Chronological Vs Functional Resume Formats

Resume formats vary in Australia, and are often modified and tailored to suit a specific industry or targeted position. The two most common resume formats and most widely recognised by recruiters and employers are ‘chronological resumes’ and ‘functional resumes’.

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume format is probably the most commonly used in Australia and is a traditional representation of a person’s education, career history, skills and abilities.  In a chronological resume a person’s experience is listed in reverse chronological order.  This means ordering the resume so the most recent experience appears first.  Current positions are listed as the start date to present.

When is it best to use a chronological resume?

Chronological resumes are best used under the following circumstances:

  • When you want to demonstrate to the employer that your career has developed or you have been promoted
  • When you want to highlight your tenure
  • When you have worked for recognisable/iconic brands

Functional Resume

A functional resume format focuses on your skills and abilities and highlights your strengths as an employee as opposed to the time that you have spent with an employer.  Skills and experience are categorised by function. It also provides less emphasis on where the work experience was attained.

When is it best to use a functional resume?

Functional resumes are best used under the following circumstances:

  • When your work history consists of more freelance/temporary assignments
  • When there are career breaks in your resume
  • When your work experience consists of volunteer participation

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