Puzzle Resume Design

Resume tips can vary in their degree of importance. For instance, it's no longer necessary to include the formerly obligatory "References available upon request" disclosure at the end. While this may not seem like a huge deal, there are other tips that loom a little larger in their importance. Did you know that it is considered industry best practice to keep your resume to one page in length? That is, unless you have more than ten years of experience in your current industry. If you're an IT professional, however, all bets are off. IT people tend to gather ten years of certifications alone in one year of employment. Therefore, it is acceptable for job seekers in that industry to craft a resume of two or even three pages in length, depending on their qualifications, certifications, and experience level.

Perhaps the most important rule to follow when writing your resume, however, is to select an appropriate format. Here are four excellent selections to consider when making this potentially make or break choice:

  • Chronological - The most widely accepted and traditional form of resume. List your working experience from the most recent to the oldest, and disregard most any experience past 15 years old. When in doubt, use this format because of its level of familiarity and acceptance among most recruiters and other potential employers.
  • Functional - Career changers, recent graduates, and people with significant gaps in their employment history may wisely choose this alternative to the chronological format. A functional resume places greater emphasis on skills and abilities, rather than simply providing a chronological listing of previous employers. Descriptions of accomplishments and skills are provided separate from a list of employment.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) - This format commonly substitutes for what we know as the resume in Europe. In the United States, this format is still the preferred format seen in the academic, education, scientific, and research industries. It tends to include a greater level of detail and places a greater emphasis on education.
  • Project-based - Ideal for specialized consultants who complete a variety of different projects a year, or for long-tenured project managers to share details of completed work within a specific industry.

A recruiter or career consultant can certainly provide you with a great deal of assistance in crafting any of these resume formats. However, when using anything other than a chronological or traditional format, discuss it with your recruiter to cover the various intricacies involved with each of them. With such a competitive job market in any industry today, choosing the correct format and correctly executing it can be a critical factor in determining whether or not you get that big break.

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