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Archived Weekly Features
Upgear Your Career
Susan Geary CCW is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of 1st RateResumes.
Visit her website at or email her at this link.

Choosing the Right Format

Just like different formats and editing platforms in the newsroom, résumés

also have different formats and editing techniques. If you have awesome

experience and qualities, but format them incorrectly on your résumé, you

may spend more time job-hunting than originally anticipated.

Years ago there was only one format for a résumé: the chronological format.

Back then, people worked for the same company for 30 years and then


A chronological résumé worked well for job seekers of that era. However,

the job market has definitely changed since then. Moms are returning to

work, students are going to school later in life, and there are more

variances in work history to deal with. Therefore, it's important to choose

a format that will showcase your skills and work history in the most

favorable light, and downplay any gaps or problems.

Here are a few different résumé formats to consider:

1. Chronological

The Chronological Format is best used when you've worked for prestigious

employers or if you plan to stay in the same occupation. It also serves

well when your job history shows real growth and development and when prior

job titles are impressive. Chronological Résumés work best in traditional

fields, such as education and government jobs.

The Chronological Format is not advantageous when changing careers, when

you have changed employers too frequently, or your work history is spotty. It

also doesn't work well if you've been doing the same thing for too long, or

you are re-entering the job market after a long absence.

2. Functional

The Functional format works best when you're entering the job market for

the first time, or you want to emphasize strengths and skills that were not

used in recent work experience. It also works well to tie in unpaid activities

that you enjoy.

The Functional format is not recommended when you want to accentuate a

management growth pattern or in highly traditional fields such as teaching,

preaching or politics.

3. Executive Accomplishment

The Executive Accomplishment format works well for managers who are seeking

their next challenge. Use it if you've been laid off from a responsible

position, or you've been out of work for longer than a few months.

4. Creative Alternative

The Creative Alternative Format throws out all the rules. Its creative

design is used to show future employers your creative and artistic side.

It should only be used in areas where this kind of creativity is related to

the job target. When done with great skill, it can be very effective. It does

not work well if you are applying for a job through personnel, you are not

sure of your creative ability, or you are seeking a management position.


The Electronic or ASCII résumé is designed to be specifically scanned by

computer. It is usually posted online, or pasted into an email when you

apply for a job with a specific company. The electronic résumé lists

keywords that employers search for on their computer. It does not utilize

fancy typeface, italics, columns, borders or shading. It's not designed to

be an attractive document.

6. Web Folio

Web Developers and Graphic Artists are utilizing the latest format to hit

the market. By having a specific website showcasing accomplishments, work

samples, and history, job seekers can now email a link of their site to

Decision Makers without having to send tapes, résumés, and references. The

advantages are cost savings and innovation. The one thing to keep in mind is

that not all browsers see websites the same. Your project must be flawless

and seamless in order to make a great impression.

Most veteran journalist who plan to stay in the business, will use a

chronological format. New graduates or career changers will want to utilize

the functional format. As we become more computer savvy, web folios may

someday replace traditional résumés. Befriend a Web Developer now!

Next Week's Column: Interview Preparation