Many job seekers know only one style and format for their resume: chronological. While the chronological format, which lists your past career experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent positions, is fine for most individuals, there are some circumstances that call for a different approach. Conversely, the skills-based resume, which draws more attention to a job seeker’s skills rather than their actual career history, is useful in many different situations.
The Purpose of a Skills-Based Resume
As mentioned, the primary purpose of a skills-based resume is to highlight your specific skills as opposed to your past jobs and experience. By minimizing your career history and focusing on your skill set, you are effectively painting a clear picture of what you have to offer to a potential employer.
Despite its usefulness, some employers still prefer the traditional, chronological resume. Unless it is specifically called for, however, you are free to use whatever format you prefer. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why you might choose to utilize a skills-based resume when trying to land your next job.
Reasons for Using a Skills-Based Resume
One of the most common reasons that job seekers use a skills-based resume is to draw attention away from the fact that they have large gaps within their prior work history. While some absences and gaps are easily explained by legitimate reasons, others are not.
Those who are now re-entering the workforce after a prolonged absence may also find that a skills-based format is a better option than chronological. This is especially true for those who have been unemployed for 10 or more years. While such individuals may have all the skills and knowledge required by the job at hand, they may not have the recent experience to back it up.
Individuals who frequently switch between jobs, including those who rely on temporary assignments for the bulk of their employment, will also find the skills-based format to be useful. As such job seekers tend to have highly diversified and multifaceted skill sets, the skills-based resume provides the perfect format for displaying such talents.
Job seekers who are new to the workforce altogether, including recent college graduates, can also take advantage of the skills-based resume. This allows you to focus on skills you’ve refined through your education as well as any prior internships as opposed to your lack of solid career experience.
Employees who have held numerous jobs that are extremely similar to one another, whether through one company or multiple, also find the skills-based resume to be highly advantageous. This lets you group your previous job titles and responsibilities together, which ultimately frees up space on your resume for additional achievements, skills and accomplishments.
Finally, skills-based resumes are incredibly useful for individuals who are transitioning into a new position, field or industry. In this scenario, the contributions and accomplishments of your past career may not be relevant to your future. As such, the skills-based resume would definitely be your best course of action.
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