Select the best format | Resume Guide | CareerOneStop (2024)

Different formats can highlight either your work history or your skills.

There are two basic resume formats: chronological and functional. The main difference is one emphasizes your job history while the other highlights your skills. Learn more to decide which format mightbest highlight your qualifications.

  • A chronological format puts the focus on your employment history. This format can work if you have a solid work history in a particular job or career and you’re planning on looking for a similar position. The chronological format does not work as well when you are switching careers or have significant gaps in your work history.
  • A functional format highlights your skills, and can be especially effective to transfer to a new career or industry. This format focuses on a written summary of qualifications and accomplishments that demonstrate past experiences that relate to your goal career.

A combination of these formats works well for most people. The combination style includes a Summary of Qualifications section at the top, and lists your employment history. That history is vital, as without it, your resume may be rejected byapplicant tracking systems, used by many employers to screen applications.

In our sample resume, Beth uses a combination format. Because she has a strong work history, she highlights her employment dates. But because she is also seeking to advance to a project coordinator position, she uses skill headings to promote her existing skills that relate to the new job she wants. To see this combined format, view the Professional Experience section of Beth's resume.

Once you've selected a resume format, you're ready to write a first draft.

Select the best format | Resume Guide | CareerOneStop (2024)
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