Hiring managers prefer a chronological resumé

When it comes to crafting the perfect resumé, a “top-down” approach is still employers’ favourite, a recent Accountemps survey confirms.

Six out of 10 (61%) hiring managers interviewed said they prefer a chronological resume with the most recent work history first over those organized by job function and skills.

“Most employers prefer a chronological resume, where a job seeker’s career progression is outlined in a clear and easy-to-follow format,” says Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps’ Canadian operations. “While professionals who are in a transition or have lengthy gaps in employment may favour functional resumes, they should keep in mind that most employers still would rather see the work history presented in a chronological format and any career challenges addressed directly.”

Accountemps offers advice for avoiding the following common resume hurdles:

Employment gaps

Offer a brief explanation of employment gaps in your cover letter. In this economic environment, hiring managers understand people could be out of work through no fault of their own.

Limited work history

Bolster your work experience through internships, part-time work or temporary assignments obtained through a reputable staffing firm. Include relevant volunteer activities in the work experience section of your resume.

Appearing overqualified

Provide a summary of pertinent skills and strengths at the top of your resume, in addition to a chronological listing of your work experience. Emphasize and quantify how you’ve contributed to bottom-line success in previous jobs and how that experience would apply to a prospective employer’s needs.