The Functional Resume: Is it Right for You?

What is a Functional Resume?

Most of the time, you’ll see resumes that are in a chronological format: there is a short summary or profile, followed by an employment section that contains each position listed by date. A functional resume is a resume that’s organized by skill rather than by job and date, thereby focusing on your areas of expertise. Your work history is included at the end and is very brief (no lengthy descriptions or bullet points, just a list of positions held in reverse chronological order). Depending on your work history, industry, and overall preference, you may find that a functional resume is the format for you.

Who Should Use a Functional Resume?

A functional resume is ideal in several situations. A functional resume might be a good choice for you if:

  • You have a considerable (over a year) employment gap.
  • You have very broad and varied experience.
  • You have little to no prior work experience.
  • You’re changing careers.

Another situation where you may want to use a functional format is if you might work experience that you don’t necessarily want to highlight or focus on. Let’s say you were a top-level manager, and you were laid off and had to take a job as a waiter. In this case, you want to focus on your management and leadership skills, not your waiter job. A functional resume allows you to tie your strongest skills and preferred positions together.

What are the Benefits of a Functional Resume?

A functional resume gives you complete control of your content and what you choose to highlight. Also, a functional resume can allow you to bring unpaid and volunteer positions to the forefront rather than hidden on the last page of your resume. And, this format is still relatively novel; most people go for the chronological approach. And you know what that means – you’ll get noticed!

How Do I Create a Functional Resume?

Here is a functional resume sample to give you an idea of what to include and where to place your information.

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