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Which Resume Type Is Right for You?

  • Publish Date: Posted over 6 years ago
  • Author: Taylor Varco

Any job seeker knows, a resume is a document used to quickly and easily let a hiring manager know what skills they have, work/education history, and any accomplishments. Seems simple, but in reality, it can be a difficult task to properly showcase to the employer how and why you are qualified. As a first step, it’s important to choose the resume type that works best for your background and experience. Depending on your career level and work expertise, certain resume formats may work better in presenting your skills and experience in a way that will give you a higher chance of interview selection.

So, what are the resume types to choose from?

Chronological Resume

This is just that. A chronological listing of everything you’ve done up to that point, starting with the most recent and working backward. At one point, this was the only resume format deemed acceptable as a global standard. Construction workers and babysitters used the same chronological format – and for that time, it was perfectly fine.

Best for people who:

- Have a steady career path in the same field for a prolonged period of time.
- Have some experience in the same field with no (or minimal) gaps in their employment history.

At some point people started to realize that all jobs are different, therefore resumes should be specific to the job—they should be more functional.

Functional Resume

Rather than simply listing what you’ve accomplished chronologically, a functional format specifically targets the job you are going after by highlighting the skills and abilities you have relating to that position. Where a chronological resume can seem impersonal, almost like a checklist of skills, a functional resume gives you the chance to inject a little of “who” you are, not just “what you do.”

Best for People who:

- Have started and stopped their careers, facing gaps in their work history.
- Are making a significant career change.
- Are targeting a very specific position.

This format works for a lot of positions, but some people find a mix of both formats to work best in their profession.

Combination Resume

The combination resume takes all the best parts of a functional resume--relevant skills, and specifically targeted information, and combines it with chronological--everything you’ve done in the past that’s gotten you to where you are now. It’s great for highlighting well-developed talents that are relevant for a specific position.

Best for People Who:

- Are looking to make a career change moving from one industry to another.
- Are considered a master in their field.