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Resume styles

Resume styles

There are three common resume styles.

Consider which of the following resume type is best for highlighting your skills and experience, and for convincing the consumer (the employer) that this product (you) is a “must-have.”

Chronological resumes

Most employers prefer to receive a chronological resume – one that lists the jobs you have held and describes the experiences and accomplishments you had in each job. Start with your current or most recent position/job, and then proceed in reverse chronological order.

View or print a sample chronological resume:

MS Word document

PDF document (en español)

Functional resumes

Functional resumes allow you to group your skills and accomplishments into categories, such as technical expertise with a particular type of equipment, administrative services experience, training and development background, or supervision skills.

View or print a sample functional resume:

MS Word document

PDF document (en español)

Combination resumes

A combination resume incorporates features of both the chronological and functional formats.

View or print a sample combination resume:

MS Word document

PDF document

Which resume style should you use?

Best used by


  • Widely used format
  • Logical flow, easy to read
  • Showcases growth in skills and responsibility
  • Easiest to prepare
  • Emphasizes gaps in employment
  • Not suitable if you have no work history
  • Highlights frequent job changes
  • Emphasizes lack of related experience and career changes
  • Individuals with steady work record
  • Emphasizes skills rather than employment
  • Organizes a variety of experiences (paid and unpaid work, other activities)
  • Disguises gaps in work record or a series of short- term jobs
  • Viewed with suspicion by employers due to lack of information about specific employers and dates
  • Individuals who have developed skills from non- work experience and who may be changing careers
  • Individuals with no previous employment
  • Individuals with gaps in employment
  • Frequent job changers
  • Highlights most relevant skills and accomplishments
  • De-emphasizes employment history in less relevant jobs
  • Combines skills developed in a variety of jobs or other activities
  • Minimizes drawbacks such as employment gaps and absence of directly related experience
  • Confusing if not well organized
  • De-emphasizes job tasks, responsibilities
  • Requires more effort and creativity to prepare
  • Career changers or those in transition
  • Individuals reentering the job market after some absence
  • Individuals who have grown in skills and responsibility
  • Individuals pursuing the same or similar work as they have had in the past
  • Can be any of the three resume formats
  • Easy to simply identify the position and company in the objective statement
  • Impresses a business person
  • Can limit your exposure to other opportunities
  • Has to be developed for each job for which you are applying
  • Candidates who have done their research
  • Candidates who know the job they want to pursue
  • Candidates who have identified companies to pursue