You have to ask yourself these questions; Why should I use a chronological resume as opposed to a functional resume or a combination of both? Why would a hiring manager read my resume? Have I done the very best I can to prepare my resume? …before I send it out!
Posting an up to date, well written resume can really make or break your chances of it even being read by a hiring manager. Make sure you have dotted all of your I’s and crossed all of your T’s. Everything must be spelled correctly and should be in an easy to read format. A chronological resume might be used by a job seeker with a very long work history; however, some hiring managers have suggested that you only include 10-15 years of experience.
Make sure you use the space on your resume to your advantage. Don’t ramble! Be concise! Don’t be boring! Be creative identifying your attributes. Emphasize your positive work history. Stay away from colors, fancy words and pictures of you on the resume. Make your resume come alive with words, rather than things that will repel the hiring manager!
Start with your contact information. List your name and spell it correctly. You’d be surprised at how many people spell their name wrong on their resume. Provide a complete address with zip code. Use a professional email address. HotMama@whatever.com is not professional. Do not use your current work email address. You may be accused of misusing company time. Also provide a current phone number. Make sure your phone bill has been paid.
Provide a general idea of your work background in a very short summary. Do not use an ‘objective’ as the company you are attempting to go to work for already has an objective for you…to make them more money! Offer your skill sets and accomplishments using key words related to the position you are applying to. Be detailed, not wordy. Write a separate bio of yourself if you think it will help, but only bring it to the interview. Do not email your bio prior to getting an interview scheduled.
A chronological resume lists your work experiences in a backward order. Job titles, company names and dates employed should be in bold type. Dates should be year to year (2005 – 2010) instead of indicating month and date. Do not forget to include a sentence for each position you’ve held indicating what the company does.
Avoid gaps if you can! If you can’t, briefly explain the gap in a positive manner. Do not put yourself into the position of having to explain what may be construed as false information. Be upfront and honest.
Focus your resumes attention on the requirements of the job description. List your meeting of these requirements in each of the positions you’ve had. Do you meet the minimum requirements? Are you qualified for the position by the requirements and qualifications? Do you have the “must haves”? These things can also be listed in a short cover letter, if one is requested to be sent, or in an electronic cover letter if allowed.
Do you meet the educational requirements and what are you doing to stay up on training and industry news if you are currently unemployed? List your education, but do not include the date of graduation if more than ten years ago.
A standard chronological resume might read like this:
Summary of Experience (this might also be called a profile).
Career Accomplishments (may also be called Selective Achievements or Key Qualifications).
Professional Experience (listing your present or most recent job first).
Education and additional or continuing education
In summary, always check your spelling, grammatical style and punctuation. Have a friend or family member proofread it before sending it out. Be concise and to the point. Give as much detail as you can without being too wordy. Good luck with your job search
Source: Steven Coyne, The Job Hunter Group Blog