There are two main types of resumes you can use when applying for a new position. First, you can use a chronological resume. This resume lists your work experience and achievements at each position, starting with the most recent first. Or you can craft a skills-based or functional resume. This type of resume lists your relevant skills at the top and then work experience. This resume style can help you highlight specific skills or aspects of your work experience that are the most transferable to the job you are seeking. In this blog, you will learn how to layout a skills-based resume out and when you might want to use one.
How Do You Lay Out a Functional Resume?
After your header – which should include your full name, contact information, and possibly your LinkedIn profile – set up a skills section.
A. Summary of Skills Section
This is the heart of a functional resume and allows you to highlight skills that you may have obtained outside of the work experience. Pick 3 or 4 broad categories specific to the job description you are applying for and address how you got those accomplishments or experiences. For instance, the job description calls for good client communication skills. You may not have worked directly with clients yet, but maybe you volunteered at the local animal shelter and covered the front desk.
If you need some help describing how your skills might transfer, consider taking one of the skills assessments at CareerOneStop .org. You can use the terminology from their assessments to describe your existing skills, like “Monitor project progress to complete on time” to describe a school internship project that you completed. Keep the primary goal of this section in mind – you want to clearly show a hiring manager that you have the needed skills to do the job.
B. Work History
After the skills section, include a work history section. This can be a just the facts layout – include the company name, your job title, employment dates, and the city and state of the organization. You can also list any volunteer positions or internships in this section too.
C. Additional Sections
Finally, add any other headings, including education, professional memberships, online certifications, or a portfolio link to your work. You can include hobbies too – but only list any of the above if they are professionally relevant to the job. For example, a sizeable Tik-Tok following for your lampshade crafting demonstrations is only applicable if you are applying to become a social media manager or a lampshade maker.
That’s it – the A, B, C’s of laying out a skills-based resume. Keep basic resume rules in mind for this – like using a common, at least 11-point font, proofreading, and proofreading again. See our blog on the Top 5 Resume Mistakes to Avoid for more.
Who Should Use a Skills-Based Resume Layout?
Generally, a conventional/chronological resume is the safest choice – especially if you have relevant work experience. But, if you are a recent college graduate without a lot of work experience or are changing career paths, a skills-based resume may be for you. Remember that the goal of a skills-based resume is to highlight your strongest skills as they relate to the job you are applying for so you can increase your chances of getting an interview.
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