Functional Vs Chronological Resumes
If you are looking to create an effective resume, there are two different types of resume formats you should consider: a chronological resume and a functional resume.
Your decision to choose one format over another should be dependent on your background and personal circumstances and most effectively present your qualifications.
A chronological resume format organizes your employment experience in reverse chronological order so that your most recent position is listed first. This type of format emphasizes your job titles and employers, as well as your dates of employment with each employer. Your responsibilities and accomplishments should be described in detail for each individual position.
Advantages to using a chronological resume
Chronological resumes are pretty easy to read and use a logical flow. Chronological resumes also highlight career growth. This type of resume emphasizes the details of each position and will draw attention to impressive titles and prestigious employers.
Disadvantages to using a chronological resume
The format of a chronological resume can easily undercover gaps in your employment history and shows any frequent job changes. It also draws attention to the fact that you may be relatively inexperienced in the workforce or in a particular career.
Should I choose to use a chronological resume?
Chronological resumes are best for anyone whose job history reflects career growth, those who are staying in the same field, and those whose career goals are clearly defined and in alignment with their work history. This type of resume is also suitable for candidates who have prior employment with a prestigious employer that they want to highlight.
Functional resumes allow you to organize your resume by skills as opposed to chronological order. This allows recruiters or hiring managers to make sense of their work history by matching up skills and accomplishments from different jobs that might otherwise be overlooked by an employer in a more traditional chronological formatted resume.
The goal is to highlight specific key qualifications which have been shown through a variety of work-related accomplishments. As opposed to a chronological resume, skills do not have to be in the order of accomplishment in a functional resume, but instead can be presented in order of relevance to the job for which you are applying.
Advantages to using a functional resume
Using a functional resume keeps the emphasis on key relevant skills you possess that make you a good fit for a position. It allows candidates to align accomplishments from different positions for a more powerful impact, since these skills would be difficult to sort through in a traditional resume. Functional resumes also minimize the impact of inexperience in the workforce or field, frequent job changes, and any gaps in your employment history.
Disadvantages to using a functional resume
The presence of a clear career progression can easily be lost in a functional resume, as can extended experience in your targeted industry or field. Impressive employers or job titles are de-emphasized, which is a disadvantage if these are strong selling points in your experience. Additionally, some recruiters and managers dislike functional resumes due to their perceived lack of logical flow.
Should I choose to use a functional resume?
A functional resume is a great option for job seekers who are looking to change careers or are returning to the job market after a long absence or even trying to minimize fair-to-average career growth. This format is also appropriate for new graduates, candidates with limited work experience, and job seekers whose work history is a mixed bag of unrelated experience.