Home Free Resume Creator Free Cover Letter Free References Page Interview Thank You Letter Resignation Letter Reference Request Free Business Cards Resume Directory / Login Career Help and Tips Contact

Resume Types Functional vs. Chronological

Resume Types Functional vs. Chronological: What Format Should I Use? Learn the differences and similarities between the two most common types of resume formatting and when it is best to use them.

Resume Types

resume types functional chronological There are several types of resume formats, all of which have a specific purpose. However, two stand out as the most commonly used: Functional and Chronological resumes.

You can combine aspects of either type in order to optimize one or more sections. You may find this tactic useful to bolster a weak section or minimize a less than desirable one.

Resume Types a Guide to Help You Decide Which Format to Use


  • What is a Functional Resume?

    A functional resume is not as conventional as other formats. This style is used to emphasize any specific skills or strengths that you may have. Functional resumes are different in that they generally tend to shift focus away from dates and lengths of time that positions and education were held.

    The major structural variation is that your work experience section is added after your skills and accomplishments sections. The idea is that your skills you have aggregated validate the positions that you have held in a professional setting.
  • What is a Chronological Resume?

    A Chronological Resume is the type in which employers and readers are more accustomed to viewing. Obviously, based on the name, this format is entirely based on the specific dates, lengths of time, and order of all experiences and education you have been involved in.

    All listings are placed with most recent activity first descending to the oldest. Each is displayed as a bullet point and a brief description is provided explaining any skill or achievement that you have gained from working during that particular time.
  • When to Use a Functional Resume

    A functional resume is best used in several situations when you do not wish to disclose direct years or lengths of time. A good example of this is if you have experience, but have employment gaps. Instead of the recruiter focusing on the time you spent not working in your field, their attention will be focused on the extensive experience you have gained over the years. The same goes if you have unrelated education. Other examples of when it may be beneficial to use a functional resume are when you are attempting to gain access into a new field by transferring your job skills, lack professional experience in your field, or have too much variation in your experiences.

    One format that a functional resume utilizes is a bulleted list of your characteristics that you have gained from all of your experiences and education.

    Advantages/Disadvantages: Functional resumes are great to minimize the appearance of limited or short work history, they also give you the flexibility to arrange the section order in a different manner than what is typical. There are already templates of which you can vary the section order built into our free creator app.

    A downfall when it comes to this format is that, as mentioned before, these are unconventional and therefore employers are not as comfortable with them. Additionally, they tend to de-emphasize your training and work experience focusing more on your characteristics.
  • When to Use a Chronological Resume

    Since this is the most traditional version, most people will choose this method. This type of format is best for those who have a limited gap in experience, have relevant education, relevant experience and who have preferably held job titles for lengthier amounts of time.

    Advantages/Disadvantages: Chronological resumes are great because they appear in a traditional format that employers are used to reading. This type can also do a nice job of illuminating your commitment if you have put extended time into a job position.

    Although this format is common, there are still some issues with it. This type makes it very easy to see if there are any employment gaps, irrelevant jobs held or jobs worked for a short duration.
Overall, both formats are extremely useful for particular situations, and it depends on each person's situation to determine which one is the best fit. After reviewing the different resume types of templates and formatting, select which style is best for you in our free resume creator and let the program do the formatting for you! Click to start!
resume types functional chronological