ResumesResumes
Cover LettersCover Letters
InterviewsInterviews
Job Seeker TipsJob Seeker Tips
Beginner BasicsBeginner Basics
In the WorkplaceIn the Workplace
Work/LifeWork/Life
All the Tools and
Expert Support
you need to succeed!
Not sure where to start?
Let us write
your resume for you!
Need a compelling
Cover Letter?
We can write it for you!

Top 3 Resume Formats: Which One Is Right for You?

Quick! Name the top three resume formats in use today and who should use which one!

Just kidding. If you knew the answer, there'd be no reason for this post. And if you're a Pongo subscriber, you don't need to know, because the Resume Builder automatically chooses the best format for you based on the information you provided when you registered. But if you're trying to create a resume on your own, or simply want to know the difference between Chronological, Functional, and Hybrid resumes, then this post is for you.

Here are the top three most popular resume formats:

Chronological

What it is: The most widely used and traditional format. It emphasizes career growth, listing your work history in reverse chronological order from your most recent position down to your oldest (relevant) position within the last 10-15 years. It focuses on employment dates, job titles, and education.

Why it works for you: You've been in the same industry/field for a number of years and plan to stay there. Your current or most recent position is one you're proud of and one that can offer important skills to the prospective employer.

Functional

What it is: Stresses what you can do, rather than when you did it. It defines your value by focusing more on skills and less on work history. It calls attention to qualifications and achievements, listing them under headings that show your areas of expertise, followed by work history and education.

Why it works for you: You've changed careers frequently or have significant employment gaps in your work history. Or, you're a parent looking to re-enter the workforce, you took time off for travel or personal reasons, got laid off, or are just entering the workforce out of college.

Combination/Hybrid

What it is:
Combines elements from both chronological and functional formats. It emphasizes your skills and accomplishments with a balanced emphasis on work history, including employment dates and job titles.

Why it works for you: You're eyeing a significant career change or promotion in your current field, or you have work experience in many different fields that are unrelated and don't define a clear career path.

And there you have it: a simple breakdown of resume formats to determine which one will work for you. There are, of course, other lesser-known (or used) formats, but that's for a future post.

Need more real-life examples? Ask away!

Pongo Raves
Student Lands Job in Hospitality Industry
Anthony was unemployed and living at home. Watch as he describes how Pongo helped him improve his resume, letters and interview techniques to land the perfect job.
Learn More About Pongo
More Success Stories