Types of Professional Resumes and How to Make the Ideal Selection

Professional Resume

The quintessential arbiter of employment opportunities – the resume – comes in three distinct formats. For ‘resume novices,’ all resumes may appear similar, but there are jarring disparities in the outlook, content, and chronology of the three resume types; more importantly, they serve different functions and should be co-opted strategically so that candidates can put their best foot forward. 

Three Types of Resumes: A Brief Overview

Chronological Resume 

It is a resume type that heavily concentrates on your work history. The underlying premise of a chronological resume is that you enlist your work history in order of when you held each position, with your most recent position being listed at the top. The chronological resume is the most typically used resume and is the standard for most industries. It is ideal for people who have been engaged in professional ventures for more extended periods. Likewise, people with no significant gaps between previous jobs can also consider the chronological resume. Some of its veritable merits are –

  • The recruiter quickly sees what you have worked on in the past and can quickly scan through your progress
  • A chronological resume looks neat and organized without you even trying
  • It is easily editable as any kind of addition or subtraction can be done without much hassle.

Functional Resume 

It is a resume format that is designed to focus on relevant professional skills as opposed to chronological work history. The rudimentary premise of a functional resume is its ‘relevant skills’ section that takes up a massive chunk of the entire resume itself. It is noteworthy to mention that the ‘relevant skills’ section of a functional resume categorizes your experiences under the ambit of ‘skill categories’ instead of job titles. Under each category, candidates can use bullet points to highlight their accomplishments, competencies, and abilities. A functional resume emphasizes skill areas and de-emphasizes work history and dates, and can begin with a professional resume summary. Thus, it is ideal for individuals without a strong work history or current work experience. Moreover, people who want to change careers into a new industry can also use a functional resume. 

Combination Resume

It is an amalgamation of the most valuable elements of the chronological and functional resume formats. The key takeaway of a combination resume is that it concentrates on a candidate’s skills (as in the case with functional resume formats) and provides ample space to lay down their work history in chronological order. A combination resume is ideal for people with transferable skills that work across industries. Likewise, individuals with technical skills developed over a long and specialized career can also use combination resumes. Some of the advantages of a combination resume format are – 

  • It captures the recruiter’s attention immediately with the list of skills and achievements.
  • The combination resume format helps candidates elaborate on their chronological work history through the extended ‘relevant skills’ section and further sell themselves to their recruiter.
  • The flexibility of the combination resumes allows you to restructure the layout or change the resume sequence without much hassle.  

In conclusion, choosing the correct resume format can be a game-changer, and job seekers should utilize these format variations to make their resume and pitch even more compelling. 


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