Your First Impression

Resume Visual 101

Choosing an appropriate resume style/design (color, font, images) is just as important as choosing the right resume format (chronological, functional, combination). Knowing what style is preferred by certain industries will help you connect with the reader. Sometimes using color and a one-page modern resume design is a good choice because it has lots of energy and is light on content. For more traditional fields or senior level roles, it would be a mistake.

Notably, if you are in a conservative field such as finance or law, a chronological style with minimal or no color is best.  If you are a senior-level corporate executive,  a two- page resume is the standard because of career depth and achievements. Nothing is black and white, but it helps to know what HR managers in your field expect so you can make a great first impression!

Choosing A Resume  Format

Of the three standard resume formats – Chronological, Functional, and Combination — the Chronological format is widely used because it is straightforward and makes it easy for hiring managers to identify possible employment gaps, career transitions, and career progression.  However, it is not ideal if your work history is erratic.

Functional and Combination resume formats are more flexible and ideal for presenting sticky career situations. The Functional Format — or sometimes called the Skills Based resume format — highlight skills that might otherwise be overshadowed by current, unrelated experience — or short-held jobs and employment gaps. Similarly, the Combination resume has lots of room for customizations.

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