Share page: 

What are Power Verbs?

Power verbs are words used in a resume to catch the employer's eye!  Click here for a list of power verbs in your field!

The Purdue OWL

Need assistance writing a cover letter or resume?  Check out the OWL at Purdue's website and then bring your finished document to the CRC for a resume critique!

Basic Resume Formats

  1. Chronological Resume - Example
  2. Functional Resume - Example
  3. Combination Resume - Example
  4. Freshman Resume - Coming soon!

These are three basic types of resumes.  Choosing the best resume format depends on your background and the requirements of the jobs for which you want to interview.  See below for information on these three different types of resumes and what is best for YOU!

Chronological Resumes

  • Emphasize career growth and progression.
  • Present your most recent job and educational experience first.
  • Describe the duties you performed under each listed experience.
  • Ideal for an individual who has had a series of positions within a field or industry and who wants to develop their career in the same field. It can also be useful for anyone starting a business as it provides proof of expertise within an industry.

Use a Chronological Resume if...

  • You have a solid track record in the area in which you are applying for a job.
  • The most recent experience you have is directly relevant to the position for which you are applying.


Functional Resumes

  • Group work experience and skills by skill area or job function.
  • Emphasize experiences and skills, not dates.
  • Prioritize the value of the experiences and describe those first.
  • Especially suitable, among other situations, for people entering the job market for the first time, recent graduates with little work experience, people who are going back to the job market, and job seekers in the middle of a career change who want to emphasize their transferable skills.

Use a Functional Resume if...

  • You have little or no working experience, but can sell yourself on skills developed through study, voluntary experience or life experience.
  • You have not had a job for a long time.
  • Your working experience is not relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • You have an unstable work history.

Combination Resumes

  • Incorporates both the chronological and functional formats.
  • Tailor the explanation of your job history to fit the types of jobs for which you are applying; you can also show continuity in your job record or history.
  • Organize your background by skills and functions rather than by job title. List your job titles and employers in reverse chronological order at the end of the resume.
  • There are numerous ways to format a combination resume so it is important to find the format that works for you and your current, unique situation and career history.

Use a Combination Resume if...

  • You are changing careers, but have relevant skills to offer in the job you are applying for.
  • Your most recent job is not the strongest experience to support the application.
  • You have not succeeded in achieving interviews with a chronological resume.