CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I've heard different advice about what kind of resume I should use. What kind do employers prefer?

A: The three most common resume formats are known as chronological, functional, or combination. The Internet can provide samples of each.

Chronological resumes list your education and experience in reverse chronological order, with the names of companies you've worked for, your titles, responsibilities and dates of employment. Most hiring managers site chronological resumes as their preferred format.

Functional resumes extract skill sets from positions you've held in the past, and provide a snapshot of your experience with each of the noted skills. There is no specific mention of your previous employment or dates. I would caution job seekers against using a purely functional resume. Hiring managers often view this format with skepticism, thinking it is used to "cover-up" a sketchy work history.

If you are changing from one career to something decidedly different, or if you are re-entering the work force after a period of time, a combination resume may be the one for you. This format highlights your transferable skills, as a functional resume would do, but adds a chronological listing of your work history.

(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower Services Inc., the world's leading provider of higher value staffing services and quality employment opportunities.)

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