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The Four Types of Resumes

Updated on May 31, 2012

There are four different styles of resumes, chronological, plain text, functional and combination. Each resume is used for different types of jobs, as well as what position in a career a person is.

Chronological resumes are the most common type making it a positive point that companies will be familiar with this type of resume. Another good point to this type is that if you are new to a certain career field, this kind will focus on recent schooling that was earned to try to change careers. The order of this type of resume will depend on how much experience a person has in a field. If education is the key factor it should be listed first, however if substantial experience is had, experience should be listed in backwards chronological order. A few downsides to this type of resume is the lack of focus on skills and it can be show multiple jobs in a negative light.

Functional resumes are great for someone with very little experience in a certain job field because of its main focus on transferable skills. This type of resume is also good for trying to get into a new type of job. This kind of resume organizes skills and accomplishments to focus on a positive objective. It highlights a person’s transferable skills with a major category and then the jobs in which the skills were used. There are negative affects to this type of resume as in all the others. Functional resumes are sometimes looks down on by companies because it does not show how long in each job. Functional resumes should also only have 4 skill headings which may be constricting to a person who has several skill sets.

Plain text resumes refer to a resume without a pre set form or format. These are helpful to have because many companies that you apply for online will ask for this style. A lot of companies will ask for an applicant to copy/paste an application and this style is usually needed. Another great thing about this style is that it can be made from modifying a previous made resume. The bad ideas of this type are that there is no preset style or format, so everything will have to be done from scratch because there will not be any templates to go off of. This style format is just a stripped type of resume without all of the bells and whistles.

A combination resume meshes chronological and functional style into one. This is a good resume to demonstrate not only education and experience, but also transferable skills that may have been used and acquired in other types of jobs. It is also known as a customized resume because it is the best of both worlds. This style is especially good for people who have had several jobs in a certain field as well as a unique position. Some negatives points of this type of resume format is it is not a “normal” style and may not be looked at in a positive light. A person may also need to redo or make another resume.


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