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Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A Resume By a Different Name
Did you know there are different types of resumes for different purposes? Most people know of two kinds – a chronological format and a functional format. The chronological is the most commonly used and works the best in most situations. By definition, the chronological is organized in reverse time format with each job being treated separately in the timeline. The functional resume is one that pops up every now and then and is organized by skill set (or function). Recruiters and hiring managers hate the functional so it should be avoided like the plague.

There are other types of resumes besides the chronological and functional. One is the federal resume. The federal resume is used when applying to government positions. I’m not an expert in federal resumes and don’t claim to be. They are truly very different animals than a traditional resume and I have a good colleague to whom I refer those types of projects. Federal resumes have their own format, their own organization, and their own style. I call it “high word count” writing because they tend to be very wordy and are often judged on the word count by screeners.

Another type of resume isn’t a resume at all but rather a CV or Curriculum Vita. A CV is used in foreign countries for the most part. Here in the US, CVs were once used mostly by academics, physicians, attorneys and scientists but even those professions are now using resumes for US job search. A CV is more a listing of facts rather than a marketing document. A resume is designed to spin your skills and abilities and sell you as the best candidate for the job. A CV is more like a long listing of everything related to your employment and education such as publications, degrees, memberships, etc.

In other countries, CVs will often have a picture of the job seeker embedded. Pictures are out-of-bounds for the US job market because of hiring discrimination laws. I’ve always wondered why someone would want to put their picture on their CV anyway – they always look like a passport photo or a driver’s license mug shot (not very flattering for even the most attractive people).

The picture issue brings up one last type of resume – the entertainer’s resume. Actors, models, entertainers – anyone in the “business” has an 8x10 stock photo of themselves that they use to send to casting agents, talent agents, producers, etc. On the back of that photo is the job seeker’s resume that gives all the performances or other “gigs” they have been involved with as part of his/her career. Don’t use this type of resume unless you are in show business or targeting some type of job where your appearance is the FIRST thing the hiring manager considers.

There are fad types of resumes that some people will try to sell you. I’ve seen the video resume (no hiring manager or recruiter has the time to watch these). I’ve seen the online resume (ditto for the time issue). I’ve seen the business card-sized resume (recruiters lose them). I’ve seen the brochure style from the 80’s (recruiters hated them, too). One of the most ingenious resumes I’ve ever seen was for a glass artist – he etched his resume into a lovely glass bowl.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 /


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