Writing own resume doesn’t sound like a big challenge. Listing own work experience, accomplishments, and educational credentials shouldn’t be very difficult. However, writing an effective resume seems far more challenging. There are some contradictions in resume writing, which we would like to address in this blog post. There are many discussions going on now as to how to make one’s resume more effective. Objective or Summary? Chronological or Functional? Traditional or Innovative? These questions have been the subject of resume discussions for years. Some of them have already been answered, some have been answered partially. We would like to share our thoughts on how to resolve the most popular contradictions in resume writing.
Objective or Summary? This usually comes first. Some writing specialists perceive objectives very self-centered as opposed to the employer-oriented approach that is to be used. Summaries (sometimes called Profiles, Overview of Qualifications, etc.) for some reason are considered more effective as they highlight your skills rather than what you want/expect. We believe that both summaries and objectives can do more harm than good for your resume. We also believe it is wrong to assume that objective cannot be an effective resume component just because it is not summary or vice versa. It all depends on how those are written. An objective can be very effective when it is not a plain statement like “Seeking an accountant position to develop my analytical skills”. So when it comes to choosing between these two options, consider your context and a job opening you are applying for. You can use either, but don’t forget that employer always asks the question “What can you give my company?”. The answer can be in an objective statement as well as in a summary.
Traditional or Innovative? Some job-seekers believe that resumes/CVs with fancy layout attracts the attention of HR authorities more than plain traditional formats. They think that it results in more interviews. However, we want to emphasize the fact that companies hire people on the basis of experience and qualifications needed to fill up a specific position, not how beautiful your resume looks. Moreover, there are many managers who claim that fancy layouts distract them rather than give any help. So you may want to consider using a fancy format with plenty of graphic elements next time. The only people who benefit from the concept of “professionally designed” resumes are companies who offer to decorate your resume with graphics for another hundred dollars. The exception is designers themselves who are looking for employment; in their case, a resume with a fancy layout will demonstrate their skills and qualifications.
Chronological or Functional? The answer to this question depends largely on one’s previous employments. It makes no sense to repeat your job descriptions 5 times if you held the same positions at different companies – it would take up far too much space. In this case, the functional format would work. However, most hiring authority representatives prefer the chronological format of a resume. You may be surprised by this fact, but nearly 95% consider chronological order as one of the most important components of a well-written resume. We don’t want to take any more space dwelling on the length – 1 or 2 pages. Once again, it all depends on what you have accomplished during your career. It is absolutely OK to have a 2-page resume if you have enough substantial information to present to a potential employer. It is also absolutely fine if you don’t and because of that, you create a 1-page resume. The length isn’t among key factors when making the decision about your candidacy – the content is.