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Job Tips - Resume Building


There are three basic styles of resumes: Chronological, Functional and Combination. Each format organizes information differently and has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The following descriptions will help you determine which format may be most appropriate for you.

Reverse Chronological

This is the most common resume format that many job seekers are using today, and a format that is widely accepted by both employers and recruiters. This style portrays an historical timeline of your experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position through to the first position held. Using a reverse chronological resume in a situation of limited experience would be disastrous, as it does not match transferable skills, experience and achievements to the position or organization's requirements.

Profile emphasizes general background related to employer or industry needs. Includes business environments, skill areas, and general accomplishments. The use of nouns is important for detection by scanners looking for a good fit. Use both hard and soft skills that are more detailed in the body of a resume.

Strengths that have been developed through experience and accomplishments. Key words for electronic scanning or passes reader's five to fifteen second glance test.

Use Titles at the beginning before the company name to emphasize the level of the position.

Progression and promotion titles with different dates may be confusing. Use a general statement and be prepared to provide more details during the interview.

Bullets can be used to set off each major accomplishment. Use spacing between each bullet to make certain that it can be read in all formats. State actions, results, quantify whenever possible.

Education is listed at the end of the resume. Do not include date of graduation.


This style is aptly named 'Combination' as it blends the best elements from both the Functional and Reverse Chronological formats, and is the best format to use in your campaign, should you have limited experience to offer a potential employer. A combination format generally begins with a compellingly written qualifications/professional statement, your 'Unique Selling Proposition' to demonstrate expertise and qualifications at the outset. Other sections on the first page could include Selected Accomplishments and Relevant Skills followed by Employment History presented in reverse chronological order on the second page.


This format groups and displays relevant skills and achievements under specific headings in order to weigh a job seeker's experience and qualifications against the role, while omitting employer/job titles and years of employment. While using a skills-based presentation will allow you to showcase your strengths, recruiters do not particularly like this style of resume, as it can raise doubt over possible areas the job seeker is trying to disguise.


  • Bold and enlarge your name at the top.
  • Keep the sections lined up and consistent.
  • Use an Arial or Times New Roman font (or similar).
  • Font size shouldn't be smaller than 11pt or larger than 12pt, except for your Name and Headings.
  • Two-page resume: be sure to fill the second page at least halfway down the page.
  • Place "Continued" at the bottom of page one, and your name and "Page 2" at the top of page two.
  • If you spell out the state in your address, such as New York , spell out the states for your jobs.



ASCII (pronounced askee) is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is a simple text format that does not use formatting specific to any particular application. Because of this, documents saved as an ASCII (or text file) can be used across all platforms.

Some Pointers

  • Line length should not exceed 80 characters
  • Do not use word wrap -- use hard returns instead
  • You cannot use bullets in ASCII format -- instead use astericks or hyphens (dashes)
  • Use a fixed width font, i.e. 10 point Courier
  • Use spaces to line up your text
  • Use left justification, and use spaces to center text