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Deciding on a resume format is the first major decision to be made when creating your resume. The overall look of your resume depends on the resume format font and outline you choose. The two main types of format in use are the chronological and functional formats. When to Use the Chronological Resume Format A Chronological resume is the easiest to create and it is also the most widely used format. Chronological resume format allows you to list your job experiences starting with the most recent and moving back in time. This allows employers to see your progression in the career field. If you are staying in your career field this format will allow employers to see if you are qualified for the job you are applying for. It may not be beneficial for people changing career fields.
A functional resume format is also applicable for career changers as their professional experience might vary considerably from what is being offered. But more often than not they will have acquired some skills from their previous career that are applicable to the new career path they have chosen. Choosing which resume format to use is entirely up to you. But it is important to keep these key differences and advantages in mind in deciding which one you are going to choose. In many cases you might be able to use both types and it is often termed as a combination resume format. If you do opt to combine the strengths of both resume formats just make sure to limit the length of your resume and stick to information relevant to the role.
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The functional resume format is an effective way to reduce the number of pages that an employer will have to read and will make your application more impactful. The disadvantage to this resume format is that recruiters dont like it. They get suspicious about your job history if no dates are included and may toss it in the garbage if it raises too many questions. Although at one time I used a functional resume because in my chronological resume I had gaps in my work history that I suspected were keeping the phone from ringing with interview requests. I changed the format from chronological to functional and the phone started to ring! So for the best of both worlds you might want to try the combination resume if youve got gaps in your work history or have been out of the workforce for a while.