The 3 Main Types of Resumes

As a modern job-seeker, you obviously approach any new application with a sense of hopefulness.  You do, after all, possess characteristics and skills that are different, better, and more impressive than your fellow candidates.  

Why then would you present a resume that’s exactly like the other 10 or 100 that have been submitted for the open position?  Resume contents and formats should be catered to the both to the candidate and the industry of the job being applied for. While most of us know about the traditional chronological resume format, this may not be the best bet to help you stand out.  Here we delve into the three main types of resumes and the scenarios where they should be utilized.

Chronological Resume

The chronological format is the bread and butter of candidates for most modern job openings.  In this format, your job experience, education, and extra-curricular activities are all listed in descending order with the most recent items appearing at the top of the page.  

Start this type of resume off with your most recent work position.  Each job title should be followed up with a description of your duties, accomplishments, and skills in the particular position.  Follow your work experience up with an education section in a similar chronological format.

A chronological resume is often the preferred format for most employers simply because it is the most common and, therefore, the most recognizable.  This format also allows the hiring manager to see at a glance what recent experience you may have and what accomplishments may be the most relevant in your recent past.

Head over here for a sample chronological resume.

Functional Resume

Functional resumes are often, well, more functional in their description of your relevant skills and experience.  Instead of listing your positions in year and date order, functional resumes instead highlight several key areas of experience, responsibilities, and accomplishments.  Plenty of description and context follow each of the relevant sections to highlight and support your strengths.

Functional resumes come in handy if you’re a young graduate with not much in the way of relevant job experience.  When crafting a functional resume, candidates should pay careful attention to the job listing. Review the position description for desired skills or basic requirements and cater your resume to these ends.  The goal of the functional resume is to target the reviewer with the exact reasons why you would make the best hire for the given position.

If you’re looking for a relevant example, click through for a sample functional resume.

Combination Resume

A combination resume is self-explanatory.  This resume type attempts to cover the best of both the functional and chronological worlds by grouping relevant skills into a chronological format from most recent to historic job positions.  Group your skills and accomplishments into yearly format at the top of your resume. Your job history will follow with a bare-bones list of titles held by year and month to provide context and work history.

Remember that in the work experience section you won’t need to provide additional details or context since this information was previously conveyed in the accomplishments and skills section above.  This can often be a desirable format for a listing with more technical requirements. If your job asks for specific certifications, degrees or education, consider the combination resume.

If you need examples, we’ve located a great sample combination resume for your perusal.

Whichever resume format you choose, stay true to your particular personality and work experience for best results.  Compile you various positions and skills and compare these items to the given job listing. While the chronological format is often the default and most recognizable, there are other options available to help sell your candidacy to a given position.  Choose the resume format that works best for your specific situation for the greatest chance at job-seeking success.

Article Updated from the Original on April 10, 2018