Variations: The Accomplishment, Linear, and Keyword Resume Formats

The accomplishment resume, linear resume, and keyword resume formats are variations of these basic resume formats: reverse chronological resume, functional resume, and hybrid resume. These newer resume formats may be just what you need to find the job you want.

Accomplishment resume format

A variation of the hybrid resume, the accomplishment resume format shows both qualifications and accomplishments. One sequencing frequently used by executives in mobile industries — such as advertising, communications, and publishing — starts with name and contact information, followed by an objective. This is followed by bullet points under headings of qualifications, skills, and accomplishments. The resume concludes with professional experience and education.

The accomplishment format is a popular favorite of job seekers returning to payroll status after a period of self-employment.

Linear resume format

A linear format flows one line at a time. It relates achievements, winning moves, and star points in short, quick spurts and is designed to attract and tease the eyes of busy readers (which means most businesspeople).

The linear resume hallmarks: very little detail, super attention to sizzle (hyped but provable achievements), not much depth, and lots and lots of white space. The linear format doesn’t use an objective but opens with a skills summary. It showcases a robust career progression and in a skilled writer’s hands can be very effective.

Keyword resume format

All formats should be heavily sprinkled with keywords that are commonly used in resume search databases. Until the turn of the century, keyword resume formats were popular. This format placed a profile of keywords (really a skills summary) at the top of a document. The keywords were front-loaded because the resume-reading software of the time could absorb only a fixed amount of information, and resume writers wanted to get their keywords in before the software hit its limit. Today the software has much improved and can pick up keywords anywhere in a resume.

When you use industry abbreviations (for example, “ROI”), spell out the term at least once in your resume. Even though many systems are smarter than they used to be, a lot of older technology products out there won’t “get it” unless you spell out “return on investment.”

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