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Build a Great Resume

The type of resume you create depends upon your work history, education, skills, and the type of employment, such as the industry or specific job, that you want to pursue. This page provides examples of effective resume strategies.

Functional Resume
The "Functional Resume" organizes work experience by job-related tasks without regard to time and date. It shifts the emphasis off work history and onto specific job-related skills-an especially effective method for individuals either new to or re-entering the workforce. This strategy, likewise, is very effective for job seekers who are changing careers.

A Functional Resume holds several advantages, including minimizing repetition, ensuring that gaps in work history are not prominent, and emphasizing transferable skills regardless of work history.

Chronological Resume
Also known as the "Traditional" format, the "Chronological Resume" organizes work experience by order of employment from the most recent position to the earliest job. A prospective employer will take note of a consistent and solid work history that highlights an individual's track record; in addition, an employer will notice progressive achievements relevant to the field.

As clean and easy-to-read documents, chronological resumes are accepted as the standard format by a large population of companies.

Creative, Performance or Other Resume
Individuals drawn to a more creative approach might build a resume by combining features from the Chronological and Functional styles. This hybrid format also could be used effectively for seeking creative jobs that focus on one dominant skill, such as musicians, artists and interior designers.

A "Creative/Performance Resume" emphasizes performance by positioning selective accomplishments immediately following the opening statement.

Special Considerations for Submitting an Online Resume
Many employers offer job seekers an opportunity to submit a resume electronically. Depending on an employer's preference, an online submission may be done by attaching your resume to an e-mail message, or by uploading your resume directly to a company web site.

To make an electronic submission, you must have an e-mail address. Moreover, your e-mail address will tell employers something about you, so your address should be be professional and dignified, not something that uses a nick-name or slang. If you don't have an e-mail address, there are many common and popular e-mail services that are free, including Hotmail, Yahoo and Netscape.

Formatting Tips
Tips for formatting your resume for electronic submission:

  • Create your resume using a standard word processing application such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect (many employers prefer Word);
  • Use simple, direct typefaces such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica. Avoid fancy, unusual, or hard-to-read script;
  • Avoid using any pre-formatted resume writing packages in which you fill in the blanks. However, some employers will require you to provide information about yourself before they will allow you to upload or paste your resume, and you should completely answer these online questions;
  • Many online resumes are automatically converted to plain text formatting, which is very basic. Do not use bullets, bold face, underlining, italics or graphics. These are not recognized in the plain text format. Use asterisks (*), plus symbols (+), dashes (-) or capital letters to achieve similar effects;
  • Avoid decorative graphics; and
  • Send a formal cover letter as an attachment with your resume. Do not use a standard e-mail message in lieu of a cover letter.

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