THE COMBINATION FORMAT
The combination format recognizes the inherent drawbacks of both the chronological and functional formats used in their pure forms.
The pure chronological resume is too mundane, a bland work autobiography. It is descriptive, but tends not to be persuasive about personal qualifications.
The pure functional resume is too free-floating and reads like a set of assertions about abilities, unlinked to verifiable sources of confirmation.
Whether you prefer the chronological or functional format, the most effective resume blends the best elements of each.
The Chronological-Combination Resume:
This format retains the structure of a job-by-job delineation of experience and emphasizes accomplishments, the hallmark of the functional resume.
The Functional-Combination Resume:
This format retains the structure of key skills, knowledge and accomplishments, incorporating a distilled EXPERIENCE section, which denotes career-related time/space anchors, the hallmark of the chronological resume.
All References to Resumes in This Guide Assume a Combination Format:
Chronological-combination resumes and functional-combination resumes will be referred to simply as chronological and functional resumes.
After deciding on the appropriate format, the way to organize the information is equally as important. Below are some guidelines to assist you in creating the best resume.
CREATING A DAMN GOOD RESUME
I. A DAMN GOOD RESUME HAS FIVE ESSENTIAL PARTS:
A. A clearly stated JOB OBJECTIVE.
B. The HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS.
C. A presentation of directly RELEVANT SKILLS and EXPERIENCE.
D. A chronological WORK HISTORY.
E. A listing of relevant EDUCATION and TRAINING.
II. GETTING STARTED
A. Work History – Create a “Work History Master List,” keeping in mind that not everything on your “Master List” will necessarily appear on THIS version of your resume. For paid and volunteer jobs or positions, list the dates started and ended, your job title, and the name and city of the company or organization. Put these jobs in chronological order.
B. Education and Training – Create an “Education and Training Master List,” this time including :
Schools you attended, with dates, degrees honors.
Personal study in your field (classes, workshops, and other informal ways you have learned).
Any other credentials or certificates.
C. Job Objective – Compose a clearly stated Job Objective, using a minimum number of words. Ask yourself these questions:
WHAT do I want to do?
FOR WHOM or WITH WHOM do I want to do it?
WHERE do I want to do it?
AT WHAT LEVEL OF RESPONSIBILITY?
D. Relevant Skills And Experience – What you want to create – contrary to everything you’ve heard in the past about resumes – is a word picture of you in your proposed new job, created out the best of your past experience. Steps include:
So first, get out your Job Objective and ask yourself what are the five or six major skills required for that job.
Get out a sheet of paper for each of those skills or special knowledge areas, and label each page.
Then ask yourself, “When did I use those same skills in the past?”
Under each of the skills listed, begin to write action-oriented “One- Liner” statements that clearly and concisely describe how you used or developed those skills in the past.
Then you can assemble the Relevant Skills and Experience section of your new-job resume by putting those five or six skills paragraphs together on one page.
E. The Highlights of Qualifications – The essential message of the highlights is two-fold:
First, that you are QUALIFIED – you have the experience, credentials, and basic skills needed for the job.
Second, that you are also ESPECIALLY TALENTED (perhaps even gifted) in the areas that really matter – in other words, for THIS job you’re “hot”.
A typical group of Highlights might include :
How much relevant experience you have.
What your formal training and credentials are, if relevant.
One significant accomplishment, very briefly stated..
One or two outstanding skills or abilities.
A reference to your values, commitment, or philosophy if appropriate.
You can read the first and second part of these series below;