Resume Question: Functional vs. Chronlogical

  1. Ok, I feel like my head is about to explode and implode. First of all, I've revised my resume gawd knows how many times already since last October. By revising, I mean COMPLETE overhaul. The problem is, every person who sees my resume all want it changed THEIR way. So, it doesn't matter how many times I revise something, somebody always has something to say.

    Now here's where I'm really confused. Functional vs. Chronological, which one is better? I know that the default answer would be Chronological, because it's easier to read and takes less effort. I've been told by several headhunters that chronological is the way to go because most recruiters are too "lazy" (that's their words, not mine) to bother reading anything else.

    However, this is where the problem is. Although I have a lot of skills and experience, chronological works AGAINST me. I've gone through quite a number of jobs since I graduated from school. In each instances, I left due to situations beyond my control. Nonetheless, the fact that I've gone through several jobs would've already deterred any interested personnel from even wanting to talk to me. This is WHY I used functional resumes.

    Functional resumes illustrates my strength and expands on my experience. Even though I have gone through several jobs and been through several different industries, it worked to my advantage in that it gave me a wide range of skills that WILL come in handy in many instances. If one even takes the time to READ my resume, they'll see that I have a lot to offer. Yes, I know I sounded arrogant just now, but coming from someone like me (who never thinks I'm good enough), saying that I'm qualified for something means that I truly believe that I am.

    I guess the question is, should I revert back to chronological resume? I seriously feel that chronolgoical will do me more harm than good. Yet it's a catch-22 with functional resumes because it'll take someone who truly cares to read through a resume to realize what I can contribute. I'm feeling extremely frustrated and defeated right now ...
  2. I think you answered your own question. Use what works for you, and you shouldn't have to explain or justify it. If anyone else asks, just say you wanted a resume format that allows you to be as authentic as possible in displaying your knowledge, skills, abilities, etc.
  3. I prefer reading chronological resumes for the reason you stated- it's easy. When you are handed hundreds of resumes to look over, ease and speed is important.
  4. I'd say go reverse chronological. You have your most current job first, and then work backwards from there. That makes it even easier for them.

    (Also, make your name a big font and bold, so that the person reviewing resumes will notice your name.)

  5. Absolutely!!!!
  6. functional ... that's how the business school kids do it when they try to change industries -- this way the recruiter knows whether or not you can do the job, or at least have some experience doing certain things

    also you don't have to put every job on your resume if you have an extensive work history, only put your most recent or most relevent (but those should still be recent)
  7. chronological may be easier to read BUT you will be a harder sell if you are trying to change industries or need to explain yourself in some way

    BUT I think it's most important to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for, even if it means writing a new resume for every job (this won't really be the case unless you are applying to very different jobs)
  8. Or, keep your resume the way it is, and then change your cover letter to meet the needs of the job you're looking for.
  9. Tailor your resume to the job and since you have had so many positions, go functional unless the recruiter is adament about receiving a chronological.
  10. A good recruiter (as in, one worth working with -- or one in a good company worth working for) isn't "lazy" about reading resumes, considering this is how they make their living. I would reconsider what headhunters you work with.

    I'm in corporate headhunting. You definitely need to work with a reputable firm like Heidrick & Struggles, although granted, they generally place CEOs and the like.
  11. ITA, that's what we look for.