♪ [music] ♪ This is a good place to address the question of chronological versus functional resume format. First, some definitions. In a chronological resume, the work history section is structured in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position and including dates. Chronological format is far and away the most popular for resumes. There's a good reason for this, recruiters and hiring managers prefer it because it's much easier to scan and get a good understanding of the applicant's work history. In a functional resume, skills and professional accomplishments are listed outside of the context of specific positions, often with a brief work history section at the end. This format is sometimes recommended for people who are making a career change, have resume gaps, or an otherwise unorthodox job history. The functional resume theoretically takes the emphasis off the timeline and puts it on the accomplishments. However, I would not recommend the functional resume. Recruiters are pretty vocal about hating the functional resume. They find it confusing and sometimes interpret its use as a candidate having something to hide. Instead of taking emphasis off the timeline, it makes the reader more concerned about figuring it out. Done well, a chronological resume tells a story, this tends to be more engaging and logical for hiring managers. There's a way to put more emphasis on accomplishments without going full-functional format. This involves using a summary statement with your chronological resume, which is a good segue into our next best practice. ♪ [music] ♪ With resumes as with all other documents, the prime real estate is that top-left part of the page, this is where we start reading, whether reading on paper or on a screen. Eye tracking studies have been done, analyzing how recruiters review resumes. The resulting heat maps show heavy attention to the upper-left part of the document, the first item on the page basically. From there you see scanning and jumping around with more time spent on the first half of the first page, and then the beginnings of other key sections that are called out visually. You probably take a similar approach when you look at a website or Google search results or a marketing email. If we don't see something that grabs our attention, we then start to scan and skip around looking for something compelling. If the page can't keep our interest, we move on. Same with recruiters and hiring managers looking at your resume, this is why we want to front-load that top of page one with your best and most compelling information. For most applicants, I'm a big believer in using a summary statement as a way to use this space to your advantage. A summary statement is a summary of your skills and experience structured to quickly give a prospective employer a sense of your "key selling points" and the value you could offer. A summary statement can take many forms, from a simple sentence or two to several bullet points. A lot of this depends on your situation. For some, it makes sense to include important technical skills or publications in the summary. For others, the focus should be on industry expertise or accomplishments. Keep in mind that a summary statement is not an objective statement. Objective statements were very common in the past, but today they tend to be a waste of that valuable resume real estate. In some situations it might make sense to incorporate something about your career objectives into your summary statement, this could be useful for someone making a career change or someone with a very diverse background. Any situation when it may not be clear what type of role you're pursuing from your most recent work history, we have a whole separate lesson to teach you how to write a good summary statement, so we won't go into more detail on that now. But please check out the summary statement lesson for tips, techniques, and examples. Beyond the summary statement, you're going to lead with either your work history or your education. For students or recent grads, education should go first. For those who've been working for a couple of years, you should probably move the education section below your work experience, unless you're pursuing a grad degree, part-time, or have other reasons why your education is more relevant than your most recent job. Within your work experience, start each job description with the most impressive and relevant information. Your bullet points can be customized and reshuffled for different positions, but do your best to grab your reader with the first line or two of each section or position description. As your resume continues beyond that prime real estate, don't forget about readability. ♪ [music] ♪ It's important to make sure that your resume is written with your human reader in mind. In another lesson we'll talk about how to get past automated resume screeners to actually get to the humans, but it's a person who will then make the decision to invite you in for an interview. Put yourself in the position of the person reading this document, someone who knows nothing about you and how great you are, someone who is pressed for time and needs to form an impression quickly. Someone who has probably skimmed many other resumes today. Keep it concise and focused on the most relevant details. Explain any concepts or terminology that might be unfamiliar to your readers. For example, you want to include a brief description of any employer company that's not widely known, highlighting anything impressive about the firm. You'll also want to explain obscure, technical terms, and the significance of any metrics or statistics. You'll also want to use formatting to selectively draw the reader's eye to important content, especially further down the page onto page two. This is important because most readers will be scanning your resume on a screen, maybe even on a small phone screen while simultaneously drinking a coffee and dodging traffic. When we read on a screen our eyes naturally scan instead of reading every word. Here are some formatting techniques to guide the eye. Subheadings. You can use a subheading to grab attention, it's traditional to have separate subheadings for different sections, including professional summary, education, and work history. If you have other content that sets you apart, consider creating a separate section and subheading. For example, awards, published writing, volunteer leadership experience. You'll have to be selective since subheadings requires space, but it's an effective way to guide the eye. White space. White space in general is useful in guiding the eye, this is why we create white space between position listings and sections. You can also use white space strategically. For example, create a new paragraph or an impressive detail instead of cramming it into the end of the previous paragraph. In general, long paragraphs are hard on the eye, so shorter paragraphs with some white space, tend to be more reader-friendly. Bullet points. Along the same lines, bulleted lists are a great way to present information on a resume. They combine white space, shorter paragraphs, and the visual of the bullet. Finally, making your resume reader-friendly requires careful proofreading, typos and grammatical errors look sloppy, and detract from your great content. Don't rely on spellcheck. Spellcheck won't catch it if it's a correctly spelled word, just not the one you wanted. Mixing up affect and effect can make you look less polished, and I've seen much more embarrassing examples. Proof for spelling, grammar and typos, like cut and paste errors, extra spaces and the like. If you can, recruit a detail-oriented friend to take a look. Sometimes it's hard to see our own errors when we've been staring at a document for too long. Okay, that's it for this lesson, focusing on big-picture resume best practices related to format, structure, and style. From here you might want to go to a lesson on writing persuasive resume bullet points that get you past a resume screening software, and then impress the human reviewers too. Or, you might prefer to go straight to our lesson on writing great resume summary statements. Our goal is to help you turn your resume into an interview magnet.