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A brief guide to résumés

By: Alejandra Mariel Reyes Salazar

What is a résumé?

It is a document that contains a summary of relevant job experience and education for
specific employment search.

The résumé is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the
job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview,
when seeking employment.

Résume or curriculum vitae?

Résumé Curriculum vitae

It emphasizes the information about It’s an overview of a person’s life and
skills, experiences and studies, qualifications, regardless of the
Main relevant to the objectives that must position the job seeker is applying.
be accomplished in a determined
The structure is usually: personal,
job position or a job offer.
academic, experience, languages,
computing and other data, all in
chronological order of acquisition.

Résumé styles

There are two basic styles:

ε Functional And as a “sub-style”

ε Chronological ε Electronic
Functional résumé

What is this?

The functional resume rearranges employment history into sections that highlight areas
of skill and accomplishment.

How do employers rate it?

Some employers dislike functional resumes IF they find it difficult to match up skills with
actual job titles, level of responsibility and dates of experience.

Works Best For


ε People with a "mixed

"mixed bag" work history: no clear thread uniting positions held.

ε New graduates
graduates. You must show how the skills you have used in the past (in
volunteer or coursework) apply to the job you are seeking.

ε People who are making a career change – either changing industry or changing

Chronological résumé

What is this?

The chronological résumé is organized by job titles with the most recent position listed

Career changers and those who lack formal on-the-job experience (like new graduates)
find this résumé the most difficult to write.

How do employers
employers rate it?

Employers tend to prefer the chronological résumé because the format lists prior
positions beginning with the most current. Also, they perceive this résumé style as fact-
based and easily skimmed.
Works Best For:

ε Job seekers with solid experience and a logical job history.

Electronic résumé

What is this?

A résumé (chronological or functional) formatted to read well when submitted as a data

file or scanned and searched by optical scanning systems.

How do employers rate it?

Many large employers use electronic résumé processing systems to handle large
volumes of resumes. Job ads may direct applicants to email a résumé to their company
or visit their website and submit it in electronic format.

Electronic résumés are used by Résumé Banks to match applicant qualifications with
employer needs.

Advantages and disadvantages

ε It is certainly quick and convenient for both applicant and employer to work with
résumés in electronic formats.

ε The problem for the employer is sorting through hundreds or thousands of

résumés to find a few good candidates for the job at hand. The problem for the
candidate is to stand out as one of the few good candidates. Writing a good
electronic résumé is often as much about strategy as content.
Sample of a functional résumé
Sample of a chronological résumé
10 steps for creating a good résumé

1. Choose a target job (also called a "job objective"). An actual job title works best.

2. Find out what skills, knowledge, and experience are needed to do that target job.

3. Make a list of your 2, 3, or 4 strongest skills or abilities or knowledge that makes

you a good candidate for the target job.

4. For each key skill, think of several accomplishments from your past work history
that illustrate that skill.

5. Describe each accomplishment in a simple, powerful, action statement that

emphasizes the results that benefited your employer.

6. Make a list of the primary jobs you've held, in chronological order.. Include any
unpaid work that shows you have the skills for the job.

7. Make a list of your training and education that's related to the new job you want.

8. Choose a résume style that fits your situation – either chronological or functional.

9. Arrange your action statements according to the format you choose.

10. Summarize your key points at the top of your resume.

5 key concepts for powerful, effective résumés

1. Your résumé is YOUR marketing tool, not a personal document.

2. It is about YOU the job hunter, not just about the jobs you've held.

3. It focuses on your future,

future not your past.

4. It emphasizes your accomplishments,

accomplishments not your past job duties or job descriptions.

using not skills you used just because you had to.
5. It documents skills you enjoy using,