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Different Types of Resumes (With Examples)

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

chronological resume and functional resume

Chronological Resume

Functional resume, combination resume, infographic resume, resume with profile/summary, targeted resume, nontraditional resume, mini-resume.

Adrian Mangel / The Balance

There are several basic types of resumes you can use to apply for job openings. You can choose to write a chronological, functional, combination, or a targeted resume. Each resume type is used for different purposes. Therefore, when deciding which type of resume to use, you have to think about your current employment circumstances.

Here's an overview of each type of resume, advice on when to use which one, and examples.

A chronological resume starts by listing your  work history , with the most recent position listed first. Below your most recent job, you list your other jobs in reverse chronological order.

Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it's easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them. This is the most common resume type.

This type of resume works well for job seekers with a strong, solid work history. If you are starting your career, or if you are changing career fields, you might consider a different resume type.​

Example: Chronological Resume

A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your  chronological work history . Instead of having a “work history” section at the top of your resume, you might have a “professional experience” or “accomplishments” section that lists various skills you have developed over the years.

A functional resume also sometimes includes a resume summary or headline at the top, which details a person’s skills and achievements. A functional resume might not include one’s employment history  at all or might have a concise list of work history at the bottom of the resume.

Functional resumes are used most often by people who are  changing careers  or who have gaps in their employment history. It is also useful for people who are new to the workforce, have limited work experience, or who have a gap in their employment .

By highlighting skills rather than work history, you can emphasize how you are qualified for the job.​

Example: Functional Resume

A combination resume is a mix between a chronological resume and a functional resume. At the top of the resume is a list of one’s skills and qualifications. Below this is one’s chronological work history. However, the work history is not the focus of the resume and typically does not take up much space on the resume.

With this type of resume, you can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for, as well as provide your chronological work history. After all, most employers want to see your chronological work history, even if that history is not very extensive.

This kind of resume helps you highlight what makes you the best fit for the job, while still giving the employer all the information he or she wants.​

Example: Combination Resume

Infographic resumes include graphic design elements in addition to or instead of text. A traditional resume uses text to list a candidate's work experience, education, and skills, while an infographic resume uses layout, color, design, formatting, icons, and font styling to organize content.​

Example: Infographic Resume

A Robert Half survey reports that 78% of employers prefer traditional resumes to infographics, even for creative roles.

A resume with a profile section  includes a concise summary of an applicant’s skills, experiences, and goals as they relate to a  specific job . This summary (typically no more than a couple of sentences long) helps candidates “sell” themselves to the company to which they are applying.

Adding a profile is helpful for almost any applicant. If you have extensive experience, a profile can concisely explain that experience to the hiring manager right away. If you have limited work experience, a profile can help you highlight the skills that you do have.

Example: Resume With a Profile

You can also add a headline, which is a brief phrase that summarizes why you are an ideal candidate for the job, to your resume.

A targeted resume is a resume that is customized to specifically highlight the experience and skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It takes more work to write a targeted resume than to click to apply with your existing resume. However, it's well worth the effort, especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.

Example: Targeted Resume

Try to write a targeted resume for every job. Employers can easily see when you submit a generic resume, rather than thinking about why you are qualified for that specific job.

A nontraditional resume is a unique version of your resume that may include photos, graphics, images, graphs, and other visuals. It might be an online resume, or a physical resume with infographics, as mentioned above. It could also be a video or a resume on a social networking website.

Nontraditional resumes are ideal for people in creative fields, who want to demonstrate their ability to create visually engaging designs or to create web pages. It can be a good way for a job candidate to stand out from the crowd in professions like design, web design, journalism, and more.

A  mini-resume  contains a  brief summary  of your career highlights and qualifications. It only contains the information that relates to the position you are applying for or the industry you would like to work in.

In most cases, your traditional resume will be appropriate. A mini-resume, however, can be useful at job fairs or career networking events when you're meeting with many people and want to leave them with something more than just a business card. You can also use a mini-resume when you're networking and would like your contact to pass on your information to a hiring manager or recruiter. 

Example: Mini-Resume

Key Takeaways

CareerOneStop. " Select the Best Format ." Accessed Feb. 9, 2022.

Robert Half. " Best Resume Format ." Accessed Feb. 9, 2022.

CareerOneStop. " Headline and Summary Sample ." Accessed Feb. 9, 2022.

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chronological resume and functional resume

Do you know the differences between a functional and chronological resume? We have the details to help you know which format is best for you!

Functional vs. Chronological Resume: Differences & Similarities

First job, next job, summer job, temp job. It doesn’t matter what kind of job you’re applying for. You’re going to need a resume .

While most people do not relish writing one (professional resume writers excluded), as a rule of thumb, resumes are relatively easy to create. Simply sum up your work history, right?

Well, that’s not exactly the case . A resume is more than an accounting of your jobs.

And, for those who have a gap in their employment history , you may not want to advertise that gap during the application stage. After all, you’re more than a series of jobs, and you want to demonstrate that to the employer. At the same time, you don’t want to be dishonest about your work history.

What are job seekers supposed to do?

Functional vs. Chronological Resume

At its core, a resume is a summary of your employment history, professional skills , and relevant experience.

But a resume is more than a summary of you. A resume helps recruiters size you up. It’s an easy and concise way for them to see at a glance if you’ve got what they want in a candidate. An interview will help determine if you’re the right fit for a job, but a well-written resume helps get you an interview .

Here’s a quick description of a standard, chronological resume and a functional resume. Learn what each entails, and then we’ll discuss how to determine which type of resume you should use.

Chronological Resumes

When you use a chronological resume , you start at the top, then work your way down and backward . After your name, contact information, and optional summary, you list your work history, starting with your current or most recent job. For each job, you list where you worked, the dates you worked, your title, and all of your job duties. Working your way backward, you cover your employment history until you’re out of jobs (or space).

Functional Resumes

The key highlight of a functional resume vs chronological resume is that functional resumes are skills-based . Instead of starting with your current job and moving backward, a functional resume focuses on your skills and abilities , instead of your job history.

Generally, a functional resume starts with your name and then a summary of your achievements and accomplishments, similar to the summary statement on any resume.

After the general summary is the “skills” section. You create broad skills categories , then list specific examples of those skills. For example, you might have a “Sales” skill category with bullet points like, “Achieved salesperson of the month for nine straight months; Increased new sales to new clients by 15% year over year,” and so on.

At the bottom is your work history. However, unlike the chronological resume, on a functional resume, you only list the name of the company, your title, and your dates of employment. You do not list your job duties.

Note: A functional resume is not a CV. A CV (curriculum vitae) is similar to a functional resume in that the emphasis is on your achievements rather than your work history. However, a CV is more about awards you’ve won and papers you’ve published than your job history, though job history is often listed on a CV.

Pros and Cons of Different Resume Formats

Those are the basics of each resume style. However, you can’t just point to one and say, “I like it!” and start writing. Each resume format has pros and cons you should consider before committing.

Chronological Resume Pros and Cons

Chronological resume pros.

There are several pros to using a chronological resume. For starters, it’s the most common and widely used resume. Recruiters are used to seeing it and this format makes it easy for them to scan your resume and see at a glance if you’re a good fit for the position.

Recruiters also feel that a chronological resume does a better job explaining your background and skills . Paring what you learned with where you learned it helps give your work history context . And, that context is what can help land you in the “interview” pile.

They are also the preferred format for applicant tracking systems (ATSs). While you should have a keyword-rich resume no matter what resume format you use, ATSs are usually programmed to look for certain headers and other criteria to scan your resume. This programming is generally based on a chronological resume. If you use something other than a chronological resume, an ATS may not see your keywords because it doesn’t know where to look.

Lastly, using a chronological resume may make it easier for you to update your resume or even write a resume from scratch. Much like a recruiter can see your skills in context on a chronological resume, you too may have an easier time remembering what you did at each job when you’re focusing on what you accomplished and where.

Chronological Resume Cons

The chronological resume does have disadvantages. The first is that a chronological resume makes employment gaps obvious . And, there’s no way to hide it. No matter what your reason is for dropping out of the workforce, some employers will see the gap and pass you over.

The chronological resume is also not the best resume template for people who are changing careers . Sure, you may have a lot of experience in accounting, but how does that help you as an aspiring supply chain director? It can be difficult to express why you’re changing careers and how you can transfer your skills on a chronological resume.

Functional Resume Pros and Cons

Functional resume pros.

In some cases, a functional resume may be a better choice for you. The first advantage of this format is that if you have a large gap in your work history, a functional resume de-emphasizes that by putting the focus on your skills.

Functional resumes are also good for career changers because, again, this format de-emphasizes your work history . In a functional resume, you can talk about the relevant skills you’ve gained from an unrelated position. Or emphasize the new skills you’ve learned through volunteering, taking classes, or even just trying things out on your own.

Functional Resume Cons

However, before you craft a functional resume, you should know that they, too, have their disadvantages. Perhaps the most important con of a functional resume is that recruiters do not like them . Fair or not, when a recruiter sees a functional resume, they worry that you’re hiding something. While that may not be the case, that’s still a problem.

Also, when you’ve seen (or scanned) 20 chronological resumes in a row and number 21 is functional, it slows things down, and that can frustrate the recruiter.

And, as mentioned above, your skills are out of context to a recruiter. Instead of looking at your skills first, most recruiters are likely to drop down to your employment history first, to try to gain some context about who you are and why you’re applying for the job. If they can’t connect the dots from employment history to skills easily, they’re likely to put you in the reject pile.

A Better Option: Hybrid Resume

Consider using a hybrid resume in place of a functional resume (or even a chronological resume).

According to Betsy Andrews, Career Coach at FlexJobs, a hybrid resume “includes an achievements section, but also provides a bit of information under each position,” which helps gives context to your resume .

The top of a hybrid resume is a summary of your skills. However, instead of using broad categories, you pick a key skill and highlight it quickly with a brief sentence or two. For example, you might say, “Sales skills: Top salesperson for three straight quarters while increasing new business to new clients by 15% each year.”

After highlighting your top three or four skills, move on to your employment history using a chronological format. However, don’t list every bullet point from your job description. Instead, list the most relevant duties to help highlight your selected skills.

So, you might write, “XYZ company, New Business Sales, dates you were employed: Responsible for prospecting new leads through various methods. Streamlined client communications to help build and maintain relationships, thus increasing retention.” Repeat this until you’ve reached the beginning of your work history.

In this hybrid format, you are emphasizing your skills without de-emphasizing your work history . Yes, an employment gap will be visible, but it won’t be as important because you’ve front-loaded the resume with your relevant skills.

An Employment Story Worth Telling

Ultimately, a resume is the story of your work history, achievements, and skills. While it’s not a riveting beach read, a well-written resume can help you get an interview, which can lead to a job. Of course, like any story, a poorly written one will end up lost or forgotten about.

While you don’t want your story to read like everyone else’s, using a familiar format is important when you’re job searching. It may not be your first choice, but it can be your best choice. Don’t let flaws in your story scare you. There are plenty of resume templates that help you tell the best story possible to recruiters and can help highlight why you’re the best person for the job.

We’ve got more advice on how to improve your resume . And advice on how to craft an amazing cover letter so you can tell even more of your story. And, if you’re looking for a little bit of guidance along the way, consider working with our career coaches who can give you tons of personal resume writing advice.


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Functional VS. Chronological Resume

Lindsay Patton

Resumes come in various formats, and the job you're applying for will dictate which resume format you use. In fact, the wrong format could mean an instant ‘pass’ from a hiring manager because it doesn’t communicate your experience in a way that’s right for the job posting. 

As you grow your career and accumulate experience and skills, your resume will become more advanced. With more experience to sift through, veteran job seekers need to be intentional with how they present their resume. 

When drafting your resume, there are a few formats to consider: a functional resume, chronological resume and combination resume. In this article, we will primarily focus on a functional resume vs a chronological resume and when to use the two. 

Read on to learn how to utilize both resumes in your job search. 

What is a chronological resume?

You’re probably familiar with the chronological resume format. A chronological resume lists your most recent job first, followed by the rest of your past jobs, going in reverse chronological order. It’s the resume format that young professionals are introduced to and most used among job seekers. 

If you have a strong work history, multiple promotions to highlight or have worked for a high-profile company (or multiple high-profile companies), the chronological resume format is best for what you want to display to a hiring manager. They get a clear picture of your career and your professional drive. 

The chronological resume is the most popular resume format, however, popular doesn’t always mean the best, as there are both pros and cons to writing a chronological resume.   

Chronological resume pros

There are many reasons why people choose a chronological resume as their standard resume template. The biggest reason is that it is compatible with applicant-tracking systems (ATS), which filter through candidates that best match the job. 

Here are some other reasons to use a chronological resume:

Chronological resume cons

If you have desirable skills or gaps in your job history, a chronological resume may bury those skills and make your work gaps more noticeable. You want your resume to show all the positive traits you bring to a role and minimize any potential negatives. 

Here are some other reasons to pass on a chronological resume:

What is a functional resume?

A functional resume focuses on skills and experience only. Where and when you did the work is not important for this resume format. Instead, a functional resume’s goal is to show hiring managers you have the skills and experience to execute the job. 

Instead of centering your job history, think about what you’ve done over the course of your career. Highlight the skills, certifications and accomplishments that show you are the best candidate for the job, as opposed to companies, job titles and time spent in a particular role. . 

A functional resume is the best choice for candidates that are switching industries, work across industries and/or have skills and accomplishments that align with the job position. For example, contract workers that rely on specialized skills to complete a job will most likely utilize this resume format. A functional resume puts a spotlight on these unique traits, which helps hiring managers envision how you will handle the potential opportunity. 

Functional resume pros

If your career is skills-heavy, a functional resume highlights those skills and focuses on your career experience and accomplishments. A functional resume also minimizes obvious career gaps, instead prioritizing what you know over when and where. 

Here are some other reasons to use a functional resume:

Functional resume cons 

If your career isn’t skills and accomplishment driven, a functional resume may not be the right fit. This resume format is only recommended for candidates that have impressive skill sets or are transitioning into a new industry and want to highlight transferable skills. 

Here are some other reasons to pass on a functional resume:

In more cases than not, you will utilize the chronological resume format. But if you have impressive skills and data to back up those skills, a functional resume is your best bet. 

How to decide which resume to use 

If you have a strong promotion history or recent experience with high-profile companies, a chronological resume will best highlight those career features. In a chronological resume, your job titles and company history stand out the most. Additionally, chronological resumes are preferred by recruiters and hiring managers, and can help you get past an ATS. 

For highly specialized workers, however, chronological resumes gloss over the most important information: What you can do. If a job requires a certain skill set or certification, your resume should put those front and center. 

If you have an impressive and sought-after skill set, a functional resume could be more your style. Hiring managers are always looking for the best person to execute the work, however, not everyone is equipped with the knowledge that skilled workers have to complete certain tasks. Remember, dates and companies are not the most important details. They take a backseat to the skills, experience and knowledge you carry. 

Need a visual? Check out our collection of example resumes to get a better feel for different resume formats and styles to see figure out the best presentation for you.

Combination format

If you’ve gone back and forth and can’t decide between a functional resume and a chronological resume, consider using the combination format, which is the best of both worlds. Like the functional resume, it puts your skills and qualifications first, and lists them separate from your job history. And, similar to both formats, only include your most relevant skills and job experience. Create a combination resume by splitting your resume in two. The top half is devoted to your skills, accomplishments and certifications, while the bottom half lays out your work history. 

There’s an easier way to build your resume 

Starting a resume from scratch is a daunting task. Who hasn’t sat staring at a blank screen for minutes on end? Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone anymore. Teal’s resume builder makes it easy to create multiple resume templates, including function, chronological and combination resumes. 

The free tool is installed as a Chrome extension and stores all your key work details in one place. No more going back to previous resumes, all you have to do is drop the information in and build your resume based on your dream opportunity.

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Lindsay Patton

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  2. Functional vs. Chronological Resume: Differences & Similarities

    The key highlight of a functional resume vs chronological resume is that functional resumes are skills-based. Instead of starting with your current job and moving backward, a functional resume focuses on your skills and abilities, instead of your job history.

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