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Chronological vs. Functional vs. Combination Resumes– Which One is Right for You?

Chronological vs. Functional vs. Combination Resumes– Which One is Right for You?

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Resume Format Showdown: A detailed comparison of the three popular resume formats, complete with examples to help you make the best choice for your job search


When crafting a resume, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is choosing the right format to showcase your skills and experiences. The three most common resume formats are chronological, functional, and combination. Each format has its strengths and weaknesses, making it crucial to select the one that best suits your unique situation. In this blog post, we’ll provide a detailed comparison of these three resume formats, complete with examples, to help you make the best choice for your job search.


Chronological Resume Format

The chronological resume format is the most traditional and widely used resume style. This format lists your work history in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent job and working backward. It emphasizes your career progression and is best suited for individuals with a steady work history and relevant experience in their desired field.


  • Easily understood by recruiters and hiring managers
  • Highlights your career progression and stability
  • Applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly


  • May emphasize employment gaps or frequent job changes
  • Not ideal for those with limited work experience or making a career change

Chronological Resume Example:

John Doe

123 Main St | New York, NY 10001 | (555) 555-5555 |

Experienced marketing professional seeking a challenging role in digital marketing.

Work Experience:

  • Digital Marketing Manager, ABC Company | New York, NY | January 2020 – Present
  • Developed and executed digital marketing strategies, increasing website traffic by 25%
  • Managed a team of 5, fostering a collaborative work environment and improving overall productivity
  • Marketing Coordinator, XYZ Agency | New York, NY | June 2017 – December 2019
  • Coordinated marketing campaigns, resulting in a 15% increase in leads
  • Assisted in content creation for social media, email marketing, and company blog


Bachelor of Science in Marketing, New York University | New York, NY | May 2017

Functional Resume Format

The functional resume format focuses on your skills and achievements rather than your work history. This format is best suited for individuals with limited work experience, employment gaps, or those making a career change.


  • Highlights your skills and accomplishments
  • Downplays employment gaps or frequent job changes


  • Can be confusing for recruiters and hiring managers
  • Less ATS-friendly, as it may not include relevant job titles or dates


Jane Doe
123 Main St | Los Angeles, CA 90001 | (555) 555-5555 |

Dedicated customer service professional seeking a challenging role in a client-focused organization.

Skills and Accomplishments:

  • Customer Service
    • Consistently maintained a 95% satisfaction rating from clients
    • Implemented new customer feedback system, improving response time by 20%
  • Communication
    • Presented monthly progress reports to senior management
    • Trained and mentored new customer service representatives

Work Experience:

  • Customer Service Representative, ABC Company | Los Angeles, CA | January 2020 – Present
    Marketing Intern, XYZ Agency | Los Angeles, CA | June 2019 – December 2019


Bachelor of Arts in Communication, University of California, Los Angeles | Los Angeles, CA | May 2019

Combination Resume Format

The combination resume format, also known as the hybrid resume, combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It allows you to highlight your skills and accomplishments while also providing a detailed work history.


Provides a balance between skills and work experience

  • Allows for flexibility in showcasing your qualifications
  • Can be tailored to emphasize the most relevant aspects of your career


  • Can become lengthy if not carefully structured
  • May still be confusing for some recruiters and hiring managers


Lisa Smith 123 Main St | Chicago, IL 60601 | (555) 555-5555 |

Objective: Highly organized project manager seeking a challenging role in a fast-paced, results-driven organization.

Skills and Accomplishments:

Project Management

  • Successfully managed a portfolio of 10 projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery
  • Implemented project management software, streamlining processes and improving efficiency by 20%

Team Leadership

  • Led a cross-functional team of 12 members, fostering collaboration and driving project success
  • Conducted regular performance evaluations, providing constructive feedback and promoting professional development

Work Experience:

Project Manager, ABC Company | Chicago, IL | January 2020 – Present

  • Managed a diverse portfolio of projects, consistently meeting project deadlines and budget requirements
  • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to drive project success and foster a positive work environment

Project Coordinator, XYZ Agency | Chicago, IL | June 2017 – December 2019

  • Assisted in the planning and execution of multiple projects, ensuring timely delivery and client satisfaction
  • Coordinated project resources, schedules, and budgets, contributing to overall project efficiency


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago | Chicago, IL | May 2017


Choosing the right resume format is crucial to effectively showcasing your skills and experiences to potential employers. Consider your unique situation, career history, and desired job when selecting between the chronological, functional, or combination resume formats. By carefully considering each format’s strengths and weaknesses and using the examples provided as a guide, you can create a resume that will catch the attention of recruiters and help you land your dream job.

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