Three Types of Resumes

There are three types of resume most commonly described. They are:


The Chronological Resume is the most traditional method of summarizing your employment information and it is the one that this guide advocates. Its key feature is the fact that it arranges your work experience chronologically and usually elaborates on skills and accomplishments within the body copy of the Work Experience section. Its weakness is the fact that it can’t help you hide a recent position you’d rather forget you ever accepted.

Points to remember with a Chronological Resume are:

  • You should ideally relate your Work History to your current targeted position
  • You should have a stable Work History with few gaps and nothing to be ashamed about
  • Your Work History should demonstrate a logical progression toward your current objective


The Functional Resume differs from the Chronological Resume in the way it presents information. Unlike a Chronological Resume which leaves you vulnerable to gaps in your work history, the Functional Resume can help you hide a past position that you’d rather forget. The Functional Resume’s key feature is the fact that it highlights your skills and achievements without referring those skills to any particular past position. For this reason, the Functional Resume is a favorite with people who have something to hide. This is a very good reason for not using the format if your past Work Experience is nothing to be ashamed of as recruiters/interviewers will be aware of the benefits of a Functional Resume as well.

Points to remember about a Functional Resume are:

  • You should use it if your Work History is repetitive and your past positions lack variety
  • You should use it if your Work History is composed of differing kinds of position types that do not form a cohesive whole
  • You might want to use it if you are dramatically changing careers. This will allow you to emphasize your transferable skills rather than your growth in a certain kind of industry or job
  • You should use this type of resume if your skills have been learned through schooling rather than work experience.
  • You should use this type of resume if you are switching career tracks or returning to the workforce after a hiatus.

COMBINATION RESUME (Transition Resume)

Combines the best features of both of the former (though that does not necessarily make it better) by allowing applicants to highlight their skills and accomplishments in one section and their Work History in another (minus descriptive details). My personal dislike for this form stems from the fact that it is harder to picture exactly how the person’s skills fit with their experience. It requires the employer to be a detective to some extent, and with a mass of resumes on their desk, chances are they’ll give up before they have a positive picture of your abilities.

Points to remember about using a Combination Resume are:

  • It can help you overcome some of the same difficulties a Functional resume can, while maintaining the comfortable structure of a Chronological Resume. However, it tends to abstract skills from experience which can call your expertise into question