There are other, more specialized types, but these are generally the most common and valuable types: Chronological • Skills, • Combination.
The Chronological Resume
The word “chronology” refers to a sequence of events in time, and the primary feature of this type of resume is the listing of jobs you’ve held from the most recent to the least recent; this is the simplest of resumes and can be an effective format if you use it properly. Many employers prefer it to other formats. Chapter 2 shows you how to create this primary type of resume.
The Skills, or Functional, Resume
Instead of listing your experience under each job, this resume style clusters your experiences under significant skill areas. For example, if you are strong in “communication skills,” you could list various work and other experiences under that heading. You would also include listings for several of your other major skill areas. This format makes little sense unless your job objective requires these skills. So you must first determine the essential skills in the job and set up your skill categories to match. A skills resume is often more challenging to write than a straightforward chronological resume. Also, most employers do not favour this type of resume because they think the candidate is trying to hide something. But if you have limited paid work experience, are changing careers, or have not worked for a while, a skills resume may be an excellent way to present your strengths and avoid displaying your weaknesses.
Combination and Creative Resumes
You can combine elements of the chronological and skills formats in various ways to improve the clarity or presentation of your resume. You can start the resume with skills categories and end with a listing of your jobs and the dates you worked there; this is often a good compromise. There are also creative formats that defy categorization but that are clever and have worked for some people. I’ve seen resumes like newsletters; unusual paper colours, sizes, and shapes; resumes with tasteful drawings and borders; and many other ideas. Some of these resumes were well done and well received; others were not.