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Refreshing your résumé

There are many ways to create a résumé, but you need to find the best way to display your skills and experience. Every person’s career history is different, and you will want to use the résumé style that puts your career history in the most attractive light. Think carefully about which style to use.

Your job search and career goals are also unique to you. You need to take into account the stage your career is at. Do you plan to stay in your field, or do you want to change careers? Has your career development followed a traditional path? Are you looking for your first job? Perhaps you are aiming for a specific job or company. Match your job search goals to the formats described below to find the one that will get you on the road to landing your perfect job.

What You Need to Know
Are there many different résumé styles?

Yes. But here we will focus on four of the most common types:
• A chronological résumé is a good choice when you are staying in the same field or if your career has followed a steady and traditional trajectory. For example, if you were hired at entry level and have progressed through the ranks to management level in the same field or specialty, this is the right résumé for you. You would also use this kind of résumé if you have worked for the same company for most of your career, even if you have had different types of job within that company. Finally, this résumé style is a good choice for those just starting their careers who are looking for their first or second job.

• A functional résumé is a sensible choice when you’re hunting for your first job, as it emphasizes your skills rather than your experience. If you are making a marked change in your career, this style will serve you well for the same reasons. And, if your career has followed the less common pathway, or you have changed employers frequently, then you may be better off with a functional résumé.

• Use a targeted résumé when you have a specific job in mind and need to make an impressive case for yourself. Writing this kind of customized résumé is a challenge, especially if you’re applying for several jobs, but when done well it can make you and your abilities stand out.

• If your objective is to be hired for a specific job or assignment within your current organization, your best choice is the capabilities résumé. As with the targeted résumé, the capabilities résumé requires you to customize your résumé for the situation.

Should I have one of each type of résumé to hand?
Typically, no. However, if you have created one kind of résumé, say a standard résumé (chronological or functional), and an opportunity arises for which one of the other résumés is better, then you should create a second résumé

What’s a “job search objective?”
Just a few years ago every résumé had to start off with an objective, a short paragraph explaining exactly what type of job being sought. These days objectives are not always appropriate, so think carefully about whether you need to include one or not. They are useful when you are sending your résumé speculatively.

If you decide to include an objective on your résumé, it should be concise, specific, and forthright. An objective that is too general, such as “Seeking position in graphic design,” is not worth the bother of including. Try something like “An experienced graphic designer is seeking a position to make full use of comprehensive background in web design and graphic arts. I am looking for a challenging Senior Designer position that will enable me to use and expand my creative skills in the graphic design industry.”

Reference BNET Editorial: Courtesy of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica
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