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Resume Types

Get advice from professional resume writers about the different resume types.

Reverse Chronological vs. Functional Resumes

by - The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

In modern resumes, information about skills and experience can be listed using three distinct formats: reverse chronological, functional, or a combination of the two.

Reverse chronological

Generally, hiring managers prefer that employment data is provided with the most recent job listed first, followed by the next most recent, and so on. In that way, it's easy to see your career progression from an entry-level position to more senior status.

On the flip side of the coin, it's also easy to detect gaps in dates of employment. If you're in this situation, you do have another option: the functional resume.


Functional formats stress what skills you have, rather than where and when you used them. These formats are best for students who have just graduated from college and have little "real-world" experience, those who have been out of the workforce for long periods, and job seekers who are transitioning from one career or industry to another.

However, sometimes combining a functional format with a reverse-chronological format makes the most sense. These are called combination resumes.


In a combination resume, skills that are relevant to the current job search are placed in a special section by function, while the professional history or work experience is presented in a standard, reverse-chronological format. This format offers the best of both worlds, and is highly popular with modern job seekers and hiring managers.