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Quick Refresher of Traditional Resume Styles

Although there are several variations, there are three basic categories of r�sum� styles for the purpose of this tutorial:
1) chronological; 2) functional; and 3) combination.

The CHRONOLOGICAL resume style organizes information by job titles presented in chronological order, usually listing the most current job first. The emphasis is on positions held and the companies where you worked.

Some Advantages:

  • Simple and direct
  • Highlights a steady work record
  • Works well in conservative industries such as banking and health

Some Disadvantages:

  • Format will highlight gaps in your work history
  • Ineffective for e.g., new graduates who have very little work experience
  • Focuses on the past rather than the future

The FUNCTIONAL resume style organizes information by skills or job functions, usually highlighting those skills and functions of the job being sought.

Some Advantages:

  • Works well for career changers (e.g., military) because it presents skills that can be used in other jobs
  • Maximizes experience for job seekers with a minimal work history
  • Useful when highlighting work you did in previous paying or non-paying jobs

Some Disadvantages:

  • Can appear suspicious as if you are hiding something (e.g., job hopping or insufficient experience)
  • Can appear confusing if not written well
  • Can appear as if you are over-selling yourself since the focus is more on self-marketing and less on work history

The COMBINATION resume style combines work history and job functions, tied together with a list of career achievements.

Some Advantages:

  • Takes advantage of those with successful career records
  • Sells what you do and provides a work history to prove it
  • Good format for those with a long work history

Some Disadvantages:

  • Requires an established work history
  • Requires an established track record of career achievements
  • Requires care in organizing content to avoid confusion

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