What Are the Different Types of Resumes?

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There are various types of resume formats you can follow to create a more effective resume. Having a properly formatted resume can help you gain the attention of employers and secure a job interview. This article explores four main types of resumes and the characteristics of each formatting style. 

What is a resume?

A resume is a document created for the purpose of presenting your skills, work history, experience, education and accomplishments. While they are most commonly used to secure employment, resumes may also be used to apply for internships or to enter various educational programs.  

Common details to feature in a resume

Here are some of the most common details to include in a resume:

  • Contact information. Include your phone number and/or email address so you can be reached by employers, hiring managers and recruiters. 
  • Professional summary or objective statement. Most resumes begin with a  first-person statement giving details explaining your professional background, what your career goals are, and what qualities and experience you have to offer. 
  • Job-related skills. Your resume can include a list of the skills you possess that make you a strong candidate. 
  • Educational history. Include any details about your education, including degrees, certification and any awards you may have obtained during your academic career. 
  • Employment history. Employment history is a vital part of your resume. If you are creating a resume to get your first job, an internship or to gain entry into a college or scholastic program, you can include any volunteer work or job-related experience if you don’t have extensive work experience. 
  • Keywords. You should incorporate relevant keywords from the job posting to indicate you are a match for the required skills and qualifications. For instance, if you are applying for a job as a lifeguard, you can include keywords that are listed in the job posting such as certified lifeguard, CPR and first aid. 

Ultimately, what you decide to include in your resume will vary based on your personal experience and the job or opportunity you are applying for.

Types of resumes

Here are the four most common types of resumes:


A chronological resume is the most commonly used format. This type is best for those who have extensive work history in the same industry of the job they’re applying for. A chronological resume starts by listing your work history, with the most recent position listed first. You then continue the resume by listing the remainder of your previous positions in reverse chronological order. This is a safe format for virtually everyone who is seeking a job of any kind. Employers tend to prefer this type of resume because it allows them to easily see your work history. 


Also known as a skills-based resume, a functional resume allows you to focus more on your skills and abilities rather than your work history. This type of resume is typically used when you are just starting your career, for those who have unexplainable gaps in their employment history or when switching from one career to another. Additionally, if you are seeking employment in a more creative field in which your portfolio is more important than your work history, this is also an ideal format. 

Functional resumes begin with a resume summary or objective that details your previous experience or any related skills you would like the employer or the organization to know. The main content of the document should be a list of your skills. These resumes may include a brief work history or they may not include any work history at all. 


A hybrid or combination resume is a cross between a chronological and functional resume. This type of resume focuses on skills but also leaves room for you to include your previous work experience. These resumes are great for those who have extensive work experience but may be looking for a different position or to join a new industry. Additionally, for those who are applying for jobs that require extensive technical skills or other specified skills, this type of resume allows you to list your skills as well as the related work history. 

A hybrid resume begins by listing relevant skills and goes on to list your relevant work history. It can allow for equal space on both sections.


A targeted resume lists only the skills and experience related to the job you are attempting to acquire. These resumes take more work to create than other resume types, as you must review and revise your existing resume to extract only the work experience and skills related to the position you are seeking. However, it is beneficial because it allows employers to see only the skills and experience that they are looking for and may make you appear to be a perfect match for the position you are seeking. This can be a chronological, functional or hybrid format.