Join Jolie Miller for an in-depth discussion in this video Personalizing the resume, part of Job Hunting Online.
It's tempting to dash off a quick and personal cover letter and send the same exact resume for each job you apply for, but I'd like instead to offer you some quick scaleable solutions for custom-fitting your resume for each job you apply for. The other thing I want to empress upon you is this. Customize your resume first. Only after you've tailored it to the job are you going to be best equipped to write a cover letter. So, let's take a look at three common resume types, and then we'll take stock of my resume, making some tweaks to better align with the Kinetico Developmental Editor role.
First, there are three resume types commonly used, and I'm going to show you my resume three different ways to illustrate each. For your reference, in the exercise files for this course, you can download templates for each of these types so that you can fill your information in and use them as a guide. The first resume type is the chronological, sometimes called the reverse chronological resume. Now, it's called this, and this is what you're seeing on screen right now, because it's really focused on listing in reverse chronological order, the experience that you have.
It's very focused on the roles that you've occupied and the length of time you've been in each. Now this is a great resume type if you've been in mostly the same industry and position types and you have reliable employment history without a lot of gaps. It also happens to be the employer favorite type of resume. It gets quickly to the point, there's not a lot to read before you get there, and it's really targeted to the positions you've had and the responsibilities for each. Now if you're a student, and you don't have a lot of professional experience, your education may be the most recent thing that you should list.
In that case, you go ahead and put that at the very top of this resume before you list any internships or small work history. The second type of resume is called the functional resume. So I'm going to show you my resume in a functional context next. This is great if you have big gaps in your employment history. Let's say you had a period of unemployment for a year or two, or maybe you intentionally took some time out of the workforce to pursue school or some other endeavor.
The great thing about the functional resume is that it lists the selected experience that you have that's relevant to a role. So it gives a summary of who you are, why you matter for the role in context, and then it breaks down your work by focusing more on the skills you've developed rather than the jobs and the timelines. So this is a way to de-emphasize those spotty gaps in your history. You'll notice if I scroll down further, employment history is there at the bottom, and it does have dates, but it's not the prominent .
piece that you see in this resume type. I also list some professional development and skills at the bottom, and my education. Now employers are not the hugest fans of functional resumes because they're intended to downplay work history and play up the experience that you have. So let's say you have 7 years of doing volunteer coordination at the local parent-teacher association, you could list that here as leadership in management or volunteer coordination and it's a great item on your resume, but it doesn't really indicate where the experience came from.
Employees like that information a little bit more front and center. The third type of resume is what's called a combination resume, and I will show you that next. The combination resume, as you might imagine, combines both elements of chronological and functional and as such, mine is actually a little bit longer. I like you to generally think about keeping your resume to one page, one and a half pages at the max, and this example takes us to the max. The combination resume has the summary at the top, which we saw from the functional resume, but then it goes into your experience, so quickly you get to see the job history and what you've done in each role.
Education and professional development and skills are listed at the end, which is a great place to have them on all of your resumes. So this is a great type to use if you want to really show how your skills translate. Let's say that you might be shifting industries, but you're going to do the same marketing role. It's absolutely fine to use a resume type like this where you want to showcase both what you've done and how those skills translate. You can draw those connections in the summary and in the bullet points that are available here.
Regardless of the type you choose, I want you to try to keep the resume to one page or one and a half. Keep that in mind. I know it's really tempting. You want to cram everything you've done in there, but make sure that you're thinking about your resume as a recruiter will. They have just a few seconds to spend with each one, and you don't want to give them a reason to weed yours out. So for this position, I'm going to focus on a chronological resume and tweak it. Now, remember the Kinetico job description as a Development Editor role, and it would be editing guidebooks for the company.
So a couple of the things I made notes about while learning more about the company, they mentioned emotional intelligence in the job and they also mentioned experience developing the style guide. So what do I do in this resume type scrolling down is I would think about how my experience is shared here, and I might add in some instances that show emotional intelligence. I might actually make a line item in my acquisitions manager role here about how I did develop a style guide, because that is something that I did there.
So the idea is to customize here. Do little language tweaks so that you're a little bit more aligned with the role. If you have a summary at the top as I do, I want you to think about summarizing your work experience through the lens of the job your applying for. So this is my boiler plate text if you will, but I would customize that. I would indicate, for example, if I've done any work in guide books, or I've worked with publications that are greener in nature. I would want to add that in here. I would also customize these bullet points.
This is a great place - you'll see I already have emotional intelligence listed here, but I might want to add some other things that I saw from the job description. Finally, think about whether any of your professional development and skills directly apply to the role you're applying for. You might want to list those at the top rather than at the bottom, or rather than not listing them at all because your list got long. There's one last thing I want to draw your attention to here on this resume. I noticed as I was going through, that education is actually a little off center, and I want to space it back a little ways to center it, so that it's appropriately centered and it doesn't look sloppy.
This is a great call to action for you also. Just when you think you have your resume exactly how you want it, that's the right time to step back from it for a few minutes and then come back with fresh eyes, do a check for spelling, do a check for grammar, do a check for spacing to make sure everything looks the way you want it to. When you feel confident about it, go ahead and save it out as a pdf document and you'll have it ready to upload or send through email to any hiring manager.
Then take a quick workshop on applying for a job—from finding the ad to researching the company, tailoring your resume and cover letter, and submitting the application.
- Making a plan for job hunting
- Using popular job sites such as Monster, Simply Hired, and Indeed
- Networking and finding jobs on LinkedIn
- Using Twitter to search for jobs
- Scanning sites of companies you want to work for
- Approaching recruiters