There are three basic styles of resumes: Chronological, Functional and Combination.

Each format organizes information differently and has distinct advantages and disadvantages. The following description will help you determine which format is most appropriate for you.


This type of resume lists work experience in reverse chronological order. It is best for the person who has had extensive experience in a chosen career field.


  • · Allows for different formatting to include key words and career highlights.
  • · Human Resources interviewers, recruiters, and employers seem to prefer this format.
  • · Easiest to prepare since it is arranged by titles, accompanies and dates.
  • · Steady employment record is highlighted.
  • · Provides interviewers with a guide.


  • · Reveals employment gaps. (It is recommended that any gaps include reasons, e.g.: job search, family responsibilities, travel, or educational opportunity in cover letter.)
  • · May not emphasize areas that you want to maximize.
  • · Skills and achievements at last position must match current position search.


Generally not recommended because it raises too many red flags.

  • · Organizes work experience into skill clusters.
  • · Dates and places of employment are left out. Re-entry people and recent graduates may find this style effective.
  • · A special section, Analysis of Experience, is written instead of listing employment history. Usually three to four areas are emphasized, showing results and accomplishments.
  • · Sections may be arranged in any order.


  • · Stresses selected skills and experience areas that are marketable or in demand.
  • · Attempts to camouflage a spotty employment record.
  • · Allows the applicant to emphasize professional growth.
  • · Positions not related to current career goals can be played down.


  • · Employers are suspicious and need to see additional work history information.
  • · It does not allow you to highlight companies or organizations for which you have worked.


This type of resume combines the skills and achievement section from the functional format with the employment history listing from the chronological format.


  • · Provides opportunity to emphasize the applicant's most relevant skills and agilities.
  • · Order of sections on the combination resume can be changed to market yourself in the best possible light.
  • · Good tool for almost anyone; however, re-entry people, recent college graduates and career changers find it particularly useful.
  • · Provides opportunity to highlight skills, while showing evidence of employment.


· Employers can lose interest unless it is very well written and attractively laid out.