Which Resume Do I Use?

By Jan Leary

Gone are the days when a resume was simply a resume. No longer is your decision merely to choose between a chronological and functional resume. If you have been in the market for a job recently you may have noticed a surge in the different kinds of resumes out there, especially if you have perused federal job sites. With recent advances in technology and the Internet, employers have altered resume submission processes to include accepting resumes online.

What exactly are the different kinds of resume?

In addition to the standard one or two page professional resume written in chronological format where experience is listed in reverse order, there is a functional format that focuses on skills and qualifications, a combination format that emphasizes a bit of both. There is also a Military Transition Resume, a Federal Resume and an Electronic resume which includes scannable resumes and various online resume formats. So, you ask, “Why are there so many types, and which do I use?” Let’s take a look at the 5 types of resumes.

Resume Type #1: Basic Resume

This kind of resume is typically what comes to mind when you think of a resume. It is one to two pages long, written in either a chronological or a functional format and generally gives a straightforward timeline and explanation of your work history. Unless you get extra fancy with fonts, colors or design, which I don’t recommend, it does what it’s suppose to do without much fanfare. You can usually do this yourself unless you have zero typing skills, in which case you should hire a professional so at least your basic resume will look like you put some effort into it.

Resume Type #2: Professional Resume

For those who have been in the workforce for some time, and have moved up the career ladder, you may consider this type of resume. A professional resume is still written in either a chronological or a functional format as the basic resume, but includes more information such as detailed explanations of job descriptions and specific accomplishments. Additionally, it could be three or more pages for those with longer careers. Those in upper level management and supervisory positions would use a professional resume. Together with a nice cover letter, you should be able to present yourself in a positive and influential manner. Again, please be sure to utilize a resume writer to develop your resume if you are unsure of how to, or unable to develop one yourself.

Resume Type #3: Military Transition Resume

According to CareerPro Global, a leading military transition organization, 225,000 Veterans seek post service employment each year. A military transition resume is used to present the entirety of your military career in terminology that those in the private sector can decipher. Military lingo and acronyms are not used, and education and training is summarized along with any extra activities. This resume highlights specific skills and accomplishments you have acquired in the military so perspective employers can see how your skills best fit their organization in civilian language. For example, a person who has worked in various levels as a Supply Logistics Commander in the military for 20 years could put Supply Management Supervisor on the resume as a job title and emphasize Logistics as one of the qualifications at the top of the resume. Translating military language to civilian language may require assistance. A resume writing company such as CareerproPlus (www.careerproplus.com) employs a staff of experienced writers who are knowledgeable and skilled in writing several different kinds of resume formats, including the Military Resume.

Resume Type #4: Federal Resume

This most comprehensive resume format includes details like supervisor names and telephone numbers, salary information, complete addresses and details regarding education and training. If you have visited www.USAjobs.gov in search of a federal job, then you have probably seen the How to Apply section listing the steps you need to follow to apply for a job. In most cases, the Office of Personnel Management states you may apply with a resume, the Optional Application for Federal Employment, or any other written format you choose. If you choose to apply with a resume then the information on the resume must include all information that is required on the Optional Application for Federal Employment. Once you have developed a Federal resume, it should be included along with other documentation in the application packet and mailed to the appropriate department.

Resume Type #5: Electronic Resume

With the explosion of technology in the past decade, many federal and civilian employers have turned to electronic or scannable resumes to collect and manage the thousands of resumes they might receive for their job vacancies. Resume databases enable employers to identify candidates for their openings without spending hundreds of hours searching through pages of resumes. Electronic resumes are formatted to be received electronically which means the format must be simple. A basic font like Courier is preferred, the document must be left justified, and special formatting to include bullets, bold type, italics or graphics is avoided. In addition, the electronic resume includes keywords or buzzwords that potentially increase the likelihood that your resume will be chosen when the employer selects resumes based on keyword searches used by online resumix systems. The electronic resume can be cut and pasted into an online resume format or built and scanned by the employer. For more information or assistance in developing an electronic resume, contact CareerproPlus (www.careerproplus.com).

Ok. You have looked through the 5 types of resumes and decided which resume you need to use. Don’t forget to include a cover letter. The debate is ongoing as to whether one is needed or not, but I say yes! Your cover letter could be just as important as your resume because first impressions do count. I like to think of it as the initial handshake with an employer, so be sure to make it an intriguing cover letter, one that will make the employer want to see your resume.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the various resume formats. Most employers will state what type of resume they require. Be sure to do as the job announcement says. If they ask for an electronic resume, you will be disqualified if you mail your resume and vice versa. Again, contact a professional resume writing organization to assist you in the process. It is a worthwhile investment to your future.

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