Resume Guide

resume formats

How to Choose a Resume Format

Some resume formats will work better than others for your situation. For example, if you have a gap in your resume, a history of job-hopping, or a career path that’s taken some strange twists and turns, a functional resume might be the best choice because it emphasizes skills over linear job experience.

On the other hand, if you can show a clear progression toward your current job opportunity, a chronological or combination resume might be the best option.

Your choice will depend on your career level, work experience, and job history. The job description might also make a difference. So, be flexible when choosing a resume format. Which resume format is best for you? We’ll break down the advantages of each type and offer detailed resume layout examples to help you make your decision.

There are three basic types of professional resume formats:




Chronological Resume Example and Template

The most common resume format is chronological (sample below). It lists your work history in reverse chronological order, with your most recent work history listed at the top. You may also add a summary or objective, and you’ll want to include your education and credentials as well.

The advantage of this type of resume is that it highlights a linear progression in your career. In other words, if you’ve been focused on one type of career and you want to show how you’ve progressed on that path, a chronological resume is the way to go. It’s also standard for some types of jobs, like teaching or government positions.

Functional Resume Example and Template

Functional resumes focus on skills. They are organized by different types of skills or experiences, rather than by chronological work history. Functional resumes are good for people with gaps in employment history or whose work history is not directly related to the job.

With this type of resume, your skills are listed first. List the skill first, and then go into more detail about that skill. Follow your skills with your education and work history. You can create a functional resume by downloading the functional resume template below (compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Word) or by following the example.

Combination Resume Example and Template

Combination resumes are a mix of the chronological and functional resume formats. They provide a chronological list of one’s work history, but they also have a section that focuses on different types of skills. This format shows employers both your skills and your experience. It’s a good choice if you’re changing careers or if you have a varied but steady work history.

With this type of resume, you’d start with a section to show your skills. The next section would show your job experience, followed by your education. You might also include an objective or summary at the beginning. You can download the combination resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Word) or review the example below.