Which Is Better – Chronological or Functional Resume?

resume_chronological_vs_functional_webThe two most common types of resumes are the chronological and the functional resume. When you want to write a stellar resume, one of the most important things to consider is the format you choose. And with roughly 10 seconds to grab the attention of hiring managers looking at your resume, you need to stand out.

Both functional and chronological resumes have unique advantages and disadvantages, but they are very different. Knowing which type of resume best fits your career history and skills can help set you apart from the competition, so take a look at the distinctions below.

Chronological Resume
The most popular resume format, the chronological resume is easy to read and documents your work experience in a consecutive list. Your employment history is listed in reverse order with your most recent position on top.

This resume may fit your needs if you have a consistent employment history without gaps between jobs and the position you’re applying for matches the work experience you have. If you’ve worked many different jobs in a short time period, or if you have large gaps in your employment history, this type of resume may hurt your chances of landing the job.

To see what a traditional chronological resume looks like, click here.

Functional Resume
This resume format could also be called a skills-based resume because it lists your transferable skills and draws on the work experience that best fits the job you’re interested in. Instead of listing the dates of your previous employment, this format focuses on the work you’ve accomplished and the skills you’ve gained.

If you’ve had many different jobs, large gaps in employment, or are entering the workforce for the first time, this type of resume can benefit you by focusing on your competence and abilities. This format is a great option for recent graduates who are looking for a job but have a limited employment history.

Even better news – writing a functional resume is more likely to attract a recruiter’s attention. According to Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, “A well-crafted functional resume that focuses on the specific opening will make you more likely to get a second look from a recruiter, a few more hits on LinkedIn, and a better shot at an interview.”

To see what a functional resume looks like, click here.

Using Both Formats
If you’re torn between a chronological and functional resume, consider combining the two. This lets you use the functional features of pointing out your skills and abilities while also showing off your employment history. Since the chronological format is more familiar to potential employers, using the best of both worlds can help you stand out without being counted out.

Whether you stick with a chronological resume, go for the functional look, or create a mixture of the two, remember that your skills are one of the most important things to show. “It’s absolutely crucial to communicate skills in a resume, especially when moving between industries,” said Bob Funk. “Recruiters aren’t looking for someone with just a laundry list of past employers.”

What kind of resume do you use? Which resume type works best for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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