Resume Format Choices

There are several resume format styles that are popular in today’s job market. These include chronological, functional, hybrid, and targeted resume format styles. There is no wrong resume format. However, some may present you better depending on your situation and the type of job you are applying for. Depending on your personal characteristics, job history, and the nature of the job you are applying for, each resume format has different strengths and weaknesses.

The chronological resume format lists your work experience beginning with the most recent and works backward. Think of it as a timeline of your work history. This resume format showcases your work experience. However, recent college graduates or those who’ve spent years at home raising children and have little to no work experience generally shouldn’t use this resume format.

The Functional Resume format, also known as the “skill format”, puts more emphasis on what you have done, rather than when you did it. The functional resume format is more useful for an applicant who does not have a long job history but is very skilled in many areas and has a lot of talent. However, because there is no timeline of work experience, this resume format tends to be perceived as less credible, especially by more conservative or traditional employers.

The hybrid resume format, as you can guess, is a combination of the chronological and functional formats. This resume format tries to include the features of both types of resumes. Generally, a hybrid resume is designed following a functional resume format, and then an abbreviated work history is included. Although the added timeline can address the question of credibility, if there have been any gaps in your employment, it is easily visible in this resume format. Always be prepared to give clear explanations for any employment gaps. This resume format is very popular because it allows you to highlight your strengths, but doesn’t appear that you are trying to hide anything.

Finally, the targeted resume format is geared towards a small niche of employers. This resume format is used most often by people who have a long work history in one industry, and who intend to stay within that industry. It employs technical terms to appeal to the employer. This resume format is useful if you have certain skills that are highly desirable in a concentrated field. If your job function scope is too large, this is not for you.