Hiring managers may spend less than a minute looking at your resume, so you want to make sure that it’s organized in a way that’s appealing to them.
Resume secrets: What hiring managers are looking for
According to a survey from the staffing service Accountemps, three out of four bosses prefer a chronological resume with the most recent work history first.
For the study, 150 senior executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies were asked:
“Do you prefer to receive a resume written in a chronological format that is organized by dates of employment, or one in a functional format that is organized by skills?”
- Chronological 75%
- Functional 17%
- No preference 8%
“Chronological resumes allow job seekers to present their career progression to prospective employers in a straightforward, easy-to-follow way,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “Functional resumes, which emphasize skill sets rather than jobs held, are popular among professionals in career transition or who have had lengthy gaps in employment, but they are not a favorite of employers. It is often better to address a career challenge directly than try to write around it.”
In the YouTube video below, career expert Nicole Williams says another way to think about the chronological resume is as a traditional resume.
She offered two additional tips to create the best resume possible:
- Ensure that you’re only listing work experience and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for
- Highlight how you’ve created results instead of simply listing day-to-day tasks
But what if you don’t have the perfect resume? Don’t lie. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 77% of human resources managers reported discovering a lie on a resume.
Instead, always be truthful and follow these tips from Accountemps:
- Employment gaps: Briefly explain any employment gaps in your cover letter
- Limited work history: Bolster work experience through internships, part-time work, temporary assignments and volunteer work
- Career change: Highlight your transferable accomplishments and skills
If you haven’t updated your resume in the past year, dust it off and update it so that you’re ready when the perfect job opportunity comes along. Here are 9 secrets to resume success!