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What is the Difference between Chronological and Functional Resumes?

difference between chronological and functional resume

A Resume is a single piece of document that can help you to shine your career progressively. There are different styles, format, and writing that resume has for professionals to choose from. In this post, we will discuss the main difference between Chronological and Functional resumes. Each of these resume types has benefits, negatives, and ways to promote your career in the right direction. 

 The two main types of resume formats are the chronological and functional and the main difference between them is the way they present your qualifications for a job as well as the skills you list in there. Both resumes have a different style as well as different format. The most common type is chronological resume that around majority of people include. In this post we will discuss about what is the difference between chronological as well as functional resume or if any point you would need any resume writing services or not, so let’s start now.

What is Chronological Resume?

A Chronological resume is a method of writing that lists your work and experience in reverse order. Thus showing your recent job first and followed by the previous job experience.

A Chronological resume starts with a Personal name, email ID, phone, and job title you applied for. Then a small summary or objective to highlight your career goals. Followed by sections for educational qualification, work experience, and individual sections. Many Professionals complement their resumes by writing a cover letter too.

In this type of Chronological resume, professional skills and qualifications are positioned at the bottom of the resume. Chronological is the most preferred and suitable way for professional resume writing. Most job applicants follow a chronological resume.

Moreover it is also beneficial  for the  people who have been out of the workforce for some time, or those who are changing careers as it covers the  gap in your employment history.

Now we will explain the Functional Resume!

What is a Functional Resume?

A Functional Resume gives more preference towards your skills and capabilities rather than your work experience. This type of Functional resume gives the reader the viewpoint for carrying out the specific roles and responsibilities that comes with the job.  

In a Functional resume, professional skills, certifications, and qualifications become the center of attention. Explaining the skills with the tasks performed and ability to deliver with times, deadlines as well as success rate.

All awards, achievements, licenses, degrees, and educational certifications are mentioned with a clear objective to give recruiters more preference towards your ability. Some Functional resumes have a work experience section though it is small and listed at the bottom to compliment your job position.

For example, if your hiring manager is looking for someone with experience in leading teams as a job role of “team leader” but you do not have such relevant experience, in which case a functional resume can be avoided as you will cover such issues and other skills such as project management , strategic planning or leadership, team consultant, analytical skills It will focus on many more

Also Read How to build an effective cover letter while applying for job

How to Craft a Professional Resume? (Tips and Tricks)

You always should  choose a proper format for your resume, which depends on the type of job you are applying for.
A well-written resume can get you shortlisted for an interview, so make sure that your resume has all the relevant information about you and avoid adding wrong information.
Have someone else proofread your work before sending it off. The best suggestion is to take help from professional cv writers if you are creating a resume for the first time.
A good resume should be a concise summary of your key skills, experience and achievements as well as the list of your certifications as well as awards you hold.
Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs as it makes it easier to read, especially if there is a lot of information to convey especially during career change or transition.

Difference between Chronological and Functional Resumes 

Here are the main differences between Chronological and Functional resumes to help you choose the best one for improving your career path.


One of the main differences between Chronological and Functional resumes is found in their visual structure or format. A chronological resume will showcase the career reverse path from current to past. Then sections for education, work experiences, skills, and personal details.

While Functional resumes start with contact information and then move on to skills & capabilities to give them more preference. An expert in visual resume writing services will help you distinguish and create the resume structure best suited for you.

Primary Focus

A chronological resume will put your skills and work experience as a catalyst for future growth. And for a Functional resume, an individual resume takes the preference of showing your skills and abilities to accomplish job responsibilities.

A Chronological resume shows your career, learning curve, struggles, and ability to accomplish certain tasks laying the path for future success. A Functional resume showcases you as a more proficient skillful and competent individual to accomplish certain tasks. These Skills may or may not depend on your experience.

Customization and Editing: 

A functional resume can be customized to highlight the specific skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for and is easy to edit when applying for any job position, because you have the flexibility to rearrange the skills and put them as per the requirements you have. On the other hand while editing or customizing a chronological resume you have to start from the beginning i.e the work history in the reverse chronological order as you cannot skip anything, hence it is less flexible than functional resume.


Both Chronological and Functional resume have their pros and cons. Though most employers, HR departments, and recruiters are familiar with Chronological resumes and may interpret functional resumes as incomplete or chaotic. Whereas many employers often disregard chronological resumes for specific skills that are missing or looking for a more refined candidate for that particular job position.

You have to be selective and make a careful decision based on your understanding to make this essential decision for your career. Job requirements, roles and responsibilities, circumstances, and recruiters’ viewpoints are some of the factors that can affect your judgment when selecting the suitable one.

Chronological Resumes will suit professionals who have brilliant work experience and a concise career path.

Professionals who started with an entry-level position or lowest grade and made their way to the top should prefer a Chronological resume.

For an Experienced Professional with accomplishment and a successful career path, a chronological resume will highlight your industry skills, experience, and capabilities precisely for future employers.  

Functional Resumes are more suitable for professionals with gaps in their career path, work history in different fields, or any circumstances to keep the focus on your skills and abilities.

Professionals looking for a change in their mid-life career change can use a functional resume to highlight their particular skills and abilities to get more attention to match with job specifications.

To know more about resume tips for different professions like Chartered Accountant Resume, Yoga Teacher Resume, Sales Manager Resume and many more click on the links.


What’s the difference between a chronological and a functional resume?

The major difference between both is that a chronological resume lists your job history in reverse chronological order, it can be used in any situation while you are being in the same industry. Moreover a functional resume focuses on skills and accomplishments rather than focusing on work history and other metrics.

Is it better to use a chronological or functional resume?

The simple answer to this is if you’re changing your  career or had a gap in career the best way is to go ahead with a functional resume as it allows you to highlight all skills and experience relevant to the position for you are applying. Other than that if you have a strong work history and applying for similar and higher level positions in same industry then chronological resume will be more effective for you.

How do I write each type of resume?

A Chronological resume is usually easier to write because all the work experience s listed in reverse-chronological order (most recent first). Functional resumes require more tough because this type of resume requires you to organize information into categories that make sense for the particular position and often it is  a time consuming task.Writing a resume is easy but sometimes it can be challenging as well so if you feel difficulty in writing resume then you can contact any professional resume writers to get your resume done professionally.

What should I include in my chronological resume?

You should include your name, address, phone number, email address at the top of every page. Do not include personal information like marital status, gender, Date of birth in your chronological resume. Do include all important and relevant information such as degrees, certifications along with the date of certificates received and liecences you hold from any schools or training programs. 


Rahul Ranjan

Rahul Ranjan is the founder of Writrox Solution Private Limited, a Creative Writing company dedicated to transforming the professional journeys of countless individuals seeking employment. With unwavering commitment, to empowering people in their career endeavors Rahul has played a role in shaping the futures of, over 15,000 job seekers through solutions and strategic insights. It's worth noting that Rahul Ranjan holds a position and has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs to watch in 2023 among 15 inspiring Indian entrepreneurs.

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