The Many “Types” of Resumes and Letters
Chronological Résumé – This is the most frequently used résumé format and is preferred by employers and recruiters. The job history is presented in reverse chronological order (beginning with the most recent work experience) and is best used when a recipient’s work history and education are related to his/her career goal, with a stable career history and few employment gaps. This format is not as effective for job seekers with no work experience, those who have jumped from job to job with little career focus, or those who have large gaps in their employment history.
Functional (Skills-Based) Résumé – The functional format focuses on job seeker’s skills that can be transferred to another job and relegates employer information, job titles, and dates to secondary importance. This format works well for job seekers with limited experience in their chosen field; those whose skills were attained through study, travel, or volunteering; those changing careers; and those with large gaps in employment history. The disadvantage of a functional résumé is that employers are not able to determine from the résumé what the applicant accomplished at each job. Some employers view functional résumés with suspicion, feeling the applicant is trying to hide some aspect of his work history.
Combination Résumé – This format combines the best elements of Chronological and Functional Résumés, allowing the job seeker to highlight their strongest skills while showing a consistent employment history. This type of résumé most often takes the form of skill sets broken down under each employer, but many variations can be used based on the job seeker’s unique skills and work history. This format is often used when a recipient has been performing the same job for several years and needs a way to break up the experience to make it easier to read.
Executive Résumé– This format emphasizes career achievements, such as improvements, innovations, cost-saving efforts, percentage increases, company recognitions, etc. Proven capabilities / Career Achievements are often listed in a separate section near the beginning of the résumé.
Technical / Information Technology Résumé – This format contains a descriptive list of computer skills near the beginning of the résumé. This list would include such skills as Operating Systems, Databases, Protocols, Networks, Languages, Software, Hardware, etc.
CV-Domestic (Curriculum Vitae) – This format is used by job seekers with extensive academic and professional credentials applying for higher education, research, clinical, or scientific positions. This detailed, lengthy, and structured listing of education, work history, publications, projects, and awards may be several pages long.
CV-International – In most countries other than the U.S. and Latin America, résumés are referred to as “CVs.” International CVs have different guidelines for each different country.
Federal Government Résumé – This format is highly structured with specific data requirements. For a person with work experience, the résumé will be about five pages in length. Personal data, dates, and names of past supervisors are all required information. A candidate for a federal job must submit this style résumé to be considered for a position that requires a résumé.
Cover Letter – A letter accompanies the résumé. The letter enhances (but does not repeat), the qualities and achievements that make the job seeker an outstanding candidate.
Bio (Professional Biography) – An interesting, short, clear account of who the candidate is and what he/she wants to do in terms that highlight relevant experience in order to engage the reader and help the job seeker achieve career goals.
Networking Cards – A networking card is a good communication tool to carry to business or professional meetings as well as social gatherings. They are same size and shape of business cards (3-1/2” wide and 2” high) and contain your name and contact information – typically just your phone number and email address. Instead of listing a company and job title, a networking card focuses on your job objective or unique selling points. Some people add a slogan that focuses on the job search goal. The back of the card often contains three or four bullets that highlight work experience or major qualifications.
Brochure – Brochures are used by individuals who want to market their services directly to the public. A piano teacher, home remodeler, photographer, landscaper, or lawyer might use a brochure as a marketing tool.
Electronic Résumé (ASCII) – A plain text résumé with no formatting used for copying and pasting résumés into applications or email. Instructions for creating electronic résumés are below: