By: Contributor On: August 12, 2014 In: Jobs Comments: 0

Entry-Level, Mid-Career or Executive Resume? Choose wisely.

You stress over them. You fuss over them. You’re constantly picking them apart and putting them back together again, loathing them until they finally convey exactly what you want.

I’m talking about resumes, of course. And unfortunately, you’ll almost certainly have to update your resume throughout your career.

As you grow both inside and outside of the field of academia, your resume will grow, too. It will change just as your goals and experiences change.

That’s why there are three main types of resumes: entry-level resumes, mid-career resumes, and executive resumes.

Not sure which is the right resume format for you? Here’s a simple break down of each category:

Resume styles infographic

Make your resume reflect you.

Breaking resumes down into their most basic parts can still be complicated. Every resume is unique, and depending on who you are and what kind of job you’re looking for, the result will be different.

That’s why it’s important to choose the right resume format.

For instance, individuals returning to the workforce will want an entry-level resume but may want to refrain from putting educational credentials at the top. In these cases, employers may prefer to see current information that describes how those returning to the workforce have been keeping busy (and an objective statement might not hurt, either).

The look of your resume also varies by format. An entry-level resume should stay away from larger bodies of text, keeping the resume down to one clear and succinct page — you want it to be easily scanned by recruiters.

However, in an executive resume — and occasionally in a mid-career resume — you’ll more likely employ larger bodies of text describing  your job positions, your accolades and/or research before including a few supplemental bullet points that describe your specific contributions.

As your career narrows, so too will the focus of your resume.

Your resume is your first impression… so make it count.

Remember , when HR departments are looking at your resume, they’re trying to figure out where you would fit in their company — if at all. If they don’t figure it out in six seconds, you’re  gone from the pile.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to research the company or internship that you want to work for. This applies for any level of experience and any kind of job, ranging from entry-level to executive.

Use this research to tweak your resume so that your qualifications, and the qualifications that your potential employer is looking for in a successful candidate, clearly fall in line with one another. Not only will your knowledge present you in  a favorable light, but it will also help you  know if the job is even right for you at all.

All of this may sound like a lot of work, and it is. But once you’ve made up your mind about what you want in an employer —  whether it be in your first job or your fifteenth job — employers will be sure about you.

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