Selecting the resume format that best showcases your skills, experience, and education is one way to stand out in the job search. In this post, we’ll examine the ways that resume details are presented in combination, chronological, and functional resumes.
The Chronological Resume
The chronological resume format is the one that is most preferred. A chronological resume lists your employment history by job title, starting with your most recent or present position.
The chronological CV is most effective for job searchers who:
- Have a stable career history or experience in a position that is relevant to the one being sought.
- Are looking for a job that corresponds with or logically follows your past employment.
- Are looking for a traditional job, such as a teacher, office clerk, or accountant.
Pros of the Chronological Resume Format:
- This style is preferred by recruiters and HR managers.
- Very skimmable.
- Offers a simple-to-read chronological history of your professional work history.
- Contains dates of employment, job titles, and a summary of the duties and accomplishments of each position.
Cons of the Chronological Resume Format:
- Makes career gaps extremely visible.
- Difficult to fill in for a young graduate without work experience.
- You might wish to try one of the other resume formats if you are changing careers.
The Functional Resume
The functional resume format showcases your talents without disclosing the dates connected to your work history, making it a less common choice among hiring managers and recruiters. This resume format downplays specific work titles and does away with employment dates in favor of promoting your related skills and abilities, which are listed in functional skill groups.
The functional CV works well if you:
- Have skills relevant to the position but little prior work experience in the sector.
- Have gaps in your work history, are changing careers, or recently graduated.
- Have worked a variety of jobs or have a wide range of skills.
- Want to downplay your age as a mature worker.
This format is criticized by many hiring managers because it makes it difficult for them to determine your trustworthiness, tenure, or how recently you have used particular skills. For instance, a person who produced marketing brochures 15 years ago might not be knowledgeable about the tools available today.
Pros of the Functional Resume Format:
- Emphasizes relevant skills and experience without making the break in employment obvious.
- Is most effective for job seekers with gaps in their work history, recent graduates with limited prior work experience, or people who have switched careers.
Cons of the Functional Resume Format:
- Many hiring managers dislike it.
- Functional resumes are challenging for ATS (applicant tracking systems) to interpret.
The Combination Resume
Functional and chronological resume types are combined in the combination (or hybrid) format. Not only does it detail the dates of prior employment, but it also includes functional skill groups.
This format works well for candidates who:
- May have acquired the necessary abilities from apparently unrelated fields or positions.
- Are wanting to change careers and wish to highlight transferrable skills.
- Have had a consistent employment history.
This format works well for most job seekers, and employers prefer this resume layout because it emphasizes experience and skills without hiding work history.
Pros of Combination Resume Format:
- Useful for executives and senior professionals who need to showcase more than just their employment history.
- Reduces the amount of space needed to highlight your experience and skills.
- Emphasizes experience and practical skills without hiding dates of employment.
- Is most effective for job searchers who possess the necessary skills from a variety of roles, are attempting to switch careers, or have a long employment history.
Cons of the Combination Resume Format:
- Similar to the functional resume structure, combination resumes are hard for ATS to interpret.
- This resume style is not appropriate for you if you’re a recent graduate or have little work experience.
How to Choose the Best Resume Format
We advise using a chronological resume format in 99% of circumstances.
It is the most popular and practical format:
- All hiring managers and recruiters are accustomed with this format.
- Applicant tracking systems can easily read it.
- It’s the simplest structure to use, whether you’re a senior professional or a recent graduate.
A functional or hybrid resume is only ideal if you are changing careers, and even then, it is still highly risky.
As a general guideline, choose a chronological resume when in doubt.
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