Functional vs Chronological Resume with Examples

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Creating the perfect resume is the most important tool in your search for a new job. As you progress in your career, the resume format you choose should match where you are in your life in the manner which best suits your individual experience and capabilities. This article explains the difference between a chronological and a functional resume to help you write a winning resume that showcases your current talents and abilities.

What are functional and chronological resumes?

Here are two common types of resumes:

Functional resume

The functional resume format makes your accomplishments and skills the focus as the first section listed after your name and contact information.  This format is most attractive to those who are switching industries or trying to move their career in a new direction.

Chronological resume

A chronological resume (or ‘reverse-chronological’ resume) is the format most commonly used to show advancement over time and highlight achievements in past positions. It will show recruiters or employers what a perfect fit you are for the job you are applying for, based on the skill set developed throughout your career thus far.

How to write a functional resume

Follow these steps to write a functional resume:

1. First, write a resume summary

Write a resume summary at the beginning of your resume that focuses on the skills you have that are relevant to the job. This is a great way to present yourself and all of your skills to the employer at first glance.

2. Second, write a ‘Skills’ section

Focus on your skills section, which is listed first on this resume, and make sure they are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Consider your unique abilities gained from special projects that might demonstrate some valuable skills you have developed and the success you have achieved.

3. Third, include your work history

While it’s not necessary to outline the exact dates of employment in your work experience, you should still include the basic employment details for each job you are listing.

4. Fourth, organize your resume

Organize your resume by category or theme. For example, if you have experience in marketing and public relations, group those skills and experiences together to promote your abilities in that area.

5. Finally, use keywords

Using specific keywords is very helpful, as they let the employer know that your skills match up with the requirements of the job. 

How to write a chronological resume

Follow these steps to write a chronological resume:

1. First, include a summary

Begin your resume with a short summary of your skills, experience or coursework relevant to the job you are applying for. 

2. Second, include your experience

Your professional experience section comes next and it should take up the most space on your resume. Highlight, in a bullet-pointed list, all of your relevant work experience, duties and responsibilities in each position as well as your major achievements.

3. Third, list your relevant skills

Include skills relevant to the job as well as your soft skills, such as leadership, organization or team player. The idea is to add some qualities that you have which make you stand out from other candidates.

4. Fourth, include your education

Your education includes any certifications you have earned, as well as your college degrees along with your major and minor, if applicable. 

5. Finally, include a miscellaneous section such as ‘Hobbies and Interests’ or ‘Languages’

Any activities such as college-level sports, foreign language skills, significant volunteer work, internships or published works can go in this section. 

Example of a functional resume

Here is an example of a functional resume to help you create your own:

Eric Cassidy
231 River Road
Austin, TX 23125


Experienced web designer with strong graphic design skills and UX experience seeks a position in web design with a major ad agency.

Core Qualifications

  • Background designing entire websites and taking them from conception to launch
  • Excel at building designs with a focus on user experience
  • Adept at building sites that are optimized for SEO
  • Proficient at managing a team of junior web developers

Areas of Expertise

Photoshop, UX design, HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, responsive design, media query, Microsoft Office, fluency in Spanish


  • Web design: Lead web designer at an agency that designs an average of five new sites per week, meeting strict deadlines and exceeding customer expectations
  • Graphic design: Lead in the design, development and implementation of graphics, layout and production of marketing materials 
  • Problem-solving: Designed a systematic process for testing bugs to ensure the end product delivered to the client was error-free
  • Management: Oversaw a team of 10 developers, both in-office and overseas

Employment History

Senior Web Designer: September 2018-Present, Easy Street Agency, Austin, TX

Web Designer: August 2016-August 2018, Easy Street Agency, Austin, TX

Junior Web Designer: May 2014-July 2017, Magnolia Agency, Austin, TX


Austin University, 2010-2014
Bachelor of Science in Web Design

Example of a chronological resume

Here is an example of a chronological resume to guide you as you craft your own:

Adam Black
123 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 33333


I am a passionate marketing manager looking for a position in a creative, technology-driven organization where I can utilize my superior marketing abilities to increase online traffic and sales.


Marketing Manager
Gulf Coast Advertising
May 2018 – Present

  • Developed a new promotional campaign by bundling products together, increasing revenue by 11%
  • Develop, monitor and evaluate the marketing and advertising strategy for each individual client
  • Manage and implement client promotions to drive revenue

Digital Marketer
Gulf Coast Advertising
January 2016 – April 2018

  • Developed unique content for a variety of clients to improve performance and brand awareness
  • Performed keyword research to improve client ranking in the search engines
  • Organized and analyzed data and marketing results and made recommendations for new directions for campaigns

Social Media Strategist
BlueGreen Advertising
October 2014 – December 2015

  • Used social media to enhance the company brand and reach more potential customers
  • Provided campaign performance reporting and analysis to senior managers and clients
  • Planned and implemented complex digital marketing campaigns through a range of online channels

Professional Skills

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Process streamlining
  • Team leadership


University of Tampa, 2010 – 2014Bachelor of Arts in Marketing

Volunteer Work

  • American Cancer Society – Media team for promoting the annual gala, 2015 – Present