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Identifying the Resume You Should Use for Your Next Job

Identifying the Resume You Should Use for Your Next Job

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By Julianne Crum
Career Coach, APUS

There are many different formats for resumes, and it can be a challenging task to choose the best one for you. Depending on the type of job you look to obtain, your experience and the company, there is most likely a specific resume you will benefit from using. Here are different resume styles and information to help you identify the resume you should use.

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Chronological Resume

Chronological resumes are typically used when you’re looking for a position in the private sector or if no format is described on the prospective company careers page. These resumes are the tried-and-true format and are the most common type you will see.

They typically start with a professional summary, followed by your qualifications. In the professional experience section of the resume, list your work experience out in reverse-chronological order with bullet points below each position explaining your success.

You will benefit from this type of format if you have experience in the field you are applying for and are able to highlight this experience. You can also use this format if you are a recent graduate.

Functional Resume

Functional resumes are used when you’re looking for a position in the private sector or if no resume format is described on the prospective company careers page. This style is seen less often, but is a great way to highlight transferable skills into a new industry.

This format typically has a series of skills listed with bullet points detailing these talents to the hiring manager. The experience section is a very small section, with only the job title, company information and dates of employment listed.

Consider this format if you are changing careers and are looking to highlight transferable skills into a new industry. You should also consider this format if you have a large gap in employment.

Federal Resume

Federal resumes are used when you’re applying to government positions through USAJOBS. USAJOBS has a resume builder where you can input your information to build your federal resume, which should be used for every position for which you apply on USAJOBS. This format highlights any security clearance information you have, as well as specific target words that the hiring manager looks for.

Tailor the Format to the Job

Writing your resume can be challenging, but having the correct format is the first step to success. Private and government positions have specific formats that should be followed.

Be sure to look at the company you are applying for and ensure they do not require a specific resume to apply for their positions. If you have questions or need assistance, be sure to review our resume writing resources or reach out to a Career Coach at careerservices@apus.edu.

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