Writing a resume – what are the different types?

We have already explained the importance of the resume in the first blog post on this topic. Writing a resume is a supreme discipline, which you first have to learn. The only thing that helps is to practice, practice, practice and learn from mistakes.

In this blog post we go into depth. We explain the different types of resumes, describe the differences and show you what to look out for. We describe which resume is best for which professions and which information is especially important. We will also discuss the handwritten resume. Is this still in demand or already a relic of old times?

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Writing a resume – different types of resume

There are three types of CV, the chronological CV, the functional CV and the free-form CV. The chronological resume, also called the tabular resume, is the most commonly used resume. As the most important part of the application, the resume provides all the important information at a glance. Not for nothing it is always said that writing a resume is not easy. Depending on the type of resume, you have to pay attention to different things.

The chronological or tabular resume

Writing a chronological resume works in two ways. The individual career steps are listed in chronological order. You have the option to list your last employer first, which is the American version, or you can list your last position last, which is the classic version.

This form of resume is the most clearly laid out. Most recruiters will find all the information they need at a glance, as the chronological resume is the one they receive most often. It is also very popular with companies, because gaps are quickly and easily visible.

The advantages of the chronological or tabular resume are, first of all, that it is simply written and is considered to be the most commonly used form. Further, these resumes are easily recognizable and easily remembered by leaders.

Write a functional resume

With this type of resume, the chronological order does not matter. Because here you will be structured according to the functions you have had. This means that you arrange your achievements and work experience in relation to your function and responsibilities.

In practice, it looks like that you can summarize similar or comparable activities at different companies in one point. This offers the advantage that a clear line is quickly recognizable for the personnel department. The chronological context is a minor matter here.

Applicants have the great advantage that gaps can be hidden very easily in this type of resume. Moreover, it is not immediately obvious whether the last job was more demanding or less demanding than the new position or not.

What is special about the "free-form" resume

This is where you can live your life to the fullest. You can present yourself in exactly the light you like. Show yourself from your best side, but don’t forget to pay attention to the overview. Because there is nothing that annoys the recruiter more than an unclear and unstructured resume. From the structure of the resume, conclusions are also usually drawn about the work behavior. These would not turn out well if you jumble everything up and a common thread is not apparent.

Caution is also advised against too creative solutions. If you are applying as a graffiti artist or for a position in marketing, you can fully express yourself creatively. However, for most other positions, recruiters tend to be conservative in their approach. Here you have to use creative elements rather sparingly. Therefore we recommend to use this form preferably for creative professions, because here this resume can open doors.

It makes sense to write an individual resume for each position

Many job seekers still believe that a standard resume can be sent with every application, no matter what position you are applying for. Unfortunately we have to disprove this assumption. As already mentioned in the first blog post on the subject of CVs, it is very important to always adapt the CV to the position for which you are applying. As you already know, a recruiter will only take a few seconds to look at your application documents. In this short time it will be decided whether the applicant will be invited for an interview or not.

For this reason, it is especially important that you include in your resume exactly the information that is relevant for the job. Your qualifications should correspond exactly to the requirements profile. Depending on the position you are applying for, different experience and knowledge will be required. This is exactly the reason why we advise you to always write your resume individually for the current position. It also makes a difference which industry and which position you are applying for. The size of the company also plays a role in the preparation of the resume. Because it depends on whether you are applying as a manager in a small company or a large corporation.

For example, if you want to apply for a job in marketing, you need to highlight in your resume the skills that are relevant for this job. For example, you should specifically highlight your experience in the communications field, your social media skills or your knowledge in the PR field.

However, if you are applying for a position in accounting, you need to highlight other skills of yours. For example, what experience you have in the field of accounting programs is relevant for this job. But don’t worry, you don’t have to start your entire resume over every time. It is sufficient if you adjust only the important individual elements. The best way to do this is to take a close look at the requirements in the job posting. Then you can assess which skills you would like to emphasize.

Define the main points and emphasize them

As just mentioned, it is important to read the job description carefully and to address the requirements in the resume. But it is not always possible to address all the requirements. Therefore, we advise you to define the main focus of your studies and to mention them in your CV and in your motivation letter. It is important to present your relevant activities and experience. This means that you should go into more detail about previous jobs that could be relevant to the current position.

Example: The job posting emphasizes the importance of foreign language skills. For example, you have completed a few language courses, received certificates for them, or taken a language trip? Then you have to put exactly these things in the foreground of your application. We advise you to mention further education only if it is relevant for the new job. In general, you can simply shorten the areas in your resume that you do not need.

A personal motto in your resume is usually easier for the recruiter to remember. Yes, we know, it is not easy to find such a motto for yourself and your own resume. Therefore, we don’t like to say it, but if you decide to use a motto in your resume, you should always adapt it to the current job as well.

Another tip to personalize your resume: State your career goals. But again, the goals should match the job you’re applying for. It is important that you do not lose sight of which points are important for the respective position. Are all your transitional jobs really important for the respective position??

Writing a resume is one thing – choosing the right layout is another

No matter if you always apply for the same job, the company environment plays a big role in the choice of the layout. It makes a difference whether you apply for a position in accounting at a start-up company, at a bank or at a PR agency. This is because the HR department in a bank places more emphasis on seriousness, while in a start-up it can be a bit more creative and experimental.

When it comes to the layout of your resume, you can choose a classic one, a more creative one, or a very fancy one. If you take a look in advance at what the company does, in which industry it operates and you visit the company’s homepage, you are sure to make the right choice for the perfect layout.

You can also use the company’s homepage as a guide when choosing the layout. You can base your choice of colors on the company colors. Furthermore, you can see whether the company has kept the homepage more classic or more modern. If you pay close attention to such things, you will quickly realize how much creative leeway you have.

Mistakes you should avoid when designing the layout of your resume

Too much of a good thing is simply too much of a good thing! All the points mentioned above should not tempt you to overdo it. It is not uncommon for a resume to appear fitting and rounded at first, but after the layout has been designed, it only comes across as artificial and strained. This is not the purpose of our tips. Therefore, here is an overview of what you should avoid:

Copy the design of the company’s homepage one-to-one.

Yes, it looks good if you follow the color concept and design of the homepage. But if you copy them meticulously and down to the smallest detail, you’ve gone way over the top. It is better to use similar colors and font, but not the same one.

Elaborate layout, but no overview.

It’s also no use if you spend hours on the elaborate design of the layout, but end up lacking any overview and structure in the resume. Always make sure that all important information is visible at a glance. If you are unsure, opt for a more simple but clear structure.

Resume and cover letter do not fit together.

Yes, you read correctly: The cover letter and your resume should also match in terms of graphic design. This also means that you have to adapt your cover letter to the layout of your resume. Otherwise there will be a break in style, which often has a negative effect on the eye.

Writing a resume – a step by step guide

To make your resume writing and life even easier, we have come up with a step-by-step guide for you. With these steps you should easily and without much effort create a great resume that will bring you a little closer to your dream job.

Take enough time to read the job advertisement carefully.

In order to tailor your resume to the job, you must first understand what the company is looking for in its new team member. We recommend that you write down the important points from the job advertisement separately. This will give you a compact overview of all the key points and help you decide which ones are the most important. Next, you check to see which key points from the job description match your education and experience. These are the points you list prominently on your resume.

Arrange the information, the most relevant in the first place

At this point, you already know which things the company expects and which of these you fulfill. Now, however, it is important that you list the most relevant points first. For example, if you have additional qualifications that fit the job description, put them at the top of the list.

Besides, it is not written anywhere that the professional experience has to be in the first place in the resume. You can choose another way and divide your work experience into your own categories. For example, if you are applying for a position in the technical field, you can divide your practical experience into "work experience in the technical field" and "other work experience". This will immediately draw the attention of the personnel department to the area of technical work experience.

Identify why you are applying for the job?

In the last step, it is important to make sure that it is clear why you are applying for this position. You can ask a family member or a person from your circle of friends to read your resume and tell you why they think you are applying. If you don’t like the answer, it’s a sign that some fine-tuning is needed. After all, the personnel department should know right away why you absolutely have to have this job. You may need to make adjustments to your qualifications or work experience. However, at this point you have already mastered most of the points.

Writing a handwritten resume

Why do employers still request a handwritten resume these days?? Although one would like to think that requirements of this kind have long since gone out of fashion, there are still companies that attach importance to a handwritten resume.

Unfortunately, you can’t get away with using a handwritten-looking font from your word processing program. This type of resume is mostly required by mid-sized companies today. These companies are often still of the old-established and conservative side. A handwritten resume is also often required by government agencies or large industrial companies.

In a handwritten resume, experience and education are not listed in bullet points as they are in a tabular resume. For here the own curriculum vitae formulated, which means, however, an increased additional effort. Therefore, this resume is not required without reason. Here it can be assumed that the company works with a writing expert. Because if the handwriting is analyzed in detail, conclusions can be drawn about your personality. It is not enough to simply handwrite the tabular resume. On the contrary, the handwritten resume should be written in essay form.

Tips for creating a handwritten resume

Like any type of resume, the handwritten resume must have a structure. Arrange the information chronologically and start with your motivation for the job change and introduce yourself.

Example for the introduction:

"My name is Maria Musterfrau. I was born on 01.01.2001 in Musterstadt and now live at Mustergasse 1 in 1111 Musterort."

In the main part you go into the points of school, education, studies, internships, work experience, hobbies, weaknesses, strengths, social commitment, experience abroad and successes. Separate the individual points with paragraphs.

Example of the main part:

"Because I have always been fascinated by electronics and electrical engineering, I decided to pursue a more in-depth education in this field and took my Matura at HTL XY with a focus on electrical engineering."

Finally, write about which employer you would like to work for and why.

Conclusion – Spending more time writing a resume is worth it

As already mentioned, it is worth revising your CV for each application. Your resume should not be longer than 2 A4 pages. At the beginning of the resume, always include your full name, date and place of birth, marital status, address and contact information, i.e. phone number and e-mail address. Besides, a professional photo is also important. Also, don’t forget to mention the period, the place and the company in all activities or trainings. Four eyes are known to see more than two, so have your resume proofread before you send it out.

Download: Resume templates and samples

Tip: Just click on the image of the desired resume and you will get to the Word file.

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