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Thread: Functional or chronological resume

  1. #1
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    Functional or chronological resume

    what's better for an experienced planner to use--the common reverse chronological resume or a functional resume arranged by skill sets?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I have always used the chronological model. Skills are tweaked within each of my positions as per the pending job description. My belief is it is much easier to read.

    ...and welcome to Cyburbia!
    Last edited by mike gurnee; 16 Oct 2009 at 1:38 PM. Reason: forgot to welcome

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cloverhill's avatar
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    Resume

    On the rare occasion that we do hire new planners, I have the opportunity to review resumes and applications and then conduct interviews. I concentrate on our application much more than the resume. Our plain vanilla application is essentially a chronological resume that you aren't allowed to have gaps in. That said, since this is a common application type, I'd say that you should use a functional format that highlights your experience. It will offer an alternate view of your skill set.

    If the process of getting a particular job does not include some sort of application with a chron listing of experience, then I think your resume should be chronological.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    When I was recently applying for jobs, I generally used a chronological resume with a short section at the end that was like a functional resume - listing skills by category.

    I also created a functional resume for applying to jobs where the chronological resume format didn't seem to call attention to the skills that I wanted to highlight, usually jobs where my chronologicla experience didn't seem to match the job's requirements.

    Generally, chronological resumes are good for applying to jobs where your past experience is directly connected to the job that you're applying for (i.e. Planner applying to be a Senior Planner), and functional resumes are good for applying for jobs where a chronological resume might not call attention to specific skills or areas of knowledge important to the job (i.e. a generalist planner applying for a transportation planning position highlighting transportation-related skills and experience).
    Last edited by JimPlans; 16 Oct 2009 at 3:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    The Godfathers are playng in the background...

    I think chronological works well if you career has been linear, that is school, intern, entry-level, mid manager, etc. -

    if you have had different experiences along the way, then functional works better, putting the high-function experience first

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I love the plain vanilla applications that start with the first job you ever had. After 30 years in planning and few odd jobs before that, not only are the immediate supervisors no longer around--the agencies no longer exist! Do you want the current address or the address when I was there? Some jobs were before zip codes. When I was mowing lawns phone numbers were 5 digits.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    As a consultant my resume is definitely functional. It lists all of my project work by categories such as comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, economic development plans, market analyses, etc. Even when applying for a job, I would rather use or receive a functional resume. It communicates experience and skills far better than a chronological approach.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Another good reason to use a functional resume: Your last job sucked and you really want to change directions and NOT have people try to pigeon-hole you into the next logical step from that mistake. It allows you to emphasize what you did well in a previous job you liked better without calling glaring attention to the recent problem job.

  9. #9
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    I agree with Cardinal on a functional resume -
    It communicates experience and skills far better than a chronological approach.
    Oddball
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