So, you’ve decided it’s time to look for a job, and you sit down and start the rite of passage that is writing your resume (either from scratch or refreshing an older one). But how should you lay this information out? What is the best resume format to use?
The right resume format captures the attention of the individual who is hiring – they should be able to get a sense of your experience almost immediately and know if you will be the right fit (on paper) for the role in question.
What are the Different Resume Formats?
Generally speaking, there are three main formats of resume that exist in the world with pros and cons to them all.
These three formats are:
Each format listed above is used for different scenarios and depending on your background and experience, you should be able to determine which is the best for you using the information provided below.
Chronological Resume Format
The chronological resume is the most common resume format and is likely what you think of when you picture a resume. It has a primary focus on work experience, showcasing the companies you’ve worked for and length of employment at each job. The resume starts with your current or most recent job working backward in time.
• This is the preferred format of recruiters and hiring managers here in Cayman, so when in doubt, go for this style to help you get into the ‘yes’ pile.
• This is a great way to give a concise, focused, and detailed snapshot of your work experience, which is what most hiring managers are looking for in Cayman.
• If you have employment gaps, this format makes them a bit more noticeable due to the chronological order.
• When you are a first-time job seeker, this format can be less effective since you may have little experience under your belt.
Functional Resume Format
A functional resume puts the spotlight on skills and marketable abilities/competencies rather than specific work history.
• This style of resume is excellent for highlighting skills across different jobs/industries.
• This format may suit candidates who are first-time job seekers or those looking to change careers where transferrable skills may be more important.
• It allows you to put the spotlight on what you believe to be the most important and relevant achievements.
• In Cayman, there is a preferred focus on work experience, and with this format, the focus is mainly on skills, so it can make you look inexperienced in comparison.
• If you are applying to a position through an online portal, you are likely going to have your resume scanned by an applicant tracking system, and they may not be able to read your resume as easily in this format.
Combination Resume Format
As the name might imply, this is a combination of the above two formats; this format has a mixture of the focus on skills alongside a detailed work history.
• This is the best of both worlds scenario where you can highlight both your work experience as well as transferrable skills.
• You have the opportunity to put your skills into the context of your work experience and paint a full picture of your career path thus far.
• If you have a history of job-hopping or any employment gaps, this format will highlight this and do you a disservice.
• Similar to the chronological resume, this is a problematic option for first-time job seekers or those with little experience as it tends to leave the employer wondering what you have to bring to the table.
So Which Resume Format Should You Use?
Specifically, when thinking about looking for work in Cayman, our advice is to stick to the tried and tested chronological resume as this is what employers generally are looking for. The exception to the rule here might be if you are a first-time job seeker with little-to-no experience, and at that point, it might be worth looking at a functional resume format.
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