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Types of Resumes—Everything You Need to Know in 2024

Our comprehensive guide on types of resumes covers everything you need to know about all types of resume formats. Find the perfect one and make an impression on future employers.

Mariusz Wawrzyniak
Mariusz Wawrzyniak
Career Expert
Types of Resumes—Everything You Need to Know in 2024

When it comes to job searching, your resume is your personal marketing tool. It is a chance to showcase your skills, experience, and achievements to potential employers and make lasting impressions. But with so many types of resumes to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is right for you.

In this article, we will cover:

  • What the 3 main types of resumes are, as well as when and how to use them.
  • The other resume types, their use, and their purpose.
  • Tips and tricks to using all covered types of resumes.

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Choosing the type of resume you want is just one step. To learn how to create the best resume that will get you a job, check out our other resume guides:

What are the Main 4 Types of Resumes?

The 4 main types of resumes are Chronological, Functional, Combination, and Targeted resumes. Each one of them has a different purpose and features a slightly different layout.

1. Chronological Resume Type

A chronological resume presents work experience in reverse order, highlighting a candidate's career progression. It focuses on showcasing a clear and linear employment history, starting with the most recent job.

The three biggest advantages of the chronological resume type are:

  • It clearly demonstrates your work history and career progression to potential employers.
  • It is also the most commonly used type of resume, which is universally accepted in most industries. That’s also why most resume layouts are designed with reverse chronology in mind.
  • Furthermore, they allow you to highlight your relevant skills and experience for the job you are applying for by putting the most recent experiences on top, where they are easier to get noticed.

Chronological types of resumes should be used if you:

  • Have a solid work history with no gaps in employment.
  • Have held a variety of positions within the same industry or career field. Especially if you’re looking for a job in the same field as your previous one.
  • Have a clear career progression with lots of professional work achievements, and want to highlight your growth within a company or industry.

Chronological resumes shouldn’t be used by job seekers who have gaps in employment history, are creating resumes to change career paths, or have a varied work history with little to no relevance. In these cases, you should use one of the other types of resumes.

Expert Hint: Regardless of which type of resume you choose, remember that some best practices are universal. So leverage resume keywords to make a huge impact on recruiters and get past ATS much easier.

2. Functional Resume Type

A functional resume organizes information by skills rather than chronology, emphasizing qualifications and achievements. It's suitable for career changers or those with diverse skills and experiences, de-emphasizing work history.

The three main advantages of a functional resume type are:

  • It allows you to highlight your main transferable resume skills rather than your work history.
  • It is well-suited for job seekers with gaps in their employment history or those who are changing career paths.
  • Furthermore, it’s suitable for candidates with varied career experience, where some positions wouldn’t bring much, if any, relevance to the job you’re applying for.

Functional types of resumes are best utilized when you:

  • Have gaps in your employment history.
  • Are changing careers.
  • Have a varied work history.
  • Want to highlight specific skills.

Functional resumes may not be as well-suited for job seekers with a solid work history and clear career progression. They do not demonstrate your work history and achievements to potential employers clearly.

When pitching a chronological resume vs. a functional one, you need to first look at what you’re trying to achieve with it. It’s also important to remember that most ATS-friendly resumes are chronological resume types. And since more and more businesses use Applicant Tracking Systems in their employment process, it’s wise to keep that in mind when writing your resume.

Expert Hint: When listing skills on your resume, it can be hard to strike a balance between hard skills and soft skills. Just remember that a successful application requires both. Learn more about hard and soft skills, their differences, and how to use them.

3. Combination Resume Type

A combination resume, or hybrid resume, blends chronological and functional formats. It showcases skills upfront and follows with a detailed work history. This format suits those wanting a balanced presentation of skills and career progression.

The main advantages of combination resume types are:

  • They allow you to highlight your relevant skills and work history chronologically.
  • Combination resumes are versatile and can be effective for individuals with diverse career paths or those who have held roles in various industries. It accommodates candidates who performed many job functions.
  • It features a qualifications summary, a hybrid between a professional summary and a resume skill list.

Combination types of resumes are best used when you:

  • Have a mix of relevant work experience and skills.
  • Are looking to highlight specific skills and achievements but also want to provide a clear work history when both of these resume sections are highly relevant.
  • Are applying for a job that requires a specific set of skills and experiences.

A combination resume is a good fit for experienced professionals who are targeting a specific position. But, it falls flat for those with a very linear, straightforward career path and minimal work experience.

Expert Hint: Every resume type lets you include additional resume sections. So, raise the value of your application by including certifications on your resume, showcasing volunteer work on the resume, or listing your known languages.

4. Targeted Resume Type

A targeted resume is customized for a specific job, emphasizing skills and experiences relevant to the position, increasing its effectiveness for a targeted application. You can apply the targeted resume rules to all other types of resumes.

The main advantages of targeted resume types are:

  • They ensure the resume aligns precisely with the job, making it more appealing to employers seeking specific qualifications.
  • It emphasizes key skills and experiences directly related to the targeted position, creating a compelling case for candidacy.
  • Furthermore, by showcasing a strong fit for the role, targeted resumes increase the likelihood of being selected for interviews and consideration.

Targeted resume types are best used when you:

  • Are a career-focused candidate.
  • Are applying to competitive positions.
  • Want to advance your career in a specific field.

We recommend you make a targeted resume each time you apply for a job, as this type of resume is generally the most effective. The only time you may want to omit creating a tailored resume is if you’re a job seeker with a broad search scope. In this case, a general resume might be enough for you.

Expert Hint: One more thing before we move on. If you pass the initial resume screening, it’s very likely the recruiter will take a brief look at your social media, especially LinkedIn. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is optimized and ready to go.

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What are the Other Types of Resumes?

Among other types of resumes, we can find infographic, mini, and non-traditional resumes. Sometimes Targeted resumes are also listed as resume types. However, targeting a resume is less of a type of resume and more of a good practice that is applicable to all other types of resumes.

1. Infographic Resume Type

An infographic resume uses visuals like charts and graphics to represent information. It creatively presents skills, achievements, and work history in a visually engaging format, making it stand out in a dynamic and illustrative way.

Unfortunately, this resume type comes with the great flaw of being completely unreadable by the ATS. So, if you’re applying for a job through an online form, omit to send an infographic resume just in case.

Since the infographic resume presents information in a visual way, it is best used for making graphic design resumes. If you’re in a creative field, an infographic resume type allows you to showcase your design skills in an appealing way.

2. Mini Resume Types

Mini resumes are basically all resumes made on smaller paper types that contain more selected and concise information. They usually come in a form similar to business cards. They have your contact information on the front and just a few highly relevant bits of information on the back.

The commonly put information can be the number of years in the field, a single key achievement, the most prominent skills, or a high-quality certificate. Unless highly relevant, you should skip showcasing your education on a resume like that.

These resumes are only really used during networking events whenever you meet a recruiter or a representative from a company you’d like to apply to. They give just enough information to be more effective than regular business cards. If you decide to go this route, ensure your resumes are printed on high-quality resume paper.

3. Non-Traditional Resume Types

Non-traditional resumes are what the name suggests—anything that deviates from the norm of a written resume. It includes infographic resumes since they are comprised of pictures and other formats such as portfolios, video resumes, and personal websites.

Similar to infographic types of resumes, other non-traditional resume types also showcase your creativity uniquely. In the case of portfolios, they are often added as a separate document to supplement a traditional resume but can sometimes be applied by themselves, as long as the proper contact information is displayed on them. Just keep in mind that they also won’t pass any ATS scans.

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Key Points

There are a lot of things to know and consider when it comes to the available types of resumes, so here are the most important points to remember:

  • The 4 main types of resumes are chronological, functional, combination, and targeted resumes.
  • Less popular types of resumes include infographic, mini, and non-traditional resumes.
  • When deciding on the type of resume to use, you should strongly consider the requirements and preferences of the job you are applying for, as well as your own strengths and career path.
  • Different types of resumes are better at highlighting different aspects of the resume. To put more emphasis on your skills, choose a functional resume. To showcase your strong career experience, opt for a chronological resume type.

How did you like our article on different types of resumes? Do you have any helpful tips for choosing the best one? Or maybe you have some questions? Regardless, let’s talk about it in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Mariusz Wawrzyniak

Mariusz is a career expert with a background in quality control & economics. With work experience in FinTech and a passion for self-development, Mariusz brings a unique perspective to his role. He’s dedicated to providing the most effective advice on resume and cover letter writing techniques to help his readers secure the jobs of their dreams.

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