Alpha Bits

Information, insights and advice regarding today’s IT and pharmaceutical recruitment landscape. 

Is There a “Best” Resume Format?

Whether you’re applying for work through pharmaceutical job placement agencies or on your own, having a standout resume is essential. In most cases, how you put your resume together matters.

By choosing the right format, you increase your odds of making a stellar impression. If you’re wondering whether any resume format is best, here’s what you need to know about the three most common options.


A chronological resume is the most traditional approach available. The main section of your resume outlines your work history in reverse order, ensuring your most recent experience is at the top. Then, you work backward, showing how your career has progressed.

In most cases, the chronological resume is the traditional choice, making it suitable for the majority of situations. It’s simple to create and provides everything a hiring manager might want to see.

Plus, hiring managers expect this kind of format, which can work in your favor. However, it may highlight gaps in your work history. Plus, it may not be ideal if you’re changing careers.


With a functional resume, you focus on your capabilities above all else. This format doesn’t feature a traditional work history section, so there aren’t dates, employer names, or similar details in expected places. Instead, it highlights strengths and transferable skills.

Functional resumes can make an inconsistent work history less obvious. Additionally, it may help professionals looking to change careers to showcase themselves as a strong fit, allowing them to focus on their capabilities instead of how and where they were acquired.

In some cases, this approach can work if you have limited relevant experience in the field. However, many hiring managers are suspicious of the strategy, assuming that candidates are using it to disguise gaps in their work history or a lack of experience.


With a hybrid resume, you combine features of the functional and chronological resume. Usually, this means creating a skills-oriented section and placing it above a traditional work history, allowing you to highlight critical capabilities immediately while also using the approach that hiring managers expect.

In most cases, a hybrid resume is the best approach if you need to showcase a range of must-have skills and don’t want to risk them getting buried in your work history. It can also be ideal for making a career change, as you can focus on what you bring to the table before discussing jobs that aren’t the clearest fit to the target role, increasing the odds that the hiring manager will give you a chance.

However, this option does mean that some of your work history might get shifted to the second page. While this may not matter if your most recent role fits on page one and aligns strongly with the position you want to land, it may not be ideal if that isn’t the case.

Find Your Next Consulting Role

If you’re looking for positions through pharmaceutical job placement agencies or on your own and would like to learn more about how to craft a stellar resume, the team at Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.