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Article: Best Resume Format: Chronological or Functional Resume?

Resume Format

Best Resume Format: Chronological or Functional Resume?

Which resume format is best: a Chronological or Functional Resume Format?

Most applicants should use a chronological resume format.

What's a Chronological Resume Format?

A chronological resume format lists your work experience from most recent to oldest. 

And it's the best option because the hiring manager or recruiter wants to see how you've progressed in your career.

They want to see what you've done most recently first, at the top, because that's the most important, as those skills and experiences are freshest in your mind and will help you succeed in your next job. 

Work you did 10-15 years ago isn't as relevant, because we're humans - we forget. 

Also, a lot changes in just 10 years, and the skills you learned way back then probably are not as applicable now.

What's a Functional Resume Format?

A functional resume format will emphasize your skills, achievements and experience first, and then list out your work history.

This format works better for those who have gaps in their employment.

But I do have to warn you: hiring teams don't like seeing this format.


Because it usually means you're trying to hide something.

Which you are.. a big ol' gap in your employment.

I also hate this format, and prefer to see a chronological format even if there's a big gap. I want to see everything out in the open immediately, so that I can come to my own conclusions.

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To improve your chances of landing a job with a gap in your employment, you need to:

  • Have some damn good content, including a Profile or cover letter that displays your biggest (relevant) achievements, passion and eagerness to get back into the workforce.
  • Rely on your network to help you find a job.  A referral from a friend or acquaintance working at the desired company will drastically improve your chances of landing an interview, as it makes the hiring team's job much easier. 
  • Reach out to someone in the company when you apply to a job, and make a really good case for why you deserve an interview.  Making a personal connection with a member of the hiring team can bump you to the top of the list.
  • If the gap in your employment is only a few months, don't list the months on your resume - only list the years.  Ex: Do not write "June 2018 - January 2019" if you've been out of work since then, but instead write "2018 - 2019."

If you have any questions about which format is right for you, don't hesitate to email me at

Best of luck! 

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