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Tip Sheets

Resumé Types

The purpose of a resumé is to draw an employer's attention to your most relevant skills and accomplishments and get you invited for an interview. The type of resumé you use depends on your work history and the kind of work you’re applying for. This tip will help you decide which type of resumé to use.

There are 3 basic types of resumés:

  • A chronological resumé lists your work, education and training history in chronological order from most recent to oldest.
  • A functional resumé highlights your skills and abilities, rather than your work history. It organizes your accomplishments in skill categories directly related to the job you’re applying for.
  • A combination resumé organizes your accomplishments in skill categories to show an employer what you would bring to the job, and then briefly outlines your work history. 

It makes sense to use the resumé type that highlights your most impressive and relevant qualifications. For example, if you’re applying for a position that’s similar to the job you have now, a chronological resumé may be the best way to show your related experience. However, if you’re planning to change careers or industries, a functional or a combination resumé will emphasize your relevant skills.

You can also ask employers what type of resumé they prefer. Call or email the organization’s human resources office or hiring manager.

Chronological resumé examples

A chronological resumé is the type most employers are familiar with. It may be easier to write than the other types. Use the following outline and examples to plan your own version.

Functional resumé examples

This resumé type minimizes gaps in employment history, but it can be challenging to write. Use the outline and examples to help you get started.

For more information about functional resumés, see The Functional Resumé — Focus on What You Can Do in Other Relevant Tips.

Combination resumé examples

You can use a combination resumé to draw attention to your skills and what you can do, if your experience is not directly related to the job you’re applying for.

The best resumé type to use is one that presents your qualifications most effectively for the work you want. Whichever type of resumé you choose, make sure your resumé is concise, interesting to look at and easy to read. That’s the kind of resumé most likely to get you an interview.

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Additional Reading ( Resources

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