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3 Common Resumes: Chronological, Functional and Combination

Mar 8, 2021 5:00:00 AM
By The TPD Team

in Job Seeker, Job Search Quick Tips

JOB SEARCH QUICK TIP

 

A great resume is a must if you’re looking to land your next dream job. And when it comes to drafting that resume, you have options for how to best highlight your professional experience and skills to prospective employers. Below, we detail three common resume types – chronological, functional and combination – and talk about what career situations they are best suited for.

 

Chronological Resume

When you think of a resume, you’re likely thinking of a chronological resume. As the name implies, this type of resume includes your work experience listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your last (or current) position. Because it puts your experience up front – including past employers, positions, responsibilities and accomplishments – the chronological resume format is great for showcasing a solid work history and telling the story of your career development.

 

Chronological resumes generally include the following sections in this order:

 

This type of resume is easy for employers to quickly navigate, and it’s applicant tracking system-friendly. However, it may not be the best choice for people who are new to the job market and don’t have a robust work history, people with large gaps in their professional history and people who are changing careers. 

 

Functional Resume

While a chronological resume leads with your work history, a functional resume pushes your skills to the forefront (which is why it’s also known as a skills-based resume). If you fall into one of the categories mentioned above – limited professional experience, inconsistent work history, career transition – this might be the resume format for you. The body of a functional resume consists of a list of skills. Under each skill, you should include a few bullet points that add context to the skill – things like how you’ve applied it in past roles or projects, measurable results that highlight your competency and any certifications or coursework specific to the skill.

 

Functional resumes generally include the following sections in this order:

  • Header with name and contact information
  • Resume summary statement
  • Professional skills (highlight skills most relevant to the position you’re pursuing)
  • Shortened work history (include only employer name, job title and dates of employment)
  • Education
  • Volunteer experience (if relevant)

Combination Resume

A combination resume – also known as a hybrid resume – is a blend of the two formats discussed above. Typically, it leads the expanded skills section of a functional resume followed by the detailed professional experience section of a chronological resume. Similar to a functional resume, a combination resume may work well for people new to the job market, people with career gaps and people who are changing careers. The primary difference between a functional resume and a combination resume is that the latter includes more details – typically in the form of bullet points – about your work history. Because a combination resume includes detailed skills and work history sections, you may consider shortening or excluding other sections, such as volunteer experience, to ensure that your resume does not get too lengthy.

 

Combination resumes generally include the following sections in this order:

  • Header with name and contact information.
  • Resume summary statement
  • Professional skills (highlight skills most relevant to the position you’re pursuing)
  • Work history (include a few bullets highlighting duties and accomplishments for each role)
  • Education
  • Volunteer experience (if relevant)

(Check out more Job Search Quick Tips here.)

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