Types of Resumes

What Resume Format Should You Use?

Before you start writing out your resume, first consider the type of resume to use. There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional and the combination resume. Since there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the different resume formats, choose the resume that best showcases your education and work experience.

What is the Chronological Resume Format?

Advantages of a Chronological Resume
The chronological resume is the most common type of the three resume formats. This format lists your work history in order of date, starting with your most recent employment first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order, working backwards.  Many employers prefer this type of resume because it makes it easy to skim through and get a sense of your work experience and qualifications. 

Disadvantages of a Chronological Resume
Although this is a great format to use when you have a solid work history, it may be more problematic for recent graduates or those who have little work experience. In that case, you can always put the education ahead of your work section. In addition, if there is a gap in your work experience or you switched jobs frequently, using the chronological resume makes the gap and your job changes more noticeable.

What is the Functional Resume Format?

Advantages of a Functional Resume
The functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, as opposed to your chronological work history.  It emphasizes what you know and what you have accomplished rather than where you have worked. Many people who had gaps in their employment history or changed jobs frequently tend to use this type of resume.

Disadvantages of a Functional Resume
The disadvantage is that the employer might be looking for the information that the functional resume allows you to exclude. Unlike a chronological resume, a functional resume doesn’t list out all the positions you have held in the past, the dates you held them, and the skills used or attained during the job. Many hiring managers are aware of such tricks, and thus may be skeptical of your functional resume.

What is the Combination Resume Format?

Advantages of a Combination Resume
As the name implies, a combination resume utilizes both chronological and functional styles. A combination resume generally starts with a functional resume format that lists the skills, accomplishments, and qualifications of the job applicant. Listed next is the employment history in reverse chronological order. With this type of resume, you highlight the skills and experience you have that is related to the job position in addition to providing your chronological work history.

Disadvantages of a Combination Resume
Although this resume type combines both the chronological and functional resume formats, this does not mean that the combination resume is the best one to use. One disadvantage is that combination resumes tend to be longer and more repetitive. For example, accomplishments and skills may be repeated in both the functional and chronological part of the resume.

What is the Best Resume Format? Which Resume Template Should You Use?

There is no right format that you should employ when writing your resume. The resume format that is best for one person does not mean it is best for another. In fact, it might also make sense to use a certain format for one employer and a different one for another in order to best showcase your skills and experience. However, no matter which format you use, your resume still needs to look professional and target to the company’s needs.