Learning about Résumé Styles


Each résumé is unique in that it is a reflection of you, the applicant. A one-of-a-kind correspondence piece, your résumé, markets your skills and expertise.

There are three common résumé styles or forms, the “reverse chronological,” “functional,” and a “combination” style that incorporates the two. A look at your work history and the type of position you are looking for will help you to decide the appropriate style for your job search.

Keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of a résumé is to land an interview opportunity. Your résumé cannot rely on style alone. It must be well written, without spelling and grammatical errors, and in a clear easy to read typestyle.You want your résumé to “stand-out” because you are the best person for the position not because you chose a loud colored paper or a difficult to read font. Those choices could land your résumé in the recycle bin instead of on the manager's desk.

The most commonly used résumé style is the classic reverse chronological. This format lends itself to emphasizing a strong work history in the field of interest. Each experience is listed, along with the dates of employment, beginning with the last position held. If you have impressive job titles or can demonstrate measurable job performance this may be the style for you. The classical résumé style is very effective in these instances.

What about those who are recent graduates, are changing fields, or have a work history of “short-term” employment? Often the “functional” (skills-based) résumé style is the choice in these situations. A functional style emphasizes your experience and minimizes dates. Popularized in the 1970s and 80s, this style is still unfamiliar to employers. When choosing this résumé style, have a clear-cut reason for selecting it. Although it is “foreign” to the employer’s eye and slightly more difficult to write, the functional style can put your best foot forward and gain you that opportunity to interview.

The third and last résumé style is the “combination.” This résumé features the best of the classical reverse chronology and functional skills-based styles. If your jobs have evolved into different positions or you want to feature unpaid experiences that relate to your field of interest a résumé style built on this format is the solution for you. Support your employment history by featuring specific work accomplishments.

We at Zaneta Publication Design want you to have the right tools for your job search. Begin by working through the résumé resource page and learn new things about yourself. You will be surprised at the skills you own that you have never before thought to be a “marketable skill.”

We will help you along the way to building your best résumé. There are sample résumé styles to help you decide which choice is the right one for your situation. Check out some of the job search resources and learn about the markets in your chosen field. We want to help you find your ideal position