Should I Use a Functional Resume or a Chronological Resume?
A chronological resume lists your work history, with the most recent position first. Check out a Chronological Resume Sample for an example of this technique.
Use a Chronological Resume if:
- You have a strong, solid work history
- You have a lot of work experience in the field you are trying to pursue
- Your most recent job experiences are aligned with the job you are seeking
- You do not have large gaps of unemployment
The chronological resume is usually preferred by employers because it appears more credible in the eyes of hiring managers or recruiters. A disadvantage, however, is that employers can easily see if you have a gap in employment, have switched jobs very frequently or have not followed a given career path.
A functional resume lists experience in skill clusters and highlights accomplishments and qualifications rather than emphasizing where you’ve worked. See a Functional Resume Sample for an example of this technique.
Use a Functional Resume if:
- You have very diverse experience that does not contribute to a clear-cut career path
- You are a college student with minimal experience or experience that is unrelated to the career you are pursuing
- You hope to switch into a field that is very different from all of your previous experience
- You have gaps in your employment history
- Your relevant experience has been unpaid (i.e. volunteering, college activities, etc.)
- You have had very similar jobs and don’t want your resume to be repetitive
- You are hoping to de-emphasize a lengthy job history
- You don’t want to be labeled a “job hopper”
- You are a stay-at-home mom or dad who is now re-entering the workforce
BUT be careful! Intentionally leaving off job titles, dates of employment or work history can raise questions and suspicions, and hiring managers may think you are trying to hide something. Try to be as complete as possible so you don’t stand out in a bad way.
Do NOT use a Functional Resume if:
- You are applying for a position in a conservative field, such as banking, finance and law
- You are applying through online job boards
- You are using a recruiter