What is the Best Job Resume Format to Use?

A job resume is a concise document presenting your most relevant credentials for employment. It is meant, just like a cover letter, to get you an interview (not a job).

When you start devising your resume, you must keep one very important thing in mind: on average, an employer will spend less than one minute to read through your resume, which means it must not be longer than one page. Of course, the style and length of a resume differs from country to country and from company to company. East Europeans and Americans tend to be more concise than applicants in Western Europe who would gladly fill over two pages with (unimportant) detailed information.

There is a good explanation for the uselessness of a long resume; an employer knows if you are worth the time for an interview if he or she casts a quick glance at your resume and cover letter. Any details may be gone into later. As for the specific format that a resume should have, there are several formats available, which means there is room for creativity, but the necessary information must be there in a logical order in each of them.

The most common type of resume is called ‘chronological’. It lists your education as well as experience in reverse chronological order. Thus, your most recent activity must be listed first. Of course, there are variations in which you can use headings that highlight your background and qualifications but otherwise there is nothing special about them.

Another job resume format that people use is one that concentrates on the skills, grouping the various experiences that you have had according to the skills necessary to each of them.

Whichever style of job resumes you may choose there is certain information that must be there: permanent and current address (if different), objective (the type of job you are after), education (usually latest school first), computer skills (this is very important nowadays in all fields of activity), experience and activity (in reverse chronological order, as mentioned above), honours and distinctions (if any) and, of course, availability.