involved in your duties matter most. If you’re applying for a social media or digital editing position, emphasize the social media skills and blogging.
Regarding resume format questions that are related to applying for more than one position: it’s a good idea to make multiple versions of a resume: technical, administrative, labor-intensive and so forth. Since you are an older job seeker, keep the resume short; a good rule to follow is to devote one page to every 10 years of experience.
What Other Information Should an Older Job Seeker Include?
Make sure to have an education section; list the degrees you earned, the institutions where you earned them and any special honors you received. This section does not have to be detailed, though, since your experience section will be the primary focus. Under this, mention any organizations that you’re a member of. Do not list affiliations that you no longer belong to unless you held a leadership position there.
Licensing and certifications receive their own section if you have three or more to include; otherwise, they can be grouped with the education section. As always, only list those that have some bearing on the position you want. As for things you shouldn’t mention, do not bring up any controversial topics or mention why you left a prior position.
LiveCareer has a wealth of resume resources, including tips on writing resumes for older job applicants.