• Shelley Kyle, Talent Acquisition Specialist

The 3 Fundamental Resume Format Types


Before deciding on the overall format of your resume, it's important to take into consideration the goal of your new resume and the job for which you're applying. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are often sorting through handfuls or hundreds of resumes for each open position their organization has available, so the need for job seekers to deliver a well-organized and stage-appropriate formatting is essential.


Your goal as a job seeker should be to deliver the right information without excess sections, strenuous verbiage, or a clutter of unnecessary information. Highlighting a comprehensive and cohesive picture of your qualifications and career should be done in a clear, simple, and direct way. In doing so, the first decision to make with any resume is determining the structure. Below are the three most common types of resumes: Chronological, Functional, and Combined.




Chronological Resume – Main Focus: Work Experience


This format is great for:

  • Job seekers applying for roles within the same or a similar industry

  • Job seekers with lots of experience in the field for which they're applying

  • Students and entry-level, or if there is an industry change or gaps in employment

A Chronological Resume format usually includes, in this order:

  • Contact Information

  • Objective Statement

  • Professional Experience

  • Skills

  • Education


The Chronological Resume focuses most on experience and demonstrating that there is a lot of it relative to the role being applied for. The outline of this resume consists of highlighting current and past jobs, and their descriptions in the body content, with education history listed towards the bottom. This type of resume is virtually a fit for everyone and the most common resume type, but will also require some tweaking to make noticeable among others. Including a Skills section is an area where you can highlight what else you have to bring to the table other than just job history. This type of resume might not be the best fit for a complicated work history or gaps in employment.


Example:


Functional Resume – Main Focus: Skills


This format is great for:

  • Job seekers looking for creative roles where having a portfolio matters

  • Job seekers who want their specific talents to be highlighted

  • Candidates who don’t want to seem overqualified based on work history


A Functional Resume format usually includes, in this order:

  • Contact Information

  • Qualifications

  • Skills

  • Work Experience

  • Additionally, a portfolio can be added


The Functional Resume focuses most on skill set and is typically best for roles with a creative backbone, such as marketing or design. The outline of this resume consists of notable developmental skills and awards, or leadership descriptions, in the body content, with work experience listed towards the bottom. This type of resume is a great option to use when including a portfolio, or even as basic outline to demonstrate capabilities without revealing being overqualified for a role. The downside to this resume type is that, because it conceals flaws in work history, it may appear to lack depth or tell employers that there is something missing.


Example:


Combined Resume - Main Focus: Work Experience and Skills


This format is great for:

  • Job seekers demonstrating their accomplishments, skills and experience

  • Job seekers who want to show hiring managers what kind of employee they are

  • Candidates who may have a longer resume and want to eliminate additional sections


A Combined Resume format usually includes, in this order:

  • Contact Information

  • Objective Statement

  • Qualifications

  • Skills

  • Experience

  • Education

The Combined Resume is a resume type that takes the main focus of the two above resume types and combines them together. First listing an objective statement of the interest of seeking a new role, with qualifications and work experience to follow. With this resume style, upward mobility is emphasized by demonstrating a strong employment record. It allows flexibility that can be altered for a variety of positions that are being applied for. The disadvantage to this resume style is that work history often flows onto the next page, and many employers may not read into experience that far.

Example:




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