Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Which Resume Format Is Right Functional or Chronological?

Functional vs. Chronological

The two most common resume formats are functional and chronological.  Both have advantages and disadvantages and neither is ‘one size fits all’.  You must consider your unique professional history when deciding which format is the best one for you.

Chronological resumes list your work history beginning with your most recent position and work backwards through time to your earlier ones.  This format is ideal for someone who has a consistent work history and tends to stay in a position for two or more years.  It is straightforward, well organized, and is easy for a hiring manager to find the information he or she needs.  This format will not work well for someone who has little or no work history, has been out of the work force for a considerable amount of time, has significant gaps between positions, and tends to job hop. Using a chronological resume format will only call attention to these problem areas.

A functional resume highlights your skills and strengths without tying them to a particular position or period of time.  You want to draw attention to the value you would bring to a position while downplaying any negative issues in your work history.  These skills would be listed before any specific job history.  The specific positions you held would be secondary to your particular skills, listing only the company, your title, and dates of employment.  This type of resume works well for someone who is just starting out, is changing careers, has had numerous jobs within a short period of time, has gaps between positions, or is reentering the workforce.

If you are still unsure which format is best for you, contact Great Resumes Fast to talk with a professional resume writer.  The writers at Great Resumes Fast will help you develop a resume that will speak to your strengths and position you as a leader in your field.  Call toll-free, 800-991-5187 or e-mail for a free resume analysis.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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