Wondering what a resume is and what type of resume is right for you? No matter how much experience you have or what type of job you want, there is one type of resume that will suit your needs.

Each type is described below so that you can choose the best one for your application.

The three main types of résumés

There are three main types of résumés that job seekers use today, each with their own strengths and uses: the chronological résumé, the functional résumé, and the composite résumé.

1. Chronological curriculum vitae

A chronological resume is a type of resume that focuses heavily on your work history. Its main function is to have your work history listed in the order you held each position (in chronological order) with your most recent job listed at the top of the section.

The chronological format is that most common Type of resume and is considered the standard for most industries.

The two advantages of a chronological resume are:

  1. This way the hiring manager can easily see how you have progressed in your career
  2. This puts your most relevant work experience at the forefront, where it is first seen by recruiters and employers

Who should use it

A chronological resume is ideal when you don’t have major gaps between your previous jobs, constant progress throughout your career, and a long list of accomplishments and skills in the industry for which you are applying.

Example of a chronological résumé

This is what a reverse chronological curriculum vitae looks like:

2. Function recovery

A functional resume is a type of resume that focuses on your relevant professional skills rather than your chronological work history.

The defining feature of a functional resume is the expanded Relevant Skills section, which takes up most of your resume and replaces a detailed work experience section.

In addition, the “Relevant Skills” section of a functional resume groups your experiences under Skill categories instead of job titles. Bullets are used in each category to highlight examples of your accomplishments or other methods in which you use your skills.

Who should use it

A working resume is likely to suit you if you:

  1. Change industries
  2. Someone with significant gaps in your work history

Example of a functional resume

A functional resume should look like this:

3. Combination CV

A composite resume mixes the most useful elements of the chronological and functional resume formats.

It focuses on your skills like a functional resume does, but gives you ample space to detail your work history – usually in chronological order.

Who should use it

Compared to other types of resume formats, a composite resume is a good choice if you want to present any of the following:

  • Technical skills developed over a long, specialized career
  • Transferable skills with full details of your work history

Example of a combined résumé

This is what a combined résumé looks like:

Alternative CV types

There are several types of resumes that are less used or designed for a specific purpose.

Here are some other less commonly used types of résumés:

Targeted resume

A targeted resume is one that is tailored to the specific needs of each company you are applying for. You can format it as either a functional, composite, or chronological resume. The main difference is that you target every detail with the role you are applying for

To write an effective, focused resume, read the job posting and look for any key skill, task, keyword, or requirement that applies to you. Then customize your resume to highlight your key skills and experiences.

Writing a targeted resume takes longer than other types of resumes because you will have to research each company and write your resume to meet the requirements of each job description. However, it is also the most effective resume to write as it makes you look perfect for a particular job.

Who should use it

If your experience and skills match the job description, consider writing a targeted resume. Since targeted resumes are more likely to get callbacks, everyone should write one if they have the appropriate background.

Infographic resume

Unlike a standard resume, an infographic resume contains graphics and other visual elements to present your professional details in a unique, attention-grabbing style.

Here is an example of what one type of infographic resume looks like:

An example of an infographic resume

Who should use it

If you are an aspiring graphic designer, using an infographic resume can be a great way to showcase your design skills and show them off at the same time.

However, be careful:

Around 75% of businesses use or plan to use resume reading software called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The ATS software will scan your resume and decide if it has enough keywords for the resume to be worth showing to a hiring manager.

Many design elements used in infographic resumes are illegible to the ATS software and will result in your application being discarded. In addition, many companies consider such creative résumés to be unprofessional.

Only use an infographic resume if you’re writing a graphic design resume or if you’re sure the company isn’t using an ATS. Otherwise, a standard resume is better as it will more clearly show your skills and professional background.

Federal Resume

A federal resume template is used to apply for positions within the U.S. federal government.

Federal résumés differ from traditional résumés in a number of ways:

First, they are much longer, usually two to six pages long, and contain a very detailed area of ​​experience.

In addition, federal resumes contain a range of information specific to public sector jobs, such as: B. Your GS grade, security clearance, and citizenship information.

Here is an example of a federal resume written by a federal subordinate:

Federal Resume

Who should use it

You should use a federal resume when applying for a position with the US federal government.

Non-traditional resume

There are many other types of résumés that can be classified as non-traditional.

We mentioned infographic resumes before, but there are other types too. Most are modern versions of the traditional résumé including:

All of these CV types have in common that they forego a traditional structure in favor of a creative, memorable approach to the presentation of qualifications, skills and work experience.

Who should use it

You should use a non-traditional resume when applying for a position that requires the same skills that were used to create the resume. For example, a video resume can help you demonstrate your video editing skills.

Because resume reading software is still limited, unless the job posting specifically asks for otherwise, consider using a traditional resume as the main application document.

Add your non-traditional resume type as an extra item for the hiring manager to check out. This can give you an edge over other equally qualified candidates who only submit a resume.

Mini resume

This type of resume can range from a business card sized handout with a short version of your resume introduction to a notepad sized resume.

The idea is that you have a small resume handy in case you happen to run into a recruiter or CEO.

Here is an example of a printable mini resume that will fit on a business card:

An example of a mini resume type

Who should use it

If you are looking for a new job and attending networking events or industry conferences, bring a small résumé with you. Unlike at a job fair, you wouldn’t necessarily be looking for jobs at such events. Therefore, it does not make sense to bring full size printouts of your resume.

A mini résumé gives you something to hand out if the opportunity presents itself. It offers more information to potential employers than just a business card with your contact information.