Choosing the proper resume format can make all the difference between getting a job interview and waiting for a call that never comes. The two major resume templates, or formats are chronological and functional. Each has specific occasions where they should be used and picking the right format for your situation is vital.
The Chronological Resume
This is the most common resume format. A chronological resume lists a job applicant’s work history and details in reverse chronological order with their current job listed first. After the job seeker works their way backwards through their work history, they list their education details. The chronological resume type is the one to use if you are an experienced professional with an impressive work history. Here’s an example of a chronological resume written by an experienced pro:
Career Objective: To use my 15 years of progressive experience in the technology field to achieve a position of CIO for a technologically-vibrant company where I can contribute to company growth.
July 2006 – Present
- Managed 12-member network ops team for international eCommerce company.
- Led an aggressive upgrade initiative to increase uptime from 80% in 2006 to 97% currently.
- Worked with human resources and accounting to increase IT headcount, leading to 75% increase in SLA fulfillment.
- Spearheaded campaign to transition physical servers to a virtual environment, saving up to $20,000 yearly on hardware support, power and air conditioning.
May 1999 – July 2006
- Managed ten-member desktop services team to support hardware and software needs of 250 clients.
- Researched, purchased and implemented new trouble ticket system to cut service time in half over a three-year period.
- Collaborated with network manager to further knowledge exchange, leading to internal promotion to fill over 80% of our openings rather than conduct external searches.
June 1996 – May 1999
- After three months of service rated as “exceeding expectations,” I was promoted to team captain in charge of 20 regional home and small business service technicians.
- Implemented service-based incentive system to reward efficiency. This decreased return calls by 65%.
Masters Degree, IT Management, Perth Administrative University, 2008
Bachelors in Information Sciences, Perth Technology College, 1999
In this example, Martin Smith has over a decade of experience in his field. He has been promoted from entry-level work to his current management position, and he’s seeking higher work in the same field. Because of this, Martin is using a chronological resume that stresses his experience first.
The Functional Resume
This resume format is used by job seekers without experience in the field they’re applying for. It’s great for those of us with a short career history, people changing careers, recent graduates and more. The functional resume type accentuates meaningful skills that are transferable while saving career history for later. With this type of resume, the hope is that employers evaluate job seekers by skill rather than by experience. Here is an example of a functional resume in practice:
Career objective: To use the skills gained my 10 years as a successful small business owner and in the customer service field to obtain an entry-level management position at a company in need of a motivated self-starter.
Profile: I started my own small business seven years ago in my garage and was profitable in just three months. Super Techs, my PC support company, focused on providing excellent, affordable service for homes and small businesses. I was able to build a loyal customer base and hire five flex-time technicians to meet the growing need while still serving as a service tech myself. After seven years as a dedicated team player, I have sold my company for a modest profit and my goal is to seek new challenges in the private sector.
- Dedication and willingness to see every task through to completion even if I have to do it all myself.
- Eager to share knowledge and help peers grow.
- Excellent at all areas of business, from the actual “grunt work” to promotions and accounting.
- Accomplished team leader and excellent manager.
- Superior computer skills.
Sole Proprietor and Service Manager
July 2004 – September 2011
Customer Service and Sales Associate
October 2001 – July 2004
Computer Technology Certificate, Western Perth Vocational School, 2001
As someone without a degree and who is changing careers, William is an excellent candidate for a functional resume. Here, he lists a summary of his impressive history as a small businessman and the skills he has gained over time with the hope that those reading his resume will see how those skills can translate to meet their needs.