5 Reasons to Consider a Different Resume Format


resume manJane was a dynamic job candidate. She had two undergraduate degrees, and after 10 years in the finance industry, she sought out a degree in nursing. When it came time to drafting her resume, she realized she had numerous job changes and also two very different career paths. She was confused how to write her resume. She learned so much after being in the finance industry, but she wanted a career in health.


Jane is not alone. In a day and age when the increase in older students matriculating at universities has more than doubled and where the cost of living has skyrocketed, career changes and job changes are no longer a shock to employers.  The problem is, how do you convey career changes or cover up frequent job changes on your resume? The time has come for you to consider a different resume format such as a functional or hybrid resume. Here are 5 reasons to consider a different resume format:


  1. Your current resume is not getting you calls for interviews;
  2. Interviewers are always asking you to explain gaps or career changes in your employment history;
  3. You have changed jobs more than a few times in a period of a few years;
  4. You have multiple careers or industries listed on your resume;
  5. You want the prospective employer to see that your strongest skills match the skills required for the position.


Traditional resumes are chronological. They focus on the chronology of jobs that a person has had, from most recent to last.  They are great for job candidates who want to show career growth over a period of time, such as progression from being a sales representative to becoming a manager. However, a chronological resume will not explain job or career changes. That’s where a functional format resume can strengthen and overlook such changes.


Functional format resumes are exactly as they sound. They focus on your job functions and skills. A functional format resume is great for those like Jane who have had a lot of movement in careers and in jobs. They are set up to focus on the top three or four job functions and transferrable skills of a person’s career, such as “Operations and Management” or “Customer Service and Problem Solving.”  A functional format resume can make up for career and job gaps by emphasizing job duties and skills in a stronger light.


A hybrid format resume is a combination of a functional format and chronological resume. It lists your skills and experience first followed by your chronological work history.   This is a great resume choice for a job candidate who has a stable work history but is looking to change careers. It enables a job candidate to show off his/her skills and still discuss the work history.


Choose the resume format that aligns with your background and job search.  If you are unsure, contact The Writing Guru for advice on which resume format will work best for you.



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