• 3-minute read
  • 16th March 2020

Types of Resume: Chronological, Functional and Combination

When writing a resume or CV, you need to pick a format. And the most common types are chronological, functional, and combination resumes:

  • Chronological resumes and CVs, where you set out your work experience in reverse chronological order (i.e. starting with your most recent job).
  • Functional resumes and CVs, which foreground your skills and expertise.
  • Combination resumes and CVs, which combine elements of both formats.

The key is deciding which will work best for you! Let’s look at your options.

What Is a Chronological Resume or CV?

A chronological resume or CV is one in which you list your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent role and working backwards. This type of resume would usually include the following:

  • Your name and contact details.
  • A short personal statement or profile.
  • A breakdown of your career so far, including dates of employment, responsibilities, and achievements for each role.
  • Your educational achievements and other qualifications.
  • Interests, skills, and any other relevant information.

Alternatively, if you are a student or a recent graduate without a long employment history, you can put your educational experience first, followed by any relevant experience from work, volunteering, or other activities.

A chronological resume is great for showing off your career progress. It is thus ideal if you have a consistent career history in one area, especially if you’re applying for a new role in the same industry as you currently work in.

What Is a Functional Resume or CV?

A functional resume or CV – otherwise known as a skills-based resume – places most emphasis on your skills and expertise. This type of resume would typically include the following information:

  • Your name and contact details.
  • A short personal statement or profile.
  • A list of key skills in decreasing order of importance for the role. Make sure to include examples of how you’ve used these skills in your career.
  • Your previous roles and employers, but without going into details of duties.
  • Your educational achievements and other qualifications.
  • Interests, hobbies, and any other relevant information.

This resume format is excellent if you want to focus on transferable skills. This might be because you have a gap in your career history or because you’re applying for a role in a new industry where you do not have much experience.

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The Combination Resume (i.e. A Little Bit of Both)

Finally, if neither of the above seem right, you could try combining both!

A combination resume or CV is one that uses elements of both chronological and functional formats. This usually means having a list of skills or core competencies, followed by a detailed career breakdown.

Alternatively, you can provide a reverse chronological list of roles plus an expanded list of the skills involved. The best approach to use depends on what you want to emphasise most in your resume.

A combination resume is ideal if you want to show off your career progress while also providing an in-depth list of your skills, qualifications, and achievements. But these resumes can become very long, so try to be concise.

Resume and CV Proofreading

Whichever format you choose, don’t forget to have your resumes and CVs proofread! This will make sure your writing is error free, giving you a better chance of impressing prospective employers.

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