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

The Accountemps survey and conducted by an independent research firm.

Senior executives were asked, “Do you prefer to receive a resumé written in a chronological format that is organized by dates of employment, or one in a functional format that is organized by skills?”

Their responses:

• Chronological 75 per cent

• Functional 17 per cent

• No preference eight per cent

“Chronological resumés allow job seekers to present their career progression to prospective employers in a straightforward, easy-to-follow way,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “Functional resumés, which emphasize skill sets rather than jobs held, are popular among professionals in career transition or who have had lengthy gaps in employment, but they are not a favorite of employers. It is often better to address a career challenge directly than try to write around it.”

Some advice:

• Employment gaps: Offer a brief explanation for any gaps in your cover letter.

• Limited work history: Bolster your work experience through internships, part-time work or temporary assignments obtained through a reputable staffing firm.

• Appearing overqualified: Provide a summary of pertinent skills and strengths at the top of your resumé, in addition to a chronological listing of your work experience.

• Desire for a career change: Highlight your accomplishments and skills that would best transfer to the new industry.

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