Okay, let’s discuss resume formats and how you can choose the right resume format for you. Like everything involving the job search process, you want to make sure the format you chose works best for you.

In making this decision, your goal is simple. You want the format you chose to highlight your best features and skill sets while de-emphasizing the flaws in your career, work experience, or skill sets.

Also, the right format will make it easy for the reader to pick out and match up your skills, education, experience, and bottom-line value to the job you are applying.

While there are three common formats, here we will primarily focus on the two tried-and-true winning formats: the chronological format and the functional format. Ready to learn more?

The Chronological Format

The chronological format offers a chronology (a historical timeline) of your work experience. This format groups together employer information with descriptions of what you did and how well you did it. This format is most frequently used and generally preferred by employers. Your work experience is listed in reverse chronological order with an emphasis on areas of responsibility, accomplishments, and your most recent career.

This format may be the best fit for you if the following are true:

  • You have experienced a successful career progression over the past five plus years. Meaning you have received promotions.
  • The job you are seeking is similar to the job you have.
  • You work for an impressive employer with strong name recognition and a favorable reputation.
  • You are changing fields but plan to perform the same functions only in a different industry.
  • You are leaving the military and plan to perform a similar job function.
  • You are a new graduate with experience related to your chosen field.

Something you must seriously consider before using this format. The chronological format really puts you under the microscope. Your work experience flaws will stand out. For instance: gaps in employment and lack of a job promotion.

The Functional Format:

The functional format is designed to stress the qualifications of the job seeker with less emphasis on specific employers and dates. This type of format relies on categories and skill-based sections to demonstrate your qualifications for a particular job.

This format may be the best fit for you if the following are true:

  • Resume Formats Guide: How to Pick the Best | TrumpantisemitismYou are overqualified for a job.
  • You are a retiree returning to the workforce after taking some time off.
  • You are making a significant career or job change.
  • You want to emphasize your skills and abilities not used in recent work experience.
  • Your job objective is different than your work experience.
  • Your experience is gained in different, unconnected jobs.
  • You have been employed by the same company for a very long time.
  • You have a history of frequent job changes or gaps in employment.
  • You are entering the job market after an absence.

Something you must seriously consider before using this format. Employers know that a functional format will camouflage career glitches, thus raising the question, “What is this person trying to hide?” Don’t fret though. I will be providing strategies to deal with this.

The important thing you need to walk away with as you absorb the information on this page is that people have been successful finding jobs using both of these formats. Never forget your goal. When considering resume formats, you must pick the resume format that makes you shine.