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The 4 Types of Resumes

The 4 Types of Resumes

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© 2010, Dr. Thomas J. Denham, Careers In Transition LLC

A resume is a critical component in the job search, but choosing the most appropriate format to sell your background can be a real challenge.  First, carefully analyze the job opening and then approach the process from the hiring manager’s perspective to determine what style is best.

1. Chronological – This is the most traditional, popular and preferred style of resume writing where the education and experience are listed in reverse chronological order beginning with the most recent first.  Ideally, it should show how each job builds upon the former.  By giving a clear picture of where you have worked and what you have accomplished, the chronological resume demonstrates that you have “paid your dues” and you are ready to strategically advance to the next level of responsibility.


•    Past experience is emphasized.
•    A straightforward experienced-based approach which helps recruiters make quicker decisions; often expected by employers.
•    Effective if progressively moving upward in the same or similar fields with a strong, steady and stable career track record.
•    Clearly follows a timeline of experience where job titles, employers and length of employment are impressive.
•    Duties, responsibilities, promotions and achievements are connected, related and described with each work experience.
•    Best for focused candidates looking for further advancement in the same or similar fields.
•    Easiest to prepare, read and interpret by highlighting career growth, current responsibilities and educational credentials.
•    Useful for those whose career objectives are aligned with their past work history.


•    Causes employment gaps, frequent job changes or weak areas to stand out.
•    Does not allow the opportunity to emphasize skill sets.
•    Not good for those trying to change career fields.
•    Work dates divulges the candidate’s age more quickly.
•    May give the impression that you are “over-qualified.”


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