There are three basic types of resumes currently in use and widely accepted today, and a couple of variations of these resumes.
The most popular type of resume is the chronological resume which lists relevant information in reverse chronological order. In other words, it lists the most recent of achievements or job experiences first and the least recent last. This resume tends to be the most preferred with employers as it theoretically shows steady and upward career growth of the applicant and it will also show any inconsistencies or gaps in employment.
The functional resume concentrates on skills, credentials and achievements overall. The attention is not so much about when or where you achieved your skills, but instead what they are. Accomplishments, qualifications and experience are grouped together and the stress is placed upon areas of expertise.
The functional resume also gives you the flexibility to arrange your skills in a professional manner when the chronological style would fill more than two pages. It can also be used if a lot of your experience was gained as a volunteer or through educational programs.
The combination resume integrates the chronological style with the functional style. The functional portion of the resume will list all relevant skills or accomplishments and the experience or chronological portion of the resume will support this section and will list employment and educational history in a reverse chronological order. This type of resume is essentially a combination of the first two resumes described.
If the functional style of resume would better support your qualifications and experience, or if it has been specifically requested by the prospective employer, then you should use this style. Otherwise, you’re better off to go with a combination or chronological style of resume, particularly if you’re applying for an entry level position.
Besides the three basic types of resumes, there is also a targeted resume. This particular style is used to customize your skills and accomplishments to a specific niche. It will highlight experience and skills that are relevant, and while it may be more work than a standard type of resume, it will be well worth the effort if your qualifications and experience are a perfect fit with a specific job.
There’s also a mini resume which is essentially a summary of the highlights or your career. This is used for networking, or can be shared upon request from a prospective employer or reference writer who would like a quick overview of your accomplishments and achievements as opposed to a full blown resume.
Curriculum vitae (CV) are a type of resume, though it’s not recognized or required in all countries. It’s much more detailed than any other type of resume and takes two or more pages to compose. It would include things such as accomplishments and awards from high school up to current awards or certificates and is a common requirement for academic positions.
The last type of resume that I’ll mention is a video resume. It first became used in the early 80’s, but never really took off from that point. With the technological developments over the years and Internet video streaming, it’s starting to become more popular and more widely accepted by companies worldwide. There are some drawbacks and criticisms to this type of resume though. Some employers feel that they don’t give enough information. It’s also thought that they could perpetuate discrimination through racism, sexism, classism, or age groups, or lead to false accusations of these practices.
Paper resumes allow for bits of information to be compared easily amongst several applicants. With video, it’s left up to the viewer to glean this information, which can easily lead to oversights in the sorting process.
Whatever type of resume you choose to use, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a professional. They know what to do and the best way to present your information that will get you an interview and the chance at a job.