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Which Resume Format: Chronological, Functional, Mixed, Or CV?

There are several resume formats that you can consider when making your own resume. Knowing and deciding on which one to employ depends on what you want to say in your resume and how you want to say it.

This article will firstly discuss the different types of formats and then will go about speaking of what might suit your needs given the factors stated previously.


Chronological : The Favorite for its ease

The chronological format is the favorite because it’s the easiest to understand. The format is usually has the work experiences in reverse chronological order, with the company, position, key achievements and duration of employment included.

This format allows the employer to see what the candidate is currently or most recently engaged in, and what his or her background is and how far back these are. It also easily cross-references the achievements with the company and the position as all of those are stated under each chronological entry.

This format works for candidates that have clear career path advancement since it shows how each experience builds on the others.

Functional : For the Jack of All Trades

The functional format is not very popular and has become more targeted to a particular kind of candidate. Whereas the chronological format allows for easy reference based on the progression of your career over time, the functional format is more focused on the skills that the candidate has acquired. It does not usually include the time or duration of employment and the company.

For example if you have key skill sets such as different kinds of programming languages, then this format will work best, especially for freelancers who are looking to be hired. This kind of format allows for the employer to see what you can do regardless of when you did it and who you used to do it for. It’s pretty straight forward but not a favorite since most employers care to know where candidates used to work for and how long they were there.

This format is best for people who don’t have a clear career path yet, like highly creative people who learn different kinds of skills and expertise but cannot be confined by one kind of career. This might also work for freelancers who are mostly hired for their skill sets.


In some cases, it is also possible to mix the two formats, coming up with the hybrid of chrono-functional resume. This format includes the chronological order of employment and the skill sets learned under each experience. This format works best for skill-based candidates that have had quite an employment history. These are candidates that have a career story to tell but at the same time have compelling skill sets they want to sell to possible employers.

What about saying it all with a CV?

A curriculum vitae (CV) is definitely a lot more comprehensive than a resume and can be useful for some employers. A CV has the personal contact details, work experience, training, skills, competencies, interests, educational attainments etc. It aims to inform the employer about your history as a working person. This kind of format is best for people making a career change as it shows the career progression and at the same time talk about other aspects of the candidate that might be of value to his or her new career.

Depending on what you need to communicate to your possible employer, you are free to pick the format that best suits your needs.

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