functional vs. chronological resumes

Subject: functional vs. chronological resumes
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 13:44:44 -0600

Salette asked what hiring managers think of functional vs. chronological

I find I get a bit thrown by functional ones that don't list dates. That
might just be an old habit dying hard, but it's not as easy to navigate as
a more traditional date-oriented resume.

When it's obvious that somebody has tons of experience at some reputable
companies, I guess it's okay, but otherwise it has the potential to be
viewed as a smokescreen. Makes you wonder why they didn't list any

I do think a good "Summary" (or "Overview") section is a great thing to
include at the top of your resume. Tell me what you've done (and what you
can do), at a high level. Then show me the specifics, later in your

If your career has been on any kind of ascending path, I think you do
yourself a disservice by not showing your chronological progress. Ageism
is probably something to watch out for, but as a middle-aged writer, so
far I've found people don't mind hiring people who have been around the
block, as long as <big caveat> their skill set is current.

Speaking from first-hand experience, I had a HUGE gap in my resume (15
years touring in bands), which no amount of resume-smoke-and-mirrors could
hide. So, I just included pertinent education and work experience, and let
the gap just sit there for all the world to see. I still got calls, and I
still got jobs. People usually asked what I did during the gap, and most
were fascinated by my answer, and ended up asking me questions about the
music business, which prolonged the interview and broke the ice. YMMV.

-Keith "nearly almost famous but not quite" Cronin


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