The best resume format depends on your specific skills and traits as a job applicant. There are several different types of resume formats to use, including the chronological, functional and hybrid chrono-functional resumes. Functional resumes were once seen as the best way to format a resume for those lacking an extensive employment history. Today, the chronological resume is by far the most popular among recruiters. This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each resume format.
Despite the name, most chronological resumes actually include information that’s listed in reverse chronological order. This means that they list your work, education and other experiences in order from most to least recent. The chronological resume includes dates of employment and focuses on the individual positions you have held. Use the chronological format if you have a standard work history and are applying for a job with a traditional employer. Most job applicants fit these requirements and benefit from choosing a resume employers are most familiar with.
Strictly functional resumes are not very popular because most hiring managers would like to know where you have worked, for how long and in what capacity. Functional resumes leave out dates of employment, which leaves things too ambiguous for most employers. Only use a functional resume if you fall into one of several categories of jobseekers. These categories include those with diverse work histories that do not align with a specific career path, college students who have little or no experience in their chosen field, mature candidates who are entering a significantly different field and those who have large gaps in their work history.
Veterans who are entering a significantly different field of work from their military occupation also benefit from the functional resume format. If your work experience has been predominately volunteer-based, such as serving for several years overseas in the Peace Corps, a functional resume is usually a more fitting way to highlight your abilities than a chronological resume.
Chrono-functional resumes are the hybrid resume format of functional and chronological resumes. This unique style emphasizes your work history and relevant dates, which many employers require before they will even consider a resume, and also highlights your other skills and attributes. Chrono-functional resumes are great for recent graduates who do not have a lot of traditional work experience but want to showcase their volunteer experience, athletic activities and extracurricular involvements in a way that translates well to the job market.
In a chrono-functional resume, you include your job title, employer information and dates of employment. The skills and achievements from each of your employment and volunteer experiences are presented upfront, as in a functional resume. While still providing the relevant details, the chrono-functional resume encourages employers to look at the big picture of what you bring to the table as a job candidate.
Choosing the right resume format will play a large role in the success of your job application. Consider which format best showcases your skills and abilities. If you are an experienced job candidate who has worked for prestigious companies, the chronological resume is your best bet. On the other hand, if you are looking for a way to transfer skills from one industry to the next while emphasizing your overall abilities, the chrono-functional resume is the best of both worlds.
You may find the tips and tricks on LiveCareer helpful when assessing the best resume format for your needs.