Chronological vs. Functional

Chronological Resumes are the most common format, especially for students and recent college graduates.  It lists your education and work experience from the present back through your career.  Here’s a good example of a chronological resume.

Functional Resumes describe skills and capabilities, rather than past experiences. They’re usually used by people who are making significant career changes or whose past experiences are quite varied.  Here’s a good example of a mid-career functional resume.


Contents and Formatting

Pre-Writing WorksheetBefore you start to write, collect all your information in one place.  You might find this Pre-Writing Worksheet helpful.

Optimal Resume -- FREE to Principia students.  Consider using this online "resume builder" to build and store multiple resumes, cover letters, and professional portfolios.  Click here for access . 

Layout and Writing Style  There’s no “right” or “wrong” in resume writing … but there IS “good” and “bad.”  Here are a few pointers about “good” resumes:

► Write in the past tense

► Describe your experiences and background with strong “action verbs.”  Click here for a list of examples

► Keep your writing style short, succinct, and to-the-point.  Cut out excess words.

► Length?  One page is good, two if absolutely necessary.  Never more than two pages.

► One inch margins, minimum 11 point type

► Avoid borders, logos, unusual type treatments, etc.

► Print on nice-quality white or ivory stock, one side only

Required Elements

Name (include “Mr.” or “Ms.” if you have a gender-neutral or non-English first name)

► Contact information – mailing address, e-mail address, home and cell phones.

► Brief “objective,” “summary,” or “profile” at the top

► Past experience – chronological order, most recent first, oldest last.  Generally, do not include very old, pre-college, temporary positions

► Education – include GPA (if 3.5 or higher), major, graduation date if within the past 15 years.  Relevant course work, research projects, study abroad etc. ONLY if they’re applicable to the position for which you’re applying

 ► Other – relevant extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, computer skills, language skills.

► What NOT to include – marital status, religious affiliation, race information, references, other non-professional information

 Onlne Resumes

If you're posting your resume on line, always use a .pdf format.  This allows you to control the appearance and layout, and doesn't permit anyone except you to change it.

► If you are required to paste your resume text into an employer's form, use a plain text file (.txt) to make sure the employer can view it if they don't use the same software as you.


Resume Samples

    During College      Recent Graduates     Mid-Career
         ► Undeclared         ► Spanish           ► Fashion/Retail
         ► English         ► Mass Comm          ► Education (CV)
         ► Comp Sci         ► Art History          ► Market Research
         ► Political Sci         ► Sociology          ► Computer Programming
            ► Chemical Engr    








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