Which Résumé Structure is Right for You?
Did you know there are different types of résumés?
When most people think of a résumé, the type that comes to mind is the chronological résumé. But you have other options. The type of résumé you choose should be the type that sells you best for the position for which you are applying. Let’s go over your options and clarify the differences between the résumé styles.
A majority of job seekers use a chronological (or more accurately, reverse chronological) résumé. In a chronological résumé, entries within each section, such as employment, are listed with the most recent or current position first, then work back in time, each with brief explanations of the job. The focus of a chronological résumé is on work history and highlighting your job titles and duties. Because employers can easily see what jobs you have held and when you worked them, hiring managers often prefer this structure.
For more help creating this style of résumé, read the “Was that Job Résumé-Worthy?” post.
A true functional résumé omits dates and may not even include past titles and employers. Instead, the focus is on specific relevant or transferable skills and capabilities that are emphasized to highlight and market your competency. Because of the focus on skills (rather than work history), a functional résumé may be a better choice if you:
- Are just entering the workforce
- Have gaps in your employment history
- Have held numerous short-term positions
- Are making a career change
Combination (or Hybrid) Résumé
Like a functional résumé, a combination résumé highlights your relevant skills and capabilities and displays them prominently. And, like a chronological résumé, it also includes a work history section.
However, in this section, only your job title, employer name and location and dates of employment are included (in reverse chronological order). As you see, a combination résumé may be the best choice if you want to emphasize your skills, but also want to document your work history — which, again, most hiring managers want to see.
So Which Résumé Structure is Right For You?
The answer to this question may be clear now, given the above information. But, it may also be helpful to know that different fields and industries prefer different formats. The more conservative the industry, company, and/or position, the more conservative (or traditional) the résumé should be.
With this in mind, there are several industries and positions for which a functional or combination résumé may market you best. For example, several of the creative fields that lend themselves nicely to the functional or combination structure include:
For those who wish to not only highlight their skills and capabilities but also their creativity, an infographic résumé may be the best choice. Infographic résumés are able to convey a large amount of information into a combination of images and text that allows viewers to quickly and clearly understand essential data. It accomplishes this in a graphic, colorful and creative manner that catches the eye of a hiring manager.
Whatever résumé structure you choose to use, always remember that the staff at the ASU Career Development office is here to assist. Stop by Room 107 of the Houston Harte University Center or call us at 325-942-2255 to make an appointment.