Chronological Resume, Functional Resume or Hybrid? Which one?

resume typesWhen deciding which format to use for your resume, here is some vital information about each that can help as you move forward.

Chronological – This is the most common type of resume and is the one employers are most familiar seeing. With this format, the professional history follows a reverse chronological flow, starting with your most current or recent experience.

A chronological resume is most often used as it easily indicates which positions you’ve held, where, and for how long. This format is a great way to show the steady growth and/or advancements in your career and is the best type of resume if you have had a constant career path and direction.

This is not the resume to use if you have large employment gaps, are changing careers, or have a history of very varied and diverse experience. The chronological resume usually starts with a short profile summary, a list of competencies, your professional experience in reverse chronological order, then education, professional associations, volunteer work, etc.

Functional – This type of resume focuses on skills or functions rather than your chronological experience. Use this resume style if you have a very diverse skill set from diverse industries and positions, have had many different career paths, if you are looking to change careers, or have large employment gaps. This type of resume highlights your specific strengths and expertise relevant to the position of interest and focuses less on your chronological work history.

It is still important to list your work history. However, listing your title, employer, and location is sufficient. No additional information is needed under each position unless you see fit to add this information. For those who have had a very diverse career, it is possible to list the positions that are relevant together under a titled heading such as “Relevant Experience” and the others in a separate section listed as “Other Experience”.

Hybrid – Also called a combination resume, this resume is a combination of the Functional and the Chronological resume. This type of resume most times includes a “Highlights” section that focuses on your strengths and expertise and, additionally, a chronological work history with details of your role and achievements in each role. By blending the strengths of the two main types of resumes, your resume clearly shows the value proposition you bring to the position with the Highlights or Strengths and your upward mobility throughout your career.

Thank you to our resume expert, Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips.

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