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Different Resume Styles

Resumes are tailored to the individual.  Choose the resume that fits your situation. 

Writing a Winning Résumé

A résumé is a description of your accomplishments, skills and experiences. It should be written to address the needs and goals of a potential employer. A résumé alone won't get you a job, but it does act as a calling card and can help you get that all-important interview.

Emphasize Skills, Not Experience or Dates

Today's employers are interested in your skills rather than just previous work experience. As a mid-career or older worker, you need to select a résumé format that favorably presents your job history and skills as they relate to your current career objectives.

As a mid-career or older worker, you should emphasize the positive attributes of your age and experience, including:

  • Accumulated experience, maturity, judgment, perspective, increasing responsibility, consistent achievement
  • Ability to make a contribution immediately (as opposed to a younger job seeker's untested potential)
  • Willingness to work on short-cycle, project-oriented basis
  • Flexibility to adapt to new ideas
  • Training in and familiarity with relevant computer software and other technology

As a mid-career or older worker, you should de-emphasize dates and years by:

  • Omitting dates of your degree(s)
  • Omitting earliest jobs
  • Inserting time frames for relevant past work experience, rather than the dates of employment (example — "five years" rather than 1965-1970)

Choosing a Résumé Type Is Key

There are five basic types of résumés, each with a specific style:

  • Chronological résumés list your relevant work experience in reverse chronological order, that is, beginning with your most recent job.
  • Functional résumés emphasize your work objective, skills and accomplishments.
  • Combination résumés combine elements of the chronological and functional résumés.
  • Modified letter résumés, also called broadcast letters, can be used for targeted mailings to specific kinds of employers by writing in letter style rather than résumé form.
  • Electronic résumés are simple text-based résumés, with no special formatting.
You can learn more about these styles of résumés by reading the article "Choosing the Right Type of Résumé."

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