Choosing the Right Type of Résumé

PW blog2 image2In today’s day and age résumé writing has become very important. It would be impossible to attain a respectable job without a well-constructed résumé. Merriam Webster defines a résumé as a short document describing your education, work history, etc., that you give an employer when you are applying for a job. Every individual seeking a job has a different situation. Luckily, there is a variety of résumé formats to choose from in order to reach your full potential. We will focus on the three main résumé formats, chronological, functional, and combinational.

Chronological Résumé 

The most common résumé format used is the chronological résumé. This type of résumé focuses on the individual’s past work experience. This résumé is also the most preferred format by employers. The chronological format highlights work experience in a concise and clear manner.

This résumé is recommended for individuals who have admirable work experience, or who have been out of school for a long period of time. Although, this résumé format is the most commonly used, it may not be the best option for everyone. Newly graduated students who have little to no work experience should either not use this résumé format, or revise the format by focusing on your education.

Functional Résumé

Another résumé format is the functional résumé. This type of format stresses the individual’s skills, capabilities, and qualities. The reason certain individuals use this format is because it clearly informs the employer of the individuals strong points. Another reason is because by using this format the individual can avoid mentioning unemployment periods.

A functional résumé is recommended for individuals who have had troubled work experiences, or simply are lacking in past employment. The risk of using this résumé format includes making employers suspicious of past work experience. This résumé may you an interview, but be prepared to answer questions that were avoided in the résumé.

Combinational Résumé 

Finally, a combinational résumé is a hybrid between the chronological and functional résumé format. This résumé is like the functional résumé as it lists skills, and qualities. It is like the chronological résumé in that is includes a detailed section of past work experience. This résumé format allows individuals who have not had a great amount of work experience, but portray many skills and capabilities, to present all of the information an employer would be looking for. A major benefit of the format is that it presents all of the information required, and does not leave the employer asking questions.

A combinational résumé should be used by individuals who are in the process of building their work experience, but have accomplished many things and acquired multiple skills in the mean time. This types of résumé is ideal for newly graduated college students. The student is able to illustrate all of the knowledge and skills obtained during their time in school, but also include all relevant work experience.

Overall, there are three main types of résumé formats that are commonly used in today’s work force chronological, functional, and combinational. Be sure to look at your individual situation before choosing what format to use. Each format is designed to help the individual highlight their most appealing qualities.

Andrea Ferro is a undergraduate student at the University of South Florida majoring in biology. She hopes to attend dental school after obtaining her undergraduate degree. 


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