Cover Letter / December 21, 2018 / Loraine Cohen
Perhaps the format most people see most often is the chronological format for resumes. This format is essentially a timeline where previous work experience is listed according to when it occurred. You can use either chronological order or reverse chronological order on your resume but most people opt for reverse chronological. This type of format is so popular because it lends itself well to many industries and positions. Of all of the resume formats available the chronological one offers the ability to show how you have progressed in your career. This is because if you have worked your way up from a junior position to a senior management position it will be obvious with this format because the potential employer will see the advancement. For some people the functional format may be the best alternative. In particular those who have held a number of different jobs and cannot demonstrate longevity may opt for the functional format because it shifts the focus away from this fact and more towards the type of work the job seeker has done instead of where and when this work was done. In general any of the resume formats can work well for you as long as you also make sure the information on your resume is well written. It certainly goes without saying that care should be taken to avoid mistakes in grammar or spelling.
Not all of us have that strong work history displaying a clear career path. For many reasons including the unavailability of the right job many of us have taken a job outside of what would be considered a normal career path. If this applies to you then you may be more interested in the next format. Functional Resume The functional resume places a heavy emphasis on skills and abilities. If you have a very strong skill-set however you lack a solid work history you may want to consider the functional format. By drawing the employers attention to your strong set of relevant skills your lack of a solid work history becomes of secondary importance. Did you notice I said relevant skills? By relevant I mean of course those skills that directly apply to the job position the employer is trying to fill.
The functional resume format is an effective way to reduce the number of pages that an employer will have to read and will make your application more impactful. The disadvantage to this resume format is that recruiters dont like it. They get suspicious about your job history if no dates are included and may toss it in the garbage if it raises too many questions. Although at one time I used a functional resume because in my chronological resume I had gaps in my work history that I suspected were keeping the phone from ringing with interview requests. I changed the format from chronological to functional and the phone started to ring! So for the best of both worlds you might want to try the combination resume if youve got gaps in your work history or have been out of the workforce for a while.