How Resume Format Affects Applicant Tracking Systems
A chronological resume is probably the most recognizable resume format. This format clearly draws focus to your past work history. The first item in your chronological resume should be a brief description of yourself, up to a maximum of a page. Then, your position or current occupation is listed at the top, followed by your title (top), your career objective (middle), and then your personal qualifications (bottom). In some cases, you will be able to omit the last element of your career objective.
A chronological resume format focuses on your work history, not your talents. You might consider a chronological resume format if your work experience seems fairly standard or if you are relatively similar in terms of educational qualifications and work experience to the people being considered for a similar position. For example, if you are applying for positions as an accountant, your chronological resume format might focus on your skills and qualifications and nothing more. If, however, you are applying for a position as a financial manager, you will want to highlight your unique abilities that make you a valuable contributor to the company. In this case, having relevant work experience comes into play.
Another popular resume format focuses on your skills. You might consider using a skill-based resume format if you have gaps in employment or skills that you are either currently lacking or might need to enhance. Usually, your skills section includes general skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, and so forth. Then, depending on the position or industry you are seeking, you can highlight relevant work experience or skills that are related to the job. For example, if you are seeking a position as a sales representative, you might highlight sales skills or sales training skills.
One of the most common resume format examples highlight your strengths or hidden talents. This may be different than what is presented in the chronological section. In many functional resume format examples, the organizational skills section contains information about your professional development, leadership skills, problem solving abilities, etc. In this case, it is important to emphasize your skills rather than your chronological age.
Most recruiters use functional resumes when they are looking for candidates with gaps in work experience. Recruiters might look for candidates who have additional skills or education that could help them in their new position. So, if you are a candidate with gaps in educational qualifications or work experience, a functional resume format might be just what you need to address these issues.
A limited work experience or skills description is another common type of resume format. This one can be especially tricky, depending on the position you are seeking. Some recruiters will simply not take a candidate with no work experience at all, but many years of experience. Recruiters will be especially cautious with those with gaps in work experience. They will want to hire someone with the skills necessary for the job and minimal gaps in their work history. For example, a candidate with many years of experience working as a banker might be passed over by recruiters who prefer someone with experience working in a different industry.
The third type of resume I want to discuss is the combination resume. This resume type is very similar to the first two categories, but instead of listing your skills and qualifications, the combination resume lists your experience and education. This makes it a much less specific format, but it still is very powerful. If you are seeking a certain job and you do not have a bunch of specific skills that are specifically required for the job, then a combination resume format is the way to go.
These three formats are all effective, but all have their limitations. So, as a job seeker, it is important to think about your specific needs and find a professional resume format that fits your needs and objectives. There are many different resume builder systems on the Internet and I encourage you to research them and find one that best fits your needs, because there are many things to be considered in resume building.