Functional or Chronological?
There are three basic
types of résumés--reverse chronological, functional, and a combination
of the two.
A reverse-chronological résumé
arranges your experience and education in chronological order with the
most recent dates first. One of the most frequent questions I am asked
as a résumé writer is, "Do I have to list all of my jobs? It
makes me look so old!" My answer is always, "No, you don't
have to list every single position you have ever held. The trick is to
pick and choose the ones that are relevant to your objective." You
can also eliminate low-level positions and positions that duplicate
later experience. Relevant is the keyword here!
More than half of the résumés
on this site are reverse-chronological, but that doesn't mean a
different type of résumé might not fit your needs better. This section
will show you what is possible with a functional résumé in case that
style better fits your needs.
A functional résumé
organizes your work experience by the functions you performed regardless
of date. The functional résumé highlights your skills and potential
instead of your work history. It allows you to play down gaps in your
experience and is especially good for those people entering the job
market for the first time. If you are reentering the job market, for
example, after raising children, this type of résumé also allows you
to list volunteer experience and community or school activities.
List your functional
paragraphs in their order of importance, with the items listed first
that will help you get the particular job you are targeting. Refer to
the 12-step résumé writing process for ideas
on how to rearrange your résumé sentences to better capture your
You should know that there
are very rare times when I would recommend a purely functional résumé,
however. In the 1980s, true functional résumés developed a bad
reputation because applicants were not listing where they gained their
experience. It made recruiters suspicious that the applicant was trying
to hide something, and they normally were. A combination
functional/chronological résumé will avoid this problem. Always list a
brief synopsis of your actual work experience at the bottom of your
functional résumé with your title, employer, and the dates worked.
Content provided by ResumeEdge.com's Certified
Professional Resume Writers. Click here for ResumeEdge.com,
give your resume an edge!