Are functional and hybrid CV/resumes acceptable?

Monday, March 9th, 2009 - CV format, CV Tips, CV Writing, tutorial

Which CV format?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Francesco Rachello

Daniel asks: I am considering revising my resume from a reverse chronological format to either a functional or hybrid format. However, I understand that hiring managers and recruiters hate the functional and hybrid formats. Is this true? Is it better to stick with the reverse chronological format even when a job seeker is switching careers or has a gap in employment? Thanks – Daniel

In answer:
Two answers to one question here Daniel, but one thought first.

CV/Resumes are a personal thing – no two people will like exactly the same thing, so you have to do what you like and temper that highly with the input/feedback of others. I read a piece this morning which suggested that you needed at least eight people to read the final version of your resume to remove all the mistakes. I suggest that what ever you decide you like, you follow that advice by getting at least four of those people to be what could be called typical targets for your ideal position – HR managers, recruiters, etc in your target sector

The answer to any CV/Resume format is – does it grab you in the first 30seconds? Doesn’t matter if its function, hybrid or written on perforated toilet paper – does it grab the reader in the first 30seconds, and make them read more? Fail that test and everything else after that is highly irrelevant. Hence concentrate your efforts in the Cover Letter and Personal Statement to gain that traction/engagement.

Once you get past that, its about showing you have more than sufficient functional capability to do the job. To do that, again you need to use the best way to communicate those required skills. So if you are looking to do another job in the same sector as your last five years of career, then a reverse chronological is the best way. If you are considering moving sectors, then a functional format works better.

CV/resume writing is an art form, but really its about getting the person reading it to pick up the phone and call you to arrange an interview – nothing more, nothing less. If it does that for you, in a ratio of more 1phone call in 5 job applications, then it is a format that works for you.

Good Luck!

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