A resume format refers not to the design or look of your resume, but how to organize and emphasize your information. Different format styles flatter different histories.
- Reverse Chronological (traditional format) this style lists employment beginning with the most recent and descending in work history.
- Chrono-Functional, which usually highlights skills and endeavors first and chronology timeline second.
- The Hybrid, which is a combination of both Reverse Chronological and Chrono-Functional.
Your Best Resume Formats
at a Glance
Perfect career progress > Reverse Chronological
New graduate > Chrono-Functional
Seasoned ace > Reverse Chronological or Hybrid
Military transition > Reverse Chronological or Chrono-Functional
Job history gaps > Chrono-Function or Hybrid
Career change > Hybrid or Reverse Chronological
Special issues > Hybrid or Chronological
Multi-track job history > Any
reverse chronological format
A reverse chronological format (RC) is simple and sweet. It displays your most current employment and descends, showing the dates as well as the employers. When creating the RC, focus on the relevant duties/tasks that compliment the targeted position. Be aware to concentrate on your last five jobs or the last eight to ten years of experience.
When to use RC?
- If you have a steady work record and can quickly display career progression
- Your job titles are impressive and hold much weight
- You have a great talent for writing and can patch-up negative factors: too few jobs, bouncing around from job to job with little experience, too many temp jobs, etc.
When not to use?
- New to the workforce with little experience
- You have employment gaps, demotions, too much time in one position, bouncing around from job to job, after a long break
Hybrid Resume Format
A Hybrid resume format is just that, a hybrid. This style combines both the reverse chronological and the chronological arrangement. This style allows the job seekers to use both. It targets the “sweet” spots for some. This type maintains the chronological order as well as employing the resourceful, functional tools to overcome any employment challenges without raising a red flag. This is a great style to use if you’re applying for a job and your relevant and qualifications are hidden; you can throw in a professional summary to connect those dots.
Who should use this?
- Those with demotions
- Employment gaps
- Lack of experience in the field applying for
- Career changers
Who should not?
- Those with a stable career history
The chrono-functional (CF) is a hyper-focused resume with the ability to focus on specific skills and areas desired to highlight. This style is much different from the reverse chronological format as it ignores timelines of employment.
When to use CF?
- This resume is a golden ticket for career changers, ex-military, recent or graduates, unique cases, in-depth history of multiple jobs
Who should not use this format?