Most savvy job seekers nowadays know to tailor your resume for the job you are applying for, but are you using the right resume format? There are three basic types of resumes, the chronological resume, the functional resume, and the combination resume. Each format is used to display different traits that a hiring manager might find attractive.
Chronological resumes are the most common resume format. This type of resume lists your career summary, work experience, education, and skills. These resumes highlight your job history in a reverse-chronological list. This format is great when showing a clear career path and growth in a certain industry. Because of the commonality and formatting, chronological resumes are generally very easy to read, and Application Tracking Systems (ATS) are able to find keywords. If you are applying for jobs in your current industry this is the format for you. Here is an example of what one might look like.
Functional resumes highlight skills rather than job history. Functional resumes are great when you are changing careers or industries; it shows that you have transferable skills even if you are missing relevant experience. For a functional resume, you will categorize your skills into a few buckets and list experiences that showcase those skills. After your skills section you list work history, but only include dates of employment. Functional resumes are also great when there are gaps in employment, for example, if you took time off to raise a family or travel. This is what one looks like. The challenge to this format is ATS and recruiters don’t always recognize them. The best way to overcome skepticism by the reader is to add accomplishments on the job under each skill bucket.
A combination resume is exactly what it sounds like, a resume that combines the chronological and functional formats into one cohesive resume. The Ladders say it’s the most effective type of resume, “with a summary section that outlines career highlights and key qualities and accomplishments, and a chronological section that puts those elements into context in well-supported blurbs for each job title that not only state where you worked and when but also the nature of your top achievements and details of your job responsibilities.” The combination resume is able to present your work experience and highlight skills at the same time. The drawback to this format is it can be long and repetitive if you aren’t careful. Here is what a successful combination resume looks like.
When applying for a job your resume is the first glimpse for a recruiter or hiring manager to see who you are. You want to be sure you are presenting your best possible self. If you need help updating and formatting your resume, or finding a new position, give us a call.