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What are the Different Types of Resume Formats?

By Recruiting Specialist
America’s Job Exchange
Types of Resume Formats

Resumes are like advertisements. As such, it’s important to decide which type of "ad" – in this case, format – you will use before you begin the resume writing process. Depending on the type of job you are applying to, different resume formats may apply. The four standard types of resumes include 1) chronological, 2) functional, 3) combination, or 4) targeted. Below are definitions of each type and recommendations on which format works best. Once you have developed your resume, post it online at America’s Job Exchange and begin your job search today.

Chronological:

  • What is it - Chronological resumes are the most commonly used format. They list work history in chronological order, starting with your most recent job down to your earliest. This resume is preferred by most employers because it provides a quick snapshot of work history, with most recent positions up front.
  • Who should use - If you have a solid work history, your experience is aligned with the job you are applying to, and you have no lapses between employment, use this format

Functional Resume:

  • What is it - Unlike chronological resumes, functional resumes focus on your skills and experience first. This type of resume de-emphasizes the dates in which you have worked. Employment history is secondary, and is listed under the details of your skills.
  • Who should use - If you have lapses in employment, are in the middle of a career transition, are a recent college grad with limited work experience, or have a diverse background with no clear career path, this is the most effective type of resume.

Combination Resume:

  • What is it - Combination resumes let you detail both your skills and experience, while also backing this up with a chronological listing of work history. Flexible in nature, the combination resume lets you tailor to the prospective job opening and tell hiring managers a story.
  • Who should use - Use this resume if you want to detail work experience to show hiring managers the type of employee you are.

Targeted Resume:

  • What is it - Targeted resumes are customized in detail to the prospective job you are seeking. Everything from your objective, your qualifications to educational experience mirrors the job requirements.
  • Who should use - These resumes are the most time-consuming, but can generate the best results as the qualifications and experience you outline mirror the prospective job opening closely. Be careful, however When you develop a targeted resume you need to be as accurate as possible and not embellish career highlights simply to mirror the job.

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