5 Resume Types

First and foremost, there is no single “right” way to do your resume. Every resume should be strategically designed to represent your individual circumstances and best highlight your “fit” for the position you are applying for. Some resume styles are more appropriate for specific occupations or fields than others and some industries may be more accepting of a shorter or longer resume depending on their needs, time, and resources. If you are unsure which format to use, read the explanations below and consider going straight to the source by having people in the field you are targeting, or the companies you are interested in working for, offer you feedback and input.

  • Chronological: This common format focuses on work experience and education and places less emphasis on the skills section of the resume. Experience is featured on the first page of the resume, listing it in reverse chronological order (most recent first). This format is best used by job seekers who have significant work experience and education related to the job. It lets the reader see career stability, career progression, and includes details about each job held.
  • Functional: This format is sometimes recommended to those with minimal experience, career-changers who are transitioning from one area of expertise to another, and individuals with gaps in their work history. This format focuses more on skills and less on experience. Keep in mind that this format may make it difficult for employers to see where your experience has been gained.
  • Combination: This format combines the skills and experience section from a functional format with the details of a work experience section found in a chronological format. The combination format allows students and new graduates to highlight skills gained through their education as well as emphasize their practical experience obtained from field placements, co-op, applied research, and team projects.

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