Simply put, your resume is a sales tool. Its purpose is to move your application from one of many, to one of a select few... and an interview.

Your resume should outline your skills and experiences clearly and concisely, so that an employer can assess your qualifications with little more than a glance. The waste baskets of many an employer are littered with resumes that tried to say too much, and in the end said too little.

To move your application to the next stage, your resume must plainly address the requirements of the position in question. Links & PublicationsWithout doubt, the most effective resumes are those that are focused on the job title and its duties. This requires some general knowledge of the position and a willingness to spend the extra time tailoring your resume accordingly, but inarguably, it is time well invested.

Teddie Storey, Director of the Delaware County Career Centers, is an advocate of having several resumes. "The resume that you send to a landscaping company," she suggests, "will be completely different from the one you send to a manufacturing firm. You still have the same skills, but it's all about selling yourself."

To effectively tailor your resume, you must do more than list the jobs you've held in the past. SamplesIn addition, you should emphasize your skills, duties and accomplishments that are relevant to the position.

Generally, resumes fall into one of four categories:


Organized by job title with the most recent position listed first. This is the best bet for job seekers with solid experience and work history. From an employer's perspective, it is easily skimmed and appears more "fact-based."

Functional a/k/a Skills-based

Employment history is rearranged into sections that focus on skills and accomplishments. Unless clearly formatted, this style can be difficult and even confusing for employers. Take care to identify position and company within the context of the skill being highlighted. For those with a "mixed-bag" of work experiences, this resume type provides an opportunity to identify the unifying threads and skills that match the requirements of the position. This resume is an excellent option for recent graduates or those just entering the workforce.

Curriculum Vitae

A much longer resume favored by educators and scientists. It lists education, awards, publications, special projects and work history in a detailed and lengthy presentation of as many as two dozen pages.


Used by electronic resume banks and formatted for scan and search by their optical scanning systems. This resume can be either chronological or functional. (See "Posting Your Resume" for more details on preparing an e-resume.)

Your Resume