The Three Basic Resume Formats
Resume manuals offer samples of the various formats one can use to write an outstanding resume; however, the vast majority of employers prefer the standard reverse chronological format. Somewhere on your resume, you should offer the reader a section outlining your work history in reverse chronological order with dates of employment, name of employer and your job title. You can then jazz up your resume by offering additional information in a functional format or by adding additional sections to your resume. There are three basic resume formats:
Reverse Chronological Resume Format
The chronological resume is the most traditional format and focuses on time and continuity. It is easy to organize, write, and read, and it is the most commonly used type of résumé and the one preferred by most employers. In a chronological resume, you present your most recent job first, then trace backwards in time (reverse chronological). Your most important job duties and accomplishments are described succinctly under each employer's name and location. This format allows you to emphasize your career growth and progression and, therefore, is most favorable to those whom have worked in one field and have been steadily promoted to higher level positions.
Major drawbacks: It is not advantageous for people with limited or unrelated employment experience, who have job gaps, or a rocky work history.
Functional Resume Format
The functional resume focuses on professional skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments while it de-emphasizing dates and specific work experiences. The functional resume is organized by functional titles that explain general areas of expertise. Under each function heading is a brief explanation of accomplishments in that particular area. One can tailor the functional resume to highlight specific skills. Therefore, this format is often recommended for recent graduates, liberal arts majors, career changers, and people with limited work experience or interrupted careers.
Resumes > The Three Basic Resume Formats