Selecting the Right Resume Format

Does it ever seem as though your career search is a catch-22 situation? You need to get a job in order to get experience in your chosen field, but in order to get a job you need experience. It can certainly be discouraging when you find yourself in this type of situation. Take heart, though. Even if you do not have a wealth of experience behind you, you can still have a good chance at landing the job you want by choosing the right resume format to suit your situation.

There are two very effective resume formats for college graduates who are looking for entry-level positions in their career search. These resume formats are the functional format and the combination format. The chronological resume format may be the most traditional resume format, but the problem with this resume is that it does emphasize work history and that can be a problem when you are just starting out in your career.

The functional resume format is often a good choice because it emphasizes skills that are related to your field while downplaying your actual work history and chronology. The functional resume format utilizes categories that will highlight your skills rather than using dates of employment.

A combination resume format is a type of chronological resume format, but the difference is that it begins with a qualifications summary in which you can emphasize your most important and relevant credentials. The sections of your combination resume should be organized strategically in order to best highlight your qualifications. The most relevant categories such as your education and volunteer experience should be placed before your work history with this resume format.

Keep in mind that even when you lack work experience you can make up for it with your motivation and other valuable characteristics. Consider what you have to offer a prospective employer. It is often a good idea to spend some time researching the job you hope to land in order to determine the abilities and skills that are frequently listed as desirable in job descriptions. How can you benefit your employer with your abilities and attributes?

Regardless of whether you choose to use a functional or a combination resume format, it is important to make sure that you provide prospective employers with a compelling reason to hire you. You can do this by describing internships and extracurricular activities that are relevant to the career goal you hope to achieve. Another effective method is to weave in skills that would be valuable to employers such as technical capabilities, foreign languages, creative problem solving and interpersonal communication skills. In terms of experience, you can cover volunteer work, part-time positions and internships.

Even without actual real world experience in your targeted field, it is possible to put your best foot forward by selecting the right resume format and using it to your best advantage.