Resume Formats

Did you know that there are different resume formats?

Resumes come in different formats depending on your career situation. The three major types of resume formats are: functional resumes, chronological resumes, and hybrid or combination resumes.

Functional Resumes

A functional resume, also known as a “skills” resume, is used to highlight the applicant’s skills, achievements, and experience, as opposed to emphasizing specific work and education history.
Functional resumes are designed to showcase the candidate’s strengths while downplaying his or her weaknesses.

Who Uses Functional Resumes?

Functional resumes are popular among:

  • Recent college graduates
  • Applicants with unexplained gaps in employment history
  • Individuals who are transferring to a new industry or line of work
  • People with outdated or irrelevant qualifications
  • Applicants who have worked in many unrelated career fields

Who Should Use a Functional Resume?

If you lack the specific experience, education, or training required for a particular occupation, a functional resume will allow you to minimize your shortcomings while highlighting your benefits to the employer.

Creating a chronological resume for a position that you lack experience for is likely to result in your resume being deleted or discarded. The functional resume lets you create a better first impression.

Chronological Resumes

A chronological (also known as a reverse chronological) resume is the most popular resume format used today. The chronological resume emphasizes the applicant’s work history, education, and specific experience as opposed to skills and achievements. At a glance, employers can review the applicant’s work history, including the dates of employment and company names and location.

Who Should Use a Chronological Resume?

The chronological resume format is suited for applicants with a solid employment history that follows a logical career path, particularly if the applicant is applying for a position in that field or industry.

What Information Belongs on a Chronological Resume?

Most chronological resumes include:

    • Contact information
    • Employment history
    • Education information
    • Career development highlights – i.e. additional certifications, coursework, or licensure; career-specific and functional skills

Hybrid or Combination Resumes

A combination format resume, also known as a hybrid resume, combines the best elements of the functional and chronological resume formats.

Combination format resumes are growing in popularity thanks to their unrestrictive style. These resumes are easily customized for a specific position, making them a good choice for applicants of all levels of experience.

Who Would Benefit from a Combination Format Resume?

A combination format resume is perfect for an applicant who has solid work experience but is looking for a position in a new industry.

How Do Combination Resumes Differ From Other Resume Formats?

A combination resume maintains the dates and order made popular by chronological resumes, while emphasizing the job seeker’s skills and achievements. The order of elements in a combination resume is determined by the applicant, not the resume format.