It is exciting when you want to send your resume out after seeing or hearing about a position you are excited about.  So you look at the most recent resume trends and feel overwhelmed by which type of resume to choose.

The three most popular types of resume are:

1. Chronological.  It works from your most recent experience to 10-15 years ago. Use it when you have relevant experience. Generally the most trusted. This is easiest one to make.

2. Functional. It highlights your transferable skills first and brief details on the job title and company on the second page. Ideal for career changers. Not as trusted but highlights transferable skills. Some recruiters think you are hiding something with this style, but if you don’t have the exact experience, this is still a good way to go. If you have the experience, don’t make them doubt you, by using this one, even if it is a beautiful type.

3. Combination. This resume highlights your transferable skills but also gives details about your previous roles. A nice balance but often long.

But how do I choose?

It can be difficult to choose which type of resume to use for a specific role, but there is a technique to it.

Remember that the resume is a door opener. It doesn’t need to tell all. It does need to tell the person reading it the most relevant bits at the front.

To choose the right one, review the position you are applying for and ask:

  • Did my last job relate to the position? Do I have more than 6 months doing relatable work? Choose Chronological — why hide the relevant parts?
  • Do I have the skills, but it’s not obvious based on my title and the company? Choose Functional or Combination
  • Do I know the person who is hiring and they know what I am capable of? Choose Chronological, but have a lengthy “highlights” section
  • Is my related experience older than 10 years? Choose functional, add a section that says relevant work experience, followed by other employment.

The best way to develop this is to start with a database resume with well-crafted accomplishment statements. Then you copy and paste the relevant stories into a targeted document, match your language with the industry, and voila! — you start getting interview calls.

Speaking of those — are you ready?