The three most common resume types are the chronological resume, the functional resume and the combination resume.
The type you chose is highly related to your work experience, education and the field you’re applying for – If you present your assets in the right format, the reader will be able to identify your qualities quickly.
Here are some guidelines to help you decide on the right format.
Three resume formats are popular these days:
1. Chronological Resume
A chronological resume is a resume which lists all the jobs that the professional has held in an established time-frame. A chronological resume is best for people who have advanced in their professional life by working in different companies. This type of resume can basically be considered as a time line of a person’s progress from one job position to a superior one. The chronological resume is best used to show the progress that a person has made either in a short span of time or in a few or several companies.
2. Functional Resume
A functional resume is basically used by a person who has too much experience or too little, or a singular responsibility. A functional resume is basically used by a person who has held a number of job-positions in a single or very few companies. This resume also helps you highlight your achievements in a more comprehensible manner if you have worked in several companies in a similar position.
3. Combination Resumes
A combination resume is actually a good combination of the chronological resume and the functional resume. The combination resume makes a note of your work history, as well as giving special attention to your qualities and qualifications on a professional level.
Depending on your current professional situation, you’d have to decide which type of resume format to select, for example:
- If you have just started out, do not have much experience and are aiming for entry level jobs, the functional resume would suit your needs.
- If you have many years of experience, filled different positions and roles within different companies and would want to show a career up-curve, the chronological resume may fit your needs.
- If you haven’t changed too many jobs but filled many roles within a certain company, the functional resume or combination resume would be perfect for you.
- If you’re a high level executive or a professional and would want to highlight your achievements before listing your previous jobs, the functional resume is the resume type you’d probably choose.
Here is an example (Note the differences in the order of the sections..):
Click the image to enlarge
Select the Resume Format
At this point you have the basic information regarding the format that may suit your needs.
What are your best assets – Your education, your achievements, your skills or your employment history?
Make sure that you have a format & design that allow readers to skim through all the important parts of your resume immediately, so that they can make an immediate decision about your qualification for the position.
The best format/design for a resume is the one which tells the recruiter all about the proposed employee without reading much of the resume.
The resume design
Good design means neat, with lots of white space and a font that’s easy to read.
2 fonts in a single resume are OK. You may use one font for your headings, and the second for your actual content.
Fonts are categorized into 2 main: Serif fonts and Sans-serif fonts. Recommended fonts are:
- Serif fonts (Times New Roman) for the content.
- Contrasted Sans serif (Ariel) for the headings.
Be sure that your resume is easy-to-read on computers or in hard copy format.
Therefore, deciding which format to use is the first major decision to be made when creating your resume.