What resume format is best? Should you put together a Chronological or Functional resume?

(extract from “How To Write a Résumé That Blows Away the Competition” – available in The Australian Resume Writer software by Aussie Résumés)

A functional resume focuses on your skills.  Thus, this style tends to highlight the strengths you can bring to an employer and downplays your employment history – facts such as dates and so forth.

We highly recommend that you DO NOT put together a functional resume.

Why?  Almost all hiring managers who participated in the Aussie Résumés Employer Survey were vocally opposed to functional resumes. We are also in constant contact with HR professionals in a wide variety of industries which has given an insight into what they do, or do not, want to see.  We’re passing on this knowledge to you!  Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t put together a functional resume

1)  This style has long been associated with those who have been long-term unemployed or have a large number of job gaps.  On sighting a functional resume, first opinion is that the applicant has an unstable work history.  If you do have a few job gaps or have been long-term unemployed there are numerous ways around this.

2)  It annoys a hiring manager.  Employment is usually all over the place (i.e. most relevant placed at the top of the list, even though the applicant may have worked in that position 20 years ago), thus they have to spend more time trying to work out the applicant’s recent experience.  Some applicants even leave off dates altogether and instead write “2 years”, etc; thus, a hiring manager has no idea what real experience an applicant has.  You should never waste a hiring manager’s time – make everything easy for them!

3)  Hiring manager cannot determine the recent skills of an applicant.



What is a chronological résumé?

Essentially, it lists your employment and education in reverse chronological order; providing the hiring manager with an immediate picture of your experience.

True-to-form chronological resumes can be quite boring as they generally give no insight into a person’s attributes and skills.


So what’s the best way to format?

We recommend a combination of functional and chronological.

This approach works tremendously as you are providing hiring managers with what they want to see!  That is, a clear outline of your employment history in reverse chronological order, as well as a summary of your skills, attributes and abilities.  This approach is the preferred method by hiring managers as it gives them a full picture of who you are and what you can bring to their organisation.


Want to blow away your competition and put yourself ahead of the pack? Check out our interview-winning resume writing service. Alternatively, if you enjoy doing your own resume but want to know the secrets of real resume writers in the trade, you might be interested in our DIY solution, The Australian Resume Writer Software.

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We’ve earned a strong reputation for providing resume writing services, LinkedIn profiles, as well as other specialised career services for people principally in:

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When I decided to relocate to Australia without a job, it was important for me to make sure that I got the correct message regarding my key skills, achievements and experience to the job market.

I commissioned Tara to re-write my résumé for me in the “Australian” format, but ended up getting a much more comprehensive professional service from Tara than I signed her up for. This included advice on how to approach the job market through a multi-tier plan, the key aspects of successful interviewing, which types of jobs to focus on etc. Even after I received a number of job offers Tara was kind enough to advise me on which opportunities would suit my skills set better and therefore have a higher probability of long term job satisfaction and career growth for me and my new country of residence.

She is friendly, punctual, an expert in her field and boasts unquestionable integrity. It is with pleasure that I recommend Tara’s services. Roelof

Group General Manager

Professionalism, promptness, resumes that grab attention and win jobs. Tara and her team at Aussie Resumes deliver. I use Aussie Resumes to help me win jobs and to just keep my resume up to date in a very dynamic WA market. Tara has assisted with the drafting, review and approach with both the résumé and selection criteria to be addressed. It’s a great feeling when you get those phone calls from prospective employers wanting to meet with you, but best of all being positioned to choose from a number of opportunities.

If you are looking for that winning edge with your resume, Aussie Resumes should be your first step, in my job I review no less than 30 resumes every two months, and I appreciate resumes that tell me what I want to know in addressing the position that’s been advertised, Aussie Resumes hits the mark – succinctly, to the point and alignment with the position being sought. Antonio

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Supervisor, Oil & Gas

Tara’s contribution was invaluable in rapidly bringing me up to date with the importance of professional social media generally and LinkedIn specifically. She designed my new profile based on my inputs and the resulting picture of skills and experience is far more compelling and clear.

Following her work my profile went from zero for my target role keywords to 1st position and quick contact from recruiters.

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again

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