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John is an executive recruiter & speaker sharing his thoughts on healthcare, recruiting, digital technology, career management & leadership. 

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5 December, 2014 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Recruiting


Posted December 5th, 2014 | Author: John G. Self

Ask the RecruiterAsk the Recruiter is a regular feature.  We answer questions we receive from active candidates, those considering making a change or those in active transition.  Send your questions to SelfPerspective.


Why do executive recruiters prefer a chronological resume versus a functional resume or curriculum vitae?

Two reasons — to easily document your career progression and to match your performance improvements — quantifiable accomplishments — with the specific employer.

Physicians and some nursing candidates are the biggest offenders.  Never send a curriculum vitae unless specifically requested to do so.

For every project a search firm takes on, there are literally dozens upon dozens of resumes flooding in the door.  Researchers and recruiters must be able to quickly scan a resume and immediately see a good progressive career history with a record of relevant accomplishments.  Many recruiters see the functional resume as more about trying to cover short tenures, multiple layoffs or uneven performance.  Our Firm requires a chronological resume.

Curriculum vitae is really a latin term for a career document guaranteed to irritate the recruiter.  Unless we are recruiting for an academic, research or related position, do not send a 40-page CV loaded with stuff the recruiters — and most employers — couldn’t care less about (research papers, presentations and poster presentations).  If you want to do it anyway, do not be surprised if the recruiter requests a chronological resume.  So, why waste time — theirs and yours?

If you have a question, write to John at asktherecruiter@johngself.com.

© 2019 John Gregory Self


  1. kevin says:

    will not be sending resume to a firm that can’t spell theirs and yours correctly

    • John G. Self says:

      Thanks for your post. We shared your comment with the copy editor(s) who review the blogs. Unfortunately, when you are writing three posts a week, with more than 500 over the history of the blog, there will be inadvertent errors.
      Thanks again for pointing them out. Corrections were made.

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