Types of Resumes: Chronological, Functional, Targeted, & Combination

Which One is Right for You?

The different types of resumes serve different purposes and it’s really up to you to choose which one is best for you, however I typically recommend a Chronological format for the average job seeker. A Chronological resume lists your work history, including the years, with your most recent position listed first. I can tell you for a fact that employers respond best to these types of resumes because it’s easy for them to identify where you’ve worked, what titles you’ve held, and how long you worked at each of your past employers. Most importantly, it shows that you have nothing to hide.

On the flip side, we have Functional resumes. A Functional resume highlights your skills and experiences as a whole, but doesn’t really address where or when you acquired those skills. People tend to leave out years of employment in these types of resume which to me, and many hiring managers, says they are trying to hide someone. This format is usually adopted by people who are changing careers or have big gaps in their employment history.

Another type of resume is a Targeted resume, which is essentially a resume written to target a specific job. This type of resume is tailored to speak of a person’s experiences as they directly pertain to the open position they are applying for. This may be the most effective kind of resume, however it’s fairly impractical for someone who’s on the “hunt” and applying to multiple companies.

A final option is what some people call a Combination resume. In fact, most of the resumes I write tend to fall under this category because they do not focus strictly on chronology, nor on functionality, and they target specific types of positions. They are a combination (as the name would imply) of the other rigid formats outlined previously.

Throughout my career, I have personally developed and honed my own unique style which combines the strengths of these various formats. That said, I’m obviously a fan of “outside-the-box” resumes, but that’s within reason. Remember, I’ve been doing this for a long time and my style is based on a familiarity with the staffing industry. I wouldn’t suggest you try to get too crazy with your formatting unless you know what you’re doing!


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