Organizing Your Resume

There is no "correct" way to organize your resume, so be sure to choose the style that will most effectively highlight your skills and abilities. Don't forget, this is your advertisement!

Chronological Resume

The Chronological Resume lists employment history in reverse chronological order - beginning with the most recent and ending with the first relevant position you may have held. This form is generally the easiest to write because the structure is dictated by your own history, emphasizing dates, times and specific locations. Many interviewers are most familiar with this type of resume, which allows them a guideline for discussing work experience. However, it tends to emphasize the most recent employment and de-emphasize earlier experience. It also emphasizes any gaps in work history, which can be a disadvantage. This style is best suited to people who have work experience closely related to their desired job and do not have large gaps in their work history.

Functional Resume

This type of resume highlights skills and abilities with little emphasis on a dateline. This form can often downplay employment history not relevant to a specific position and allows the writer to highlight professional development, specific skills and more marketable abilities. The downside to this format is that many employers may want to see more detailed work histories from applicants.

Combinational Resume

This form combines features from the chronological and functional formats. It is similar to a functional resume in format, but lists specific employment dates and positions as well. This form can draw attention away from gaps in employment while at the same time allowing the writer to emphasize specialized skills and experience. The downside to this type of resume is that it takes longer to read.

Skills Resume

The Skills Resume is useful for people who have varied experience or background and want to organize that information into a coherent whole, or for someone who is changing careers. It emphasizes abilities over work experience. Skills can be established through various means - courses, volunteer work, personal experiences (such as skills learned through participation in a specific hobby), travel, etc. The resume writer should do his or her best to match skills to the specific position or company.

Creative Resume

The Creative Resume is used in fields that require creative ability - writing, graphic design, landscape architecture, advertising, etc. It's important to know whether or not a specific company prefers creative or more traditional resume formats, so make sure to research the company thoroughly before submitting a creative resume. Often, this resume style uses color graphics and puts emphasis on layout and design, thus doing double-duty as both a resume and sample of the applicant's creative work. The creative resume includes much of the same information included in traditional resume formats.

Electronic Resume

Many job applicants use internet job search engines or sources such as Monsterboard or These services, and many employers, accept electronic resumes which are kept as part of an internet database which employers can search. Sometimes employers accept resumes via e-mail as well. All of these sources call for special consideration when organizing a resume. There are many considerations with electronic resumes.

Advanced Resume Concepts: Electronic Resumes

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