What Are the Three Main Resume Styles?

  • Job Seekers
  • By Jobs in GP
  • Published on 09/19/2022

There are three main types of resumés: functional, chronological, and combination. Functional resumés focus on your skills and abilities, chronological resumés list your work history in reverse order, and combination resumés include both approaches. So, which one should you use? That depends on what you want to highlight about yourself! This article will highlight the differences between the three types of resumés and help you decide which one is best for you. Let's get started! 

Functional Resumé

Have lots of skills and experience? Then, the functional resumé style could be the best choice for you! Functional resumés heavily emphasize your skills and experience rather than your work history. 

Instead of having a section featuring your work history at the top of your resumé, you can swap it with a 'professional experience' or 'accomplishments' section. This is where you can list the skills you've accumulated throughout the years. 

Functional resumés are most used by those who are changing career fields or have periods of unemployment throughout their history. This resumé style is also best suited for those who are new to their career field and have limited experience. 

TIP: Highlight your skills rather than your work history. Tell the employers why you are qualified for the job.

Chronological Resumé

Chronological resumé starts by listing your previous work experience. These resumés are in reverse chronological order. This means the most recent position is listed first. Then, after your most recent job, you continue with the other jobs following the reverse chronological order. 

TIP: Employers love this resumé since it's easy to see your previous work experience and how recent this is. For this reason, it's the most common resumé for job seekers to opt for. 

Is the Chronological Resumé Best for you?

Chronological resumés are well-fitted for job seekers with a solid work background. However, if you are beginning your career or amid a career change, we recommend considering another resumé style. 

Combination Resumé

Combination resumés are also known as hybrid resumés. This resumé style combines two traditional resumé formats: functional and chronological. With this resumé format, you can place equal or split emphasis on your work experience and skills. 

You can use combination style resumés to show the employer your most relevant experience, qualifications, and skills while highlighting your work history. This is also a great way to answer questions regarding employment gaps, career changes, and other potential red flags. 

This format is advantageous in two ways:

  1. You can present a quick synopsis of your employment history and transferrable areas.
  2. You can show HR your hard, soft, and transferrable skills and qualifications. 

TIP: To ensure your combination resumé catches the employer's attention, make sure to focus on what's relevant when listing your qualifications. Use this to your advantage as it draws attention away from any career pivoting. 

Key Takeaways

  • Functional resumés focus on your skills and experience rather than employment history
  • Chronological resumés list your work history in reverse chronological order.
  • Combination resumés state your skills and qualifications first, then your work history.