The following are the four basic types of resumes to choose from when applying for jobs.

According to CareerBuilder, 39% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reading a resume and 23% only spend under 30 seconds looking over a document. This is why it’s important to pick the resume that best suits your needs and showcases the most important aspects of your candidacy front and center. The following are the four basic types of resumes to choose from when applying for jobs. Which resume you choose depends on your situation and the job for which you are applying:

  • Chronological Resume
  • Functional Resume
  • Combination Resume
  • Targeted Resume

Chronological Resumes

A chronological resume is a very common type of resume and just as the name suggests, each section lists the presented items in chronological order or by date. Mostly, this type of resume is ideal for those with a solid, gap-free work history in line with the type of job for which you’re applying. The “Work History” or “Professional Experience” sections of this type of resume are the most pronounced and span between eight to ten years depending on the number of years at your prior institutions. Start with your most recent position and work backward listing both dates and responsibilities. It is not necessary to go back ten years unless the experience is relevant to your job search.


Consider writing a functional resume if you’re changing careers or graduating from college and your work history relating to the job you want is not as robust as you’d like. Functional resumes tend to highlight skills and their application relating to the job description vs. where and when you were previously employed doing the type of job for which you are applying.

For example, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+ certifications are the first step to breaking into a career in IT. You may have tons of volunteer or hands-on hours from training like Computer Coach, but not much paid work history. When building a functional resume, you will list these skills and certifications first and how you have used them in practical situations while highlighting how you could use them in a paid position.

39% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reading a resume


Just as the name suggests, this resume type is a combination of both chronological and functional. Typically, this means that both a robust work history and a built-out skills section are listed within the resume. Creating a combination resume is easier with significant work and education experience. You can generally start your resume with the job titles you are seeking. Write out a robust professional summary and skills section, then include a chronological work history. Toward the bottom of the resume, you can include your education and skills training.


A targeted resume can be chronological, functional, or a combination but is “targeted” specifically to the position for which you are applying. The sections for work history, skills, and education are carefully constructed to emphasize the job requirements using exact keyword matching from the description. You will be required to research the company’s mission statement or vision as well as company culture and mirror those beliefs genuinely. You also want to consider that 98% of Fortune 500 companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter out ineffective resumes, as reported by Jobscan. This is why a targeted resume is especially helpful when applying online to help you overcome or rank higher in the ATS used by companies today.


Once you have decided on the type of resume to prepare, you will want to know how to beat the applicant tracking system. The chances are high that you will be submitting your resume online before talking or meeting with the recruiter or hiring manager. Remember it is acceptable to have more than one type of resume prepared and saved for different situations like online applications, job fairs, and in-person interviews.

No matter what type of resume you choose to construct for a potential job, you must still pay attention to the basics such as 1” margins, Arial or New Times Roman font, and no grammatical errors. Always include a skills list and remember to update regularly when new skills are learned.