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The differences in resume formatting seem to be a little-known fact among job hunters. Most people have learned to write out a resume in one way or another and learn about any alternative methods later on in life, either when they no longer are submitting them to recruiters or are in the throes of a job search. Currently, there are two types of formats: functional and chronological. Both of them have their advantages. It will serve any executive resume writer well to know about both formats in order to decide which will better suit their needs.

Functional Resumes

You can think of a functional resume as something of a professional showcase. It is meant to underline what you can do. In other words, it’s about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you’ve gathered and developed. These two elements of your career history should receive the most focus on this type of resume. While chronological information can still be included, it should be kept brief and be written last.

Generally, you will write a functional resume so each skill you’d like to discuss serves as a header. You can then devote a few lines underneath to discuss what this skill entailed and how you’ve utilized it throughout your career positions. You will also have to talk a little bit about yourself at the top of the page, mainly about your academic and career history. Again, this should also be brief.

This format may prove useful for some executives in the middle of switching careers. However, it isn’t the best executive resume format in the eyes of hiring managers and recruiters. Using a functional resume may give off the impression you have large gaps in your work or academic history or you otherwise have some other detractor from your hireability you don’t want to divulge.

Chronological Resumes

functional or chronological resumeUnlike functional resumes, chronological resumes basically serve as a timeline of your career history. Resumes of this type list out your full work history from your newest position to your oldest, as well as a bit about your skill set and similar information. Under each position you list, you’ll also include a bit about the tasks you fulfilled, along with any accolades you’ve earned while there.

Those with a lot of experience in their chosen field will find this format the most helpful, as will newly graduated college students. Recruiters will also find this format much easier to sort through and read. However, this type of resume can be misleading when it comes to shorter career positions you’ve held, and your skills will be downplayed considerably.

We consider this to be the most useful resume format because it displays all important information up front with no risk of miscommunication. It is especially useful for downplaying any existing gaps in your work history. Every recruiter and hiring manager will recognize and accept this format so you’re far less likely to hurt your chances of gaining their interest. We recommend making chronological resumes your first choice!

Writing a resume is understandably tough. However, picking the right format can help move things along. If you’re still unsure of the best way to organize your resume, you can always consult the best resume writing services for suggestions on which resume format to use! Be sure to get in touch to get the help you need and land the job of your dreams!

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc.  She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award.   Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.