Learn about the three most common resume types and templates.
- There are thousands of resume templates out there and just as many tips on how to do resumes well. We're going to discuss three common resume types: chronological, functional, and what I call hybrid. In the exercise files, you can download templates for each of these types so you can fill your information in and use them as a guide. The first resume type is the chronological, sometimes called the reverse chronological resume. It's very focused on the roles that you've occupied and the length of time you've been in each.
This is a great choice if you've been in mostly the same industry and roles, and you have reliable employment history without a lot of gaps. It also happens to be the employer favorite. It gets to the point quickly, there's not a lot to read before you get there, and it's really targeted to the positions you've had and the responsibilities for each. The second type of resume is functional. This is great if you have big gaps in your employment history. Let's say you had a period of unemployment for a year or two, or maybe you intentionally took some time out to pursue school or family endeavors.
The great thing about the functional resume is it lists selected experience that's relevant to a role. Here, you see a summary of who you are, why you'd excel at the role, and then a break down of your work by focusing more on the skills you've developed rather than the jobs and the timelines. So this is a way to de-emphasize those spotty gaps in your history. The employment is still there at the bottom and it does have dates, but it's not as prominent. Now, a word of caution here is that employers aren't always the biggest fans of functional resumes, because they're intended to downplay work history and play up the experience that you have.
The third type is the hybrid, which combines both elements of chronological and functional. This resume has a summary at the top, which we saw from the functional resume, but then it goes into your experience so you get to see job history and what you've accomplished in each role pretty quickly. Education and professional development and skills are listed at the end, which is a great place to have them on all your resumes. This is a really smart choice if you want to show how your skills and employment translate. The best time to update your resume is when you're having important wins in your career.
When you complete that big project on time, get a promotion, or move to a new department while it's all fresh in your mind. I like to recommend you revisit it quarterly with updates about any education you completed, expanded job responsibilities, or recent wins. It's a good habit to calendar it too. But if you're just getting started revisiting it now when you haven't touched it in years, don't fret, you've got this. Regardless of the type you choose, I want you to try to keep the resume to one page or 1 1/2 max.
If you've been in the workforce a long time, that means you're going to have to go back maybe only 10 to 15 years max in your job history. You're going to have to be super selective about what you include. You're also going to want to craft your resume bullets as the wins you've had at work. Don't say what you did, but say why it matters. For example, cut costs by 35% while increasing our shipping output by 50%. This sounds much better than oversaw company shipping and budget. Finally, get yourself in the mindset of making small tweaks to your resume for each job you apply for.
Put on the hiring manager's hat and ask yourself how you can include keywords from the job posting to pop up in all the right places.