Having unemployment gaps in a resume can discourage potential employers from following up about a position. But while it’s impossible to entirely leave out job history, switching to a skills based resume from a traditional resume format can help job seekers better highlight experiences and de-emphasize job gaps, says Maryanne Perrin, co-founder of Balancing Professionals, a placement and advisory firm in North Carolina. Ms. Perrin points out that creating a skills based resume and shifting away from a chronological format may be key to getting a foot in the door. Here, Ms. Perrin shares advice on how and why skills-based resumes can help with the search.
Another strategy for career changers with minimal related experience is a resume letter, which is a cover letter that substitutes for a resume. A resume letter emphasizes your passion for the industry and any related experience/training, but its narrative format allows you complete control over the information you provide. Keep your letter focused on how your motivation, enthusiasm and passion for your new career would benefit the employer's operation. You will still need to have a more traditional resume format on hand in case it's requested, but the letter will serve as a good introduction and pique the hiring manager's interest in interviewing you.
Would a traditional resume format even work for me?
All of these formats are pleasing to the eye, but traditional resume format is not going anywhere, since all mentioned formats have a big pitfals and none can provide informative values of a traditional one.
Whether you are changing careers, transitioning back into the workforce, or just trying to get your foot in the door—we’ve got a format for you. Here are five alternatives to a traditional resume format.In most cases, a chronological resume is what recruiters and hiring managers expect and will be most comfortable with, but if you’re in a career transition, you may want to consider a hybrid resume that showcases your transferable skills to make up for lack of experience. A purely functional resume is rarely a good idea, though. on the pitfalls of non-traditional resume formats. Although functional resumes can mask a thin or spotty job history, this resume style is a red flag that you’re trying to camouflage something. Applicant tracking systems may also reject a functional resume because it can’t recognize the required fields.