Career Action Center

Chronological vs Functional Format

There are two common formats for a resume. Choose the one that presents your background to the best advantage.


Advantages Disadvantages
Familiar format to employers Doesn’t show themes in your experience
Shows off strong & stable work history Shows gaps in employment
Emphasizes employer & job titles Repetitive if job titles & duties similar

Use a chronological format when:


Advantages Disadvantages
Emphasizes major skills & strengths Not as familiar to employers
De-emphasizes unrelated or erratic  
Work history  
Minimizes past job titles  
Easy to include experience from hobbies  
Volunteer work or household management  

Use a functional format when: