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What Is A Functional Resume

Functional Resumes Can Benefit Employees With Minimal Work Experience

How to Build a Functional Resume

Writing a good resume isn’t easy, and there’s often limited feedback available. It’s hard to tell if employers enjoy reading your resume. If you’re a new to the workforce and lack previous work experience, creating an ideal resume can be a massive undertaking. Luckily, experimenting with your resume format and style can help you land interviews.

On a typical resume, you’ll usually find a person’s work experience as the primary focus, with employers and positions listed in reverse chronological order. This format may be the standard, but it isn’t ideal for everyone.

If you have employment gaps or a lot of short-term positions, a chronological resume calls attention to your employment history, which may be a red flag to some employers. A traditional layout might also hurt entry-level candidates and career-changers with little to no experience in their new fields or, conversely, those with extensive work experience that covers a lot of the same skills and responsibilities in each job.

One way around these issues is to use an alternative format: a functional resume. The idea is to group your skills together under themes rather than present a chronological work history, said Mary Ellen Slayter, CEO of Rep Cap.

“Coupled with a good cover-letter narrative, it can help you get interviews that you otherwise would have been passed over for,” Slayter said.

Why Might College Students Prefer To Use A Functional Resume Rather Than A Chronological Resume

Functional: College students may be drawn to functional resume formats, which emphasize skills and abilities and downplay chronological work history. Skills are typically provided without context, making the content hard to follow. Functional resumes dont play nicely with applicant tracking systems.

What Is A Combination Resume

A functional resume is most useful in situations where you need to highlight skills and knowledge that can’t be attributed directly to a previous position. But what about when you do have some experience? That’s when the combination resume can be a great asset.

The combination resume takes elements of a functional format and adds a shorter work history section similar to the one found on a standard reverse chronological resume. Generally, the skills/experience section that comes from the functional resume will be placed at the top of the page and the employment history will come later.

The combination resume is a great choice when you have some work experience to show but not enough to fully switch over to the chronological resume. It can also be a good idea to create a combination format if you work in certain creative fields where your skills are more important than previous employers. Freelancers also find this format useful because it focuses more on the services they offer while letting them highlight just a few impressive clients.

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Writing A Functional Resume

The plan of attack for writing a functional resume varies person by person. If you focus the resume on your skills and examples of how you’ve demonstrated those skills, the resume should have its desired effect.

“It’s a different way of thinking, so take your time and be thoughtful,” said Bushera. “I recommend starting by identifying the skills you want to highlight and then statements that describe your experience with each skill.”

Hiring managers love examples and data. If you list leadership as a quality, be sure to include examples and data that back that up. For example, saying you helped implement new training procedures for new hires at your previous organization, that shows that you’re able to take initiative and help lead new endeavors within an organization. Examples and statistics boost your resume and make it more meaningful in the eyes of hiring managers.

Regardless of how you choose to write a resume, there are two key questions it should answer: Can you do the job, and can the hiring manager work with you?

There are many ways you can show this when writing a skills-based resume. Arthur Jordan, vice president of engineering at education technology company 2U, advised finding a way to discuss successful work and personal projects that could show off your unique abilities to an employer. For instance, you could mention your contributions to an open-source project, or that you wrote a blog post about a work problem you solved.

Functional Resume Guide: Formatting Pros And Cons

Functional Resume Template

Writing a resume isnt everybodys idea of a good time. Trying to remember the name of this job or that title, what you did when and where, and making it all sound compelling can be difficult. It can be even harder when youre trying to switch careers or have periods of unemployment.

You may have heard that a functional resume is better for certain job seekers in certain situations. And, while this may be the case, its not the whole story. A functional resume isnt always your best bet and may, in fact, make it harder for you to land an interview.

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Functional Resume Sample Format

Contact info


Seeking an office manager position with ABC company in order to maximize efficiency of employees and stimulate growth of the company through proactive effort, excellent time management, and coordination skills.


Accomplished office manager with a proven ability to develop and implement time-management strategies that support business and financial objectives. Reduced operating budget by $10,000 in most recent job. Recognized as an expert in efficiency and data management.

Respected team player focused on achieving company goals. Keep up-to-date with changes in the industry through continuing professional development .


How A Functional Resume Works

A functional resume draws attention away from items that a hiring manager might find problematic. It de-emphasizes gaps in your work history or the fact that you’re making a significant career change.

A functional resume is less commonly used than a chronological resume, which recruiters and interviewers generally prefer. If you don’t have a reason for using a functional resume, opt for a chronological one. Additionally, some applicant tracking software programs reject resumes without a chronological work history.

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Functional Resume: Definition Tips And Examples

While resumes are most commonly written in the reverse-chronological format by listing a candidates experience by jobs held over time, this is only one way to present your skills and qualifications. If a standard resume format does not accurately represent your fitness for the job, there are other options, such as a functional resume format. In this article, well explain how to present your background through a functional resume along with tips and examples for inspiration.

What Is A Functional Resume

Functional Resume vs. Chronological Resume – Which is Better? [w/ Resume Examples]

A functional resume, sometimes called a skills-based resume, places the focus on your skills and areas of expertise, rather than on the details of your work history. So instead of simply listing your recent jobs and corresponding duties in reverse chronological order , youd select only the most relevant responsibilities from each of your past roles and combine them to paint a broader picture of your skill set.

Like any other resume, a functional layout features your name and contact information at the top and lists your technical skills, interests, and education toward the bottom .

The difference is that the body of a functional resume highlights your most important skillssuch as administrative experience or customer servicewith three to five bullet points that show how youve applied those skills in various roles. Then your work history would appear as a simple list below your skills section, where youd only include your job title, the name of your employer, the city where you worked, and your dates of employment.

Because this layout places the primary focus on your relevant skills, functional resumes allow you to better tailor the content to a specific role youre hoping to land, without having to worry too much about job titles that dont sound relevant, gaps in employment, or an eclectic work history.

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When To Consider A Functional Format

If you’ve held a number of different or unrelated jobs during a relatively short period of time and are worried about being labeled as a job-hopper, the functional resume could be the answer for you. This resume format can also work well for those entering the workforce for the first time or after a long absence . It could also be a good choice if your prior work experience is more relevant to your current job target than what you’re doing presently.

Functional Resume Template: Who Should Use It

A functional resume template is particularly useful for job-seekers who:

  • Have frequently changed jobs.
  • Have gaps in their work history.
  • Are reentering the workforce.
  • Are transitioning into new careers.
  • Under-qualified or Overqualified for particular job posts

The reason functional resumes work well for these people is that most of our acquired skills are transferable despite our careers not standing well.

For example, if you have been a sales manager, you were possibly responsible for training, coaching, and customer relations. These skills could even be used in your functional resume for a Public Relations Manager.

In a chronological resume, this information might not appeal to a recruiter. Essentially you did not hold the title of Public Relations Manager. However, the functional resume format showcases that despite your job profile you have dealt with PR-related issues.

Eventually it comes to how you illustrate yourself. If you give the employers the same information in an improved package you are bound to increase your chances for an interviews. Functional resumes describes more than just background and experience.

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Why Do Recruiters Dislike This Format

In a functional resume you usually put information out of context. It is easier to add fluff to make your profile look glamorous. Within the context of skills and accomplishments, it gives you a better opportunity to make yourself stand out despite having significant experiences.

However, recruiters hate functional resumes since they need to take time to draw their own inference without valid proof. Recruiters are familiar with that fact that the functional resume format covers gaps in the applicantâs experience. They, therefore, usually skip to the work history to figure out what you might be hiding. In the process, if you manage to impress with your skills, you are good to go.

What Is Functional Resume

Functional Resume: Definition, Tips and Examples

A functional resume is a type of resume format which showcases skills over experience. The purpose of a functional resume is to draw attention to transferable abilities rather than focusing on a chronological overview of your work history. Because of its properties, its sometimes called a skills-based resume.

Besides, What is a professional narrative?

A professional narrative answers the question, What do you do? in a concise, clear, and compelling way. They create a sense of confidence and articulate who you are as a professional at a given time all while expressing your authentic style and personality.

As well as Why do recruiters hate functional resumes? They hate it because they need to draw their own conclusions. The functional resume format was created to cover up gaps in an applicants experience and recruiters know it. They will skip straight down to the work history to try and figure what youre hiding.

Furthermore What is an example of functional skill?

Communication Exchange, convey, and express knowledge and ideas. Information Management Arrange and retrieve data, knowledge, and ideas. Physical Use hands, tools to build, repair and invent. Organization Management Direct and guide a group in completing tasks and attaining goals.

Do recruiters like functional resumes?

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Tips To Create A Powerful Functional Resume

Functional resume is the choice if you have gaps in your employment history instead of using a traditional chronological resume. Functional resumes put the focus on your experience and downplay job history. This resume style masks gaps in employment and highlights your skills and core competencies instead.

Who Should Use Functional Resumes

Functional resumes work best for people with minimal work experience looking to earn an entry-level position. If you’re switching careers and don’t have much experience in an industry, you may also benefit from a functional resume. This resume style allows you to share transferable skills that carry over from one industry to another.

If you’re looking to switch jobs in the same industry, a functional resume probably isn’t the best option. Focusing on work history might better serve you in your search.

It’s also worth noting that the hiring process is about much more than resumes. If you want to switch careers within an industry, you should reach out to people within that new industry and ask for advice. Consider using a platform like LinkedIn to reach out to people in the field and to follow their accounts to stay informed about the latest trends and dialogue in that industry.

Switching industries may also require additional training in your spare time to develop the skills necessary to enter a new industry. In short, there’s a lot more to a career change than the type of resume you’re using. Functional resumes have their place in the job search, but there’s more to the job search process than a different style of resume.

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Ideal For Highlighting Professional Experience

Most workers are familiar with chronological resumes: These put a spotlight on work experience, and they are often preferred by hiring managers and HR professionals. Even so, some companies dont like to receive chronological resumes, preferring combination resumes, functional resumes, or Cvs instead. Whether this is true of the company you are applying to, or if you feel that a chronological or combination resume just wont do the trick, consider using a functional resume.

What Do Functional Skills Levels Mean

NEVER have a Functional Resume | Resume Tips

Functional Skills are the fundamental ENGLISH, MATHS and ICT skills that people need for their working and personal lives. People can study for the qualifications in practical ways and apply core skills to real-life situations. bksbs FOCUS Functional Skills solution reflects the changes to the new standards and tests.

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What Goes Inside Of A Functional Resume

This resume format still contains most of the information that could be seen inside of a traditional resume or chronological resume.

That includes:

  • Certifications.
  • Employment history.

In both circumstances, the resume formats will list work history in reverse chronological order. Resulting in the most recent place of employment being at the top of the resume.

Job seekers should always list their most recent place of employment at the top of the resume. As recruiters and hiring managers will have a far easier time comprehending the resume.

S For Writing A Functional Resume

The following are the steps you should take when creating a functional resume:

  • Start with your name and contact information. Like with other resume styles, youll want to include your first and last name, your address, your phone number, and your professional email at the top of the resume.
  • Write a resume summary. A resume summary at the start of your functional resume is a great way to quickly catch the attention of recruiters by highlighting your most relevant qualifications for the job. The summary should be two or three sentences long.
  • Note keywords from the job posting. Each resume you submit should be tailored to the specific job youre applying for. Before writing your resume, take note of any keywords in the job description, such as specific skills, and use them throughout your resume to show hiring managers you possess the qualifications and skills they are seeking.
  • Create an organized skills section. The next section on your resume should be your qualifications and skills. Organize this section by theme for example, one theme could be leadership skills and under this heading, youd list all relevant leadership skills you possess.
  • Include an experience section. Even if you have little work experience or gaps in your work history, you should still include the experience you do have. Include where you worked, your job title, and a few key contributions you made if relevant. Dates of employment arent necessary.
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    Why Resumes Are Important For Job Seekers

    Your resume, along with a cover letter, is an essential part of the hiring process, and is a base requirement to be considered for a position.

    A good resume is the first part of your application any hiring manager will see, so its important that it conveys your qualifications accurately and convincingly.

    Your resume should offer employers a digestible overview of your relevant skills, employment history, education background, and accomplishments. Based on this information, they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to interview or hire you.

    But writing a resume from scratch can be time-consuming. To simplify the process, try using our online resume builder. Just type in your information and our software will help you assemble a perfectly formatted resume that is sure to impress any hiring manager.

    Should I Use A Functional Resume

    Functional Resume

    Yes, you should use a functional resume in the following three situations:

  • You have long periods of unemployment.
  • Youre switching to a new industry. In particular, youre leaving the industry where youve built up most of your work experience.
  • You want to highlightspecific professional skills rather than your experience.
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    The Functional Resume: An Introduction

    The functional resume format is applicable for individuals with a great deal of education and training and/or a strong set of job-related skills. This includes new graduates or experienced workers transferring to a new industry where their skills and education will apply. It is also good for people who have worked for a limited number of organizations and whose skills are more important than the employers they have worked for.

    A functional resume highlights your skills and talents and how they relate to the job youre applying for. Often, the skills you have are the same ones described in the job posting. This type of resume is best for people working in technical or skill base professions, or who are transitioning into a new career.


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