Comparing Chronological Versus Functional Resumes

Beauty may only be skin deep, but presentation matters when it comes to a resume format that works. Busy employers who are sifting through hundreds of candidates for an open position. They want a resume format that’s easy to understand – and you want one that shows you off best.

Of course, laying out your resume is easier said than done. Lots of people get confused about how to display their skills, qualifications, and background in a way that’s great for themselves and easy for employers.

There are two main resume templates: chronological resume and functional resume templates.

Here’s an essential breakdown of these two templates so you can choose the right format for you.

The Chronological Resume Template

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“Many job seekers use the chronological format, which lists all of your jobs from most recent to least recent. A chronological resume is useful if you have extensive experience working in your industry. If you have most of the skills listed in the job opening, a chronological resume makes sense.”Nancy Anderson, Community Editor, Beyond 

The chronological resume format is the most popular style out there. It’s the most obvious way to lay out your work experience: from the most recent experience or job to the least recent.

The benefits of the chronological resume format is that it’s comprehensive, so you can include your time worked, former employers, locations, and more.

This formatting style is also the most popular, so employers will be able to read about you and your work experience quickly and easily.

Here’s an example of a chronological resume template that you can use for your resume.

Try our free chronological resume format templates like “Traditional” and “Letter Block” here!

Who Should Choose the Chronological Resume Template?

The chronological resume format is best for candidates applying for a traditional job who can include at least three relevant work experiences.

The Functional Resume Template

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“Grouping different experiences together on your resume lets you section out and highlight important aspects of your career while giving you more freedom than a basic chronological timeline of your career.” Michele Lando, Founder, 

The functional resume format highlights your skills and abilities, though it can still include your work experience. This template is a great option for people who may be just starting out in a new or different career path.

Feeling a little lost about your lack of experience? Check out this great article on “What to Put on Your Resume when You Have Little to No Work Experience”.

Who Should Choose the Functional Resume Template?

The functional resume format is a great choice if you’re a…

  • Recent graduate
  • Student
  • Candidate changing career paths

Here’s an example of a functional resume template that you can use for your resume.

Try our free functional resume templates like “New Grid” here!

Learn More

Ready to make a decision? Get started with your chronological or functional resume template today with’s free resume templates!